Offering banking services to unbanked, vulnerable populations is a model for lifting people out of poverty. It is also a model for indentured servitude and even modern day slavery.
Microvest Capital Manages has invested over $1 billion in in microlending firms. Candace Smith, the firm’s head of risk, joined me to talk about how the firm ensures that it invests only on microlending companies that improve lives with a sustainable business model.
Interview with Candace Smith, the Managing Director of Risk of Microvest Capital Management.
The following is the pre-interview with Candace Smith. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.
What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?
The money we raise from our investors is then lent to responsible financial institutions in emerging markets that are serving under banked populations. These financial institutions then use this money to provide financial services and products (loans, savings accounts, insurance, etc.) to individuals and small-medium size businesses in their communities. These financial services give individuals and businesses the tools to effectively manage their lives and businesses, and invest in their futures.
More about Microvest Capital Management:
MicroVest is a global impact asset manager that helps socially-minded investors do good in the world while also earning a financial return. We do this by offering investors simple investment solutions that provide them with uncorrelated, commercial returns while also supporting financial inclusion globally. The money we raise from our investors is then lent to responsible financial institutions in emerging markets that are serving under-banked populations. These financial institutions then use this money to provide financial services and products (loans, savings accounts, insurance, etc.) to individuals and small-medium size businesses in their communities. These financial services give individuals and businesses the tools to effectively manage their lives and businesses, and invest in their futures.
Candace Smith’s bio:
Ms. Smith is the Managing Director of Risk (MD Risk) and is responsible for portfolio risk management. Ms. Smith joined MicroVest in 2005 as CFO before transitioning to COO, Chief Compliance Officer, and then to her current role in December 2014. Ms. Smith started her career in 1985 and has extensive experience in development finance and domestic banking. Prior to joining MicroVest in 2005, Ms. Smith advised clients such as the Inter-American Development Bank, Calvert Social Investment Foundation, and Corporacion para el Financiamiento de Infraestructura, among others, on due diligence, credit evaluation and other matters. As Chief Operating Officer for Triodos PV Partners, she oversaw a $50 million joint business development and equity investment program to promote solar electric service enterprises in developing countries. Previously, Ms. Smith served as Senior Credit Officer and Portfolio Officer at the Inter-American Investment Corporation (“IIC”), with responsibility for developing and maintaining corporate credit risk guidelines and oversight of a $400 million portfolio of project loans and equity investments throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
Ms. Smith began her career in finance as a corporate lending officer with the former Continental Illinois National Bank. She holds a Masters in International Management from The American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird) at Glendale, AZ and a dual major Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ms. Smith is fluent in English and Spanish and conversant in Portuguese. Ms. Smith is an independent trustee of Praxis Mutual Funds, a registered fund complex with faith-based, stewardship investing criteria.
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Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!