Advisory Council

Philip Brown is Managing Director of Risk for Citi Microfinance’s global business. He is the senior credit officer responsible for the development of policies, programs and risk tools to enable Citi’s businesses to commercially engage with the sector. Before moving to Citi Microfinance he was the Risk Manager for Project Finance and Structured Trade Finance within EMEA. Mr. Brown joined Citibank in 1971 and has had a variety of client, product and business management assignments. These span financial institutions, corporate, commercial, investment, and private banking with product roles in cash management and trade. They have included country head; business and staff positions in the United States, Europe, Sri Lanka, Channel Islands; audit and risk review for EMEA; and head of regulatory for Citicorp UK. Mr. Brown is a fellow of the Institute of Financial Services, a member of the Governing Council of the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation, and former Chairman of the Strategic Planning Society.
 
Paul DiLeo has pioneered the mobilization of private capital for the microfinance industry and in so doing has helped shape the sector as an investable opportunity. With over two decades of experience in development finance and 10 years’ experience in the microfinance sector, he has cultivated a wealth of knowledge in the industry and is respected as a thought leader in the microfinance investment community. Mr. DiLeo launched and managed the Gray Ghost Microfinance Fund which was the first private, for-profit microfinance fund established to demonstrate the viability of microfinance investment. Prior to starting Gray Ghost, he was instrumental in setting up a U.S. government-backed investment fund in Russia and during his tenure at Shorebank Corporation made equity investments in leading microfinance institutions in India and Bangladesh. He also worked extensively in advising and evaluating microfinance institutions and small business banks around the world. Paul started his career in international finance with the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, has a Master’s degree from Boston University, and completed studies in business accounting and finance at New York University. Mr. DiLeo is the President of Grassroots Capital Management and also acts as Managing Partner of Grassroots Capital Partners.
Dirk Elsen joined Triodos Investment Management as Director Emerging Markets in January 2012. Most recently, from 2002 to 2011, he served as Chief Executive of SNV, an international development organization implementing advisory, advocacy and knowledge brokering work in 36 countries across four continents. Prior to his leadership at SNV, Mr. Elsen worked at Shell, the World Bank and ABN AMRO, working as a corporate and operational lawyer on projects in Africa and Asia, structuring trade finance business and serving in various senior relationship management roles.
Michael Fiebig is Head Financial Institutions Equity Investments at responsAbility Investments AG, Zurich, Switzerland. Mr. Fiebig heads the FI Equity team at responsAbility since April 2011, and is representing the Investment Vehicles managed by responsAbility on the Boards of a number of financial institutions and funds. He has accumulated 20 years of experience in advising, running and investing in retail banking, microfinance and SME lending operations in over 25 countries. From 2006 to early 2011, Mr. Fiebig worked as Investment Director with a private equity boutique in Switzerland, where he covered equity investments in SME banks and microfinance institutions in South Eastern Europe. Prior to this he led a bank transformation project with a non-bank financial institution in Albania. He served as Business Development Director at a commercial bank in Kosovo and at this bank led the implementation of two large advisory projects with focus on housing finance and SME lending. He previously held positions as Lead Project Manager, Consultant and Deputy Head of the international bank & microfinance consulting division of Bankakademie (now Frankfurt School of Finance and Management). Michael holds a Master of Business Administration (Dipl.Kfm.) degree from the Freie Universität Berlin.
Mr. Silva has more than 25 years of experience in international finance with expertise in the evaluation of financial intermediaries, financial engineering, strategic planning and corporate finance. He has in-depth knowledge of the Latin American and Caribbean financial markets and maintains regular contact with prominent bi/multilateral institutions in the region. In addition, he has high-level contacts within the Latin American business community as well as financial institutions. Mr. Silva was the manager of the Antares Fund, a for-profit equity participation fund aiming to develop a secondary market for equity participations in microfinance institutions (MFIs), financial institutions specializing in serving small and micro entrepreneurs. He is also the Executive Director of Calmeadow and represents this Canadian NGO on the Board of Africap, a fund specialized in providing equity and long-term funding to African MFIs. Prior to establishing Omtrix, Mr. Silva worked for the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), a multilateral financial institution, as the head of its Central American office. He was the Executive Director of ProFund Internacional, where he was responsible for the management of a regional investment fund specializing in equity investments in MFIs in Latin America and the Caribbean. Mr. Silva has served as a board member of numerous MFIs in countries such as Nicaragua, Haiti, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
Prior to joining Triple Jump, Ward worked in the private equity sector of which the last two years in Argentina. Previously he worked for ten years in the Dutch market with Halder (currently GIMV). His focus was on buy outs of mid-sized companies. He started his career in marketing & sales and also worked as a managing consultant.
Ward holds a Master Degree in Business Economics at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. He is a Dutch national and speaks English, Dutch, Spanish and German.
Fahmila Imam is Senior Technical Specialist for Global Communities for finance, audit and risk management. She is responsible for expanding Global Communities’ commercial sources of financing for microfinance activities, including debt and equity. She handles all finance-related matters for Vitas Group, and works closely with investors on valuation of new subsidiaries. She brings to Global Communities more than 15 years of experience in finance and development, having worked at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Export-Import Bank of the United States, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and microfinance clients such as FINCA, Women’s World Banking, and XacBank. She received a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University and completed her undergraduate work at Barnard College.
Elisabeth Rhyne works to bring together leaders in financial services to address challenges facing the microfinance industry today. She is a co-creator of the Smart Campaign for client protection in microfinance. As senior vice president of Accion from 2000-2008, Ms. Rhyne led Accion’s initial entry into Africa and India and directed the organization’s research efforts to develop new financial products and managed Accion’s publications and educational activities. Ms. Rhyne has published numerous articles and five books on microfinance, including Mainstreaming Microfinance: How Lending to the Poor Began, Grew and Came of Age in Bolivia (Kumarian Press, 2001). She was also co-editor of The New World of Microenterprise Finance (Kumarian, 1994), which provided the introduction to microfinance for many of the field’s current professionals. Her most recent book, Microfinance for Bankers and Investors, was published by McGraw-Hill in 2009. Ms. Rhyne was director of the Office of Microenterprise Development at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) from 1994 to 1998, where she developed and led USAID’s Microenterprise Initiative. Ms. Rhyne’s experience includes eight years living in Kenya and Mozambique, consulting on microfinance policy and operations for governments, international organizations, and microfinance institutions. Ms. Rhyne holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history and humanities from Stanford University.
Philip Brown is Managing Director of Risk for Citi Microfinance’s global business. He is the senior credit officer responsible for the development of policies, programs and risk tools to enable Citi’s businesses to commercially engage with the sector. Before moving to Citi Microfinance he was the Risk Manager for Project Finance and Structured Trade Finance within EMEA. Mr. Brown joined Citibank in 1971 and has had a variety of client, product and business management assignments. These span financial institutions, corporate, commercial, investment, and private banking with product roles in cash management and trade. They have included country head; business and staff positions in the United States, Europe, Sri Lanka, Channel Islands; audit and risk review for EMEA; and head of regulatory for Citicorp UK. Mr. Brown is a fellow of the Institute of Financial Services, a member of the Governing Council of the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation, and former Chairman of the Strategic Planning Society.
 
Paul DiLeo has pioneered the mobilization of private capital for the microfinance industry and in so doing has helped shape the sector as an investable opportunity. With over two decades of experience in development finance and 10 years’ experience in the microfinance sector, he has cultivated a wealth of knowledge in the industry and is respected as a thought leader in the microfinance investment community. Mr. DiLeo launched and managed the Gray Ghost Microfinance Fund which was the first private, for-profit microfinance fund established to demonstrate the viability of microfinance investment. Prior to starting Gray Ghost, he was instrumental in setting up a U.S. government-backed investment fund in Russia and during his tenure at Shorebank Corporation made equity investments in leading microfinance institutions in India and Bangladesh. He also worked extensively in advising and evaluating microfinance institutions and small business banks around the world. Paul started his career in international finance with the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, has a Master’s degree from Boston University, and completed studies in business accounting and finance at New York University. Mr. DiLeo is the President of Grassroots Capital Management and also acts as Managing Partner of Grassroots Capital Partners.
Dirk Elsen joined Triodos Investment Management as Director Emerging Markets in January 2012. Most recently, from 2002 to 2011, he served as Chief Executive of SNV, an international development organization implementing advisory, advocacy and knowledge brokering work in 36 countries across four continents. Prior to his leadership at SNV, Mr. Elsen worked at Shell, the World Bank and ABN AMRO, working as a corporate and operational lawyer on projects in Africa and Asia, structuring trade finance business and serving in various senior relationship management roles.
Michael Fiebig is Head Financial Institutions Equity Investments at responsAbility Investments AG, Zurich, Switzerland. Mr. Fiebig heads the FI Equity team at responsAbility since April 2011, and is representing the Investment Vehicles managed by responsAbility on the Boards of a number of financial institutions and funds. He has accumulated 20 years of experience in advising, running and investing in retail banking, microfinance and SME lending operations in over 25 countries. From 2006 to early 2011, Mr. Fiebig worked as Investment Director with a private equity boutique in Switzerland, where he covered equity investments in SME banks and microfinance institutions in South Eastern Europe. Prior to this he led a bank transformation project with a non-bank financial institution in Albania. He served as Business Development Director at a commercial bank in Kosovo and at this bank led the implementation of two large advisory projects with focus on housing finance and SME lending. He previously held positions as Lead Project Manager, Consultant and Deputy Head of the international bank & microfinance consulting division of Bankakademie (now Frankfurt School of Finance and Management). Michael holds a Master of Business Administration (Dipl.Kfm.) degree from the Freie Universität Berlin.
Mr. Silva has more than 25 years of experience in international finance with expertise in the evaluation of financial intermediaries, financial engineering, strategic planning and corporate finance. He has in-depth knowledge of the Latin American and Caribbean financial markets and maintains regular contact with prominent bi/multilateral institutions in the region. In addition, he has high-level contacts within the Latin American business community as well as financial institutions. Mr. Silva was the manager of the Antares Fund, a for-profit equity participation fund aiming to develop a secondary market for equity participations in microfinance institutions (MFIs), financial institutions specializing in serving small and micro entrepreneurs. He is also the Executive Director of Calmeadow and represents this Canadian NGO on the Board of Africap, a fund specialized in providing equity and long-term funding to African MFIs. Prior to establishing Omtrix, Mr. Silva worked for the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), a multilateral financial institution, as the head of its Central American office. He was the Executive Director of ProFund Internacional, where he was responsible for the management of a regional investment fund specializing in equity investments in MFIs in Latin America and the Caribbean. Mr. Silva has served as a board member of numerous MFIs in countries such as Nicaragua, Haiti, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
Prior to joining Triple Jump, Ward worked in the private equity sector of which the last two years in Argentina. Previously he worked for ten years in the Dutch market with Halder (currently GIMV). His focus was on buy outs of mid-sized companies. He started his career in marketing & sales and also worked as a managing consultant.
Ward holds a Master Degree in Business Economics at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. He is a Dutch national and speaks English, Dutch, Spanish and German.
Fahmila Imam is Senior Technical Specialist for Global Communities for finance, audit and risk management. She is responsible for expanding Global Communities’ commercial sources of financing for microfinance activities, including debt and equity. She handles all finance-related matters for Vitas Group, and works closely with investors on valuation of new subsidiaries. She brings to Global Communities more than 15 years of experience in finance and development, having worked at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Export-Import Bank of the United States, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and microfinance clients such as FINCA, Women’s World Banking, and XacBank. She received a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University and completed her undergraduate work at Barnard College.
Elisabeth Rhyne works to bring together leaders in financial services to address challenges facing the microfinance industry today. She is a co-creator of the Smart Campaign for client protection in microfinance. As senior vice president of Accion from 2000-2008, Ms. Rhyne led Accion’s initial entry into Africa and India and directed the organization’s research efforts to develop new financial products and managed Accion’s publications and educational activities. Ms. Rhyne has published numerous articles and five books on microfinance, including Mainstreaming Microfinance: How Lending to the Poor Began, Grew and Came of Age in Bolivia (Kumarian Press, 2001). She was also co-editor of The New World of Microenterprise Finance (Kumarian, 1994), which provided the introduction to microfinance for many of the field’s current professionals. Her most recent book, Microfinance for Bankers and Investors, was published by McGraw-Hill in 2009. Ms. Rhyne was director of the Office of Microenterprise Development at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) from 1994 to 1998, where she developed and led USAID’s Microenterprise Initiative. Ms. Rhyne’s experience includes eight years living in Kenya and Mozambique, consulting on microfinance policy and operations for governments, international organizations, and microfinance institutions. Ms. Rhyne holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history and humanities from Stanford University.