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 Renumeration Study
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.
Balanced Returns Framework
This framework is designed to be a set of questions to help guide investors in establishing their own internal approach to balancing returns. The framework aims to support Council Members in achieving a reasonable and fair balance between social and/or environmental impact and financial return requirements of shareholders. When possible, and as appropriate, the questions in this framework have been aligned with the guidance put forth by both the Social Performance Task Force (SPTF) and the Principles for Investors in Inclusive Finance (PIIF).