Navigating the Next Wave of Blended Finance for Financial Inclusion


04 December 2018 10:00 am - 11:00 am EST
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Blended finance is at the heart of the discussion on how to attract private investors to help finance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Using concessional funding to catalyze private investments, blended finance amplifies the pool of funding and ideas available for development. In financial inclusion, the use of blended finance has a long track record and about a third of blended finance deals reported to the Converge database target financial services.

For this webinar,  speakers Joan Larrea, CEO of Convergence, and Milena Bertram, head of external relations at Finance in Motion, presented the state of blended finance today and shared experiences from using blended finance in financial inclusion. CGAP presented opportunities for blended finance in financial inclusion and how to optimize the use of different funding sources.  

Event Resources

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Speaker Bios

Joan Larrea

Joan Larrea, CEO, Convergence
As CEO of Convergence, Joan leads the world’s first institution dedicated to increasing private sector investment in emerging markets by helping investors execute blended finance deals. Joan is an expert in catalyzing investment in places that need it most and brings with her over 20 years of experience in emerging markets investing. Prior to joining Convergence, she served as U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation's (OPIC) Managing Director for Business Development and Partnerships, leading efforts to partner with philanthropic and private investors to increase capital flows to OPIC's target markets. Before OPIC, Joan served as a managing director on the emerging markets team at Global Environment Fund, a privately held asset manager with $1 billion in assets under management, dedicated to the energy, environmental, and natural resource sectors. She began her career as an investment officer at the International Finance Corporation, where she concluded pioneering transactions in diverse infrastructure and manufacturing sectors across Asia.

Milena Bertram

Milena Bertram, Director Impact & Sustainability, Finance in Motion
As the head of Finance in Motion’s External Relations department, Milena forges and guides the company’s relationships with industry networks, investors and other stakeholders. She also heads the Impact & Sustainability unit, responsible for E&S and impact management framework setting across the firm. Previously, she co-managed the SANAD Fund for MSMEs – Finance in Motion’s impact investment fund for North Africa and the Middle East – building up a sizable portfolio in micro, small, and medium-enterprise finance. She furthermore established the technical assistance facilities for a number of Finance in Motion-advised funds. Before joining Finance in Motion, Milena was active in capacity building for banks and microfinance institutions while working for a development finance consulting firm. Milena holds a Master’s degree in Political Science, Economics and History from the University of Cologne.

Barbara Scola

Barbara Scola, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP
Barbara Scola works with CGAP’s Sector Support team. She conducts research and develops tools to support development agencies in their financial inclusion efforts. Her current research projects focus on the role of funders in supporting policy reform processes and the positioning of financial inclusion in funders' strategies and organizational structures. In 10 years as a CGAP staff member and consultant, Barbara has helped CGAP members improve transparency and the effectiveness of financial inclusion funding. Before joining CGAP, she was a technical adviser for a German Development Cooperation project on strengthening the institutional and regulatory environment of the microfinance sector in Tunisia.  

Henry Gonzalez
Henry González CGAP, Lead Financial Sector Specialist
Henry González is currently a Lead Financial Sector Specialist at CGAP and an Associate Fellow at Oxford University building on his experience across finance, emerging markets, impact investing and political and economic development. Previously, he served as the Head of Research & Advisory at responsAbility Investments AG and oversaw its thought leadership, technical assistance and ESG/impact investing integration strategies. He has also spent time at Morgan Stanley, serving as a Vice President for Emerging Markets Debt investing, as a founding member of the Microfinance Institutions Group and as part of its Latin American Private Wealth Management division. Henry has also held other positions at the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program, and the Government of Costa Rica.