New Manager Equity Investments for Oikocredit

The General Director of Oikocredit, Mr. Tor Gull and the Director Credit Operations Mr. Erik Heinen are pleased to announce that Stefan Harpe will be joining Oikocredit effective July 1, as “Manager Equity Investments”. The initial priority will be to develop a coherent strategy for expanding and managing Oikocredit’s equity investments and to position Oikocredit as a leading private investor in socially responsible Microfinance Institutions and Small and Medium Enterprises.

As per the end of December 2004, Oikocredit had invested in 12 different institutions for a total value of 10.7 Mln Euro. Further investments to another 7 investees were approved over the first half of 2005 for a total of 5.7 Mln Euros.

Oikocredit plans to further explore equity investment opportunities in response to demand from MFIs and SMEs. We aim for the twin goals of development impact and sustainable returns, thereby building on the management capacity of our more than 30 experienced regional and country managers and our existing partnership base.

Stefan comes to Oikocredit after handing over management responsibilities to his African partners at the AfriCap Microfinance Fund, a specialized regional equity investment fund he helped to establish in 2001. Prior to that, he was Director of International Operations at Calmeadow, a Canadian NGO that has promoted commercial microfinance in various forms.

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