The FIEC organizes a Council-wide meeting every six to nine months, typically for two days of discussion, case studies and networking. Other meetings, including conference calls, roundtables and smaller working group sessions, are held on an ad hoc basis.
Our next meeting will be hosted by responsAbility in Zurich on November 10-11, 2014.
Past FIEC meetings have been held in the following locations:
- May 2014: New York City (WWB Asset Management)
- October 2013: London, U.K. (Citi)
- April 2013: Lima, Peru (Grupo ACP)
- October 2012: Boston, USA (FIEC)
- April 2012: Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Triple Jump)
- October 2011: San Jose, Costa Rica (Omtrix)
- March 2011: Delhi, India (Lok Capital and Caspian Advisors)
- October 2010: Washington, D.C. (Center for Financial Inclusion)
- February 2010: Antwerp, Belgium (Incofin)
- May 2009: Washington, D.C. (Accion Global Investments)
- September 2008: Geneva, Switzerland (responsAbility)
- May 2008: Québec City, Canada (Desjardins)
- October 2007: Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Triodos)
- February 2007: New York (Deutsche Bank)
- Fall 2006: London, UK (Citi Microfinance)
- Spring 2006: San Jose, Costa Rica (Omtrix)
- Spring 2005: Chicago (Opportunity International)
- Fall 2004: London, UK (ShoreCap)
- Spring 2004: New York (Soros)
- Fall 2003: Amersfoot, The Netherlands (Oikocredit)
- Spring 2003: Washington, D.C. (Accion International)
The Council leads and participates in highly topical, forward-looking research studies, as well as ad hoc and ongoing projects, that provide value to both members and the industry. Through these initiatives, it endeavors to articulate and disseminate the FIEC members’ knowledge and expertise about microfinance and investing.
Current and recent initiatives have included, but are not limited to the following:
- Board Remuneration Survey: The FIEC conducted a first-ever survey of members regarding board remuneration practices at MFIs. This survey we conducted in collaboration with the MicroFinance Network (MFN) with data from both MFIs and FIEC member funds to create more transparency for Council members on this issue. The results of this survey were shared with Council members and are also discussed in this blog post on the Center for Financial Inclusion’s website.
- The “Get Real” Valuation Project: Some investors are starting to evaluate whether actual returns from investing in microfinance are matching up with expectations, and are also looking for industry benchmarks to measure the performance of their funds. While plenty of data exists on debt returns, there is less information on equity returns. A blind study has been conducted so FIEC members can share a range of their returns confidentially with other Council members. The survey results were shared with FIEC members.
- Equity MIV Compensation Study: In 2009, the FIEC hired a consulting firm to conduct the first-ever comprehensive compensation study for equity MIVs. Data was collected, aggregated, and analyzed from each Council member regarding base and incentive pay, and has been shared within the FIEC.
The Council acts as the principal “go-to” resource for fund managers and the industry for the development of best practices and industry initiatives. In this role, it serves as a channel of communication within and between its own membership; it is also often approached by industry participants to represent the voice and interests of equity fund managers.
Initiatives include, but are not limited to:
- The “Microfinance Banana Skins” survey, in collaboration with Citi, CGAP and Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation (CSFI). The survey explores the risks facing the microfinance industry in the context of challenges such as growth, changing economic environments and an expanding product range.
- Governance Guidelines, The Practice of Corporate Governance in Shareholder—Owned Microfinance Institutions; provides practical guidance for stakeholders in governance– investors and prospective investors, board members, and senior managers – to use in strengthening the governance of their own MFIs. The Council is updating this reference document to reflect new thinking and resources that have emerged in the industry around governance, with expanded sections on risk management and social performance.
- The Council supports the CGAP and J.P. Morgan Global Microfinance Valuation Survey. This report combines CGAP and FIEC knowledge of microfinance with J.P. Morgan’s equity research skills in emerging markets. The objective of the project is to provide benchmarks for valuation of microfinance equity.
- FIEC collaborated with responsAbility, Triodos, and the Center for Microfinance at the University of Zurich to publish “Over-indebtedness and Microfinance: Constructing an Early Warning Index.” As responsible investors, FIEC members place great importance on reducing the risk of over-indebtedness. Triple Jump has recently joined this effort and is taking the lead on producing a follow-up over-indebtedness study.
- FIEC’s signature series, “The Growth of Commercial Microfinance”, seeks to illustrate the changes in growth, expansion and maturity of the commercial microfinance industry over the past eight years.