VisionFund Product Director
*Preferred location: London, UK or anywhere in a jurisdiction (country or US state) where WVI and VisionFund is registered to operate.
VisionFund International (VFI) is the microfinance subsidiary of World Vision International (WVI). VFI administers and manages a network of WVI and VFI affiliated microfinance institutions (MFIs), delivering microfinance services around
the globe and serving within 35 countries. In 2014, WVI and VFI affiliated Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) made a positive impact to over 3 million children, while providing $400 million in lending to approximately 1 million borrowers.
For the last ten years we have been improving the lives of children by providing small loans to people who wouldn’t otherwise have access to credit, so they can grow their own businesses. We know that when they grow successful small
businesses the whole family benefits and their self-confidence increases. Their children are more likely to attend school, have enough to eat, benefit from improved living conditions and better health. The people we lend to also make
a real difference in their community as their businesses thrive. We see them creating jobs, becoming role models and taking a lead in community projects like schools. Like World Vision, we are a Christian not-for-profit organisation
and as part of the World Vision partnership, we are committed to providing access to financial services to the poor regardless of their religious beliefs, gender or ethnicity.
PURPOSE OF POSITION:
This is a key position for VFI as it seeks to develop its position as a leading provider of financial services into rural and particularly agricultural based households. The new five year VFI strategy seeks to increase the resilience and livelihoods of smallholder farmers and others running small businesses by providing creative, flexible and well-structured solutions and through deeper engagement with other sectors within the Partnership.
The Product Director will provide direction, analysis and advise to both MFIs and VFI in order to achieve this goal.
The incumbent will apply their agricultural experience to help the MFIs to develop and deliver quality products to clients, through ensuring that VFI review and approve new products being introduced in the network. In particular focus will be on delivering products at scale that effectively mitigate and manage the risk to both clients and MFIs of our products, particularly those targeting small scale farmers and other farm based enterprises.
Additionally, VisionFund as a child focused organization, wants to scale up child well being outcome (CWBO) products such as those in the water, sanitation, education and solar lighting fields. This position will seek to make our various pilots into scalable products impacting many households and children.
A key part of the role will be in developing strong relationships with various WV roles, and developing partnerships with third parties. The outcome of such relationships should include working with grants and fundraising teams to developing stronger funding streams.
The position would primarily focus on credit products, but would also as part of the product development and client relationship team work with the savings and insurance directors to effectively provide customer focused and integrated solutions through our global network of MFIs.
Develop scalable and sustainable agricultural products that will fit the needs of small scale farmers and can be delivered by MFIs both effectively, at low risk and at scale.
Work with WVI, National offices and development partners to ensure that integrated solutions are effectively developed, are scalable and that the role of the MFI and partners are clearly articulated and achievable. This includes working with WV Livelihoods and Resilience teams and initiatives and large scale projects such as THRIVE and GAFCO.
Access, analyse and review existing products and product mix to understand the drivers of performance as well as risk profiles,
Provide one on one support to MFI’s challenged in the development of their products through both virtual support, but also through site visits. This includes a periodic review of pricing and product performance. Where VF approval is needed for new products, approve or advise up the hierarchy for products needing more senior level approval.
Ensure effective networking with WV Regional programing quality departments through fora, conferences, collaborative engagements and projects.
Work to support fundraising teams and partners to ensure that product concepts are effectively articulated and best practice product solutions included.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS & ABILITIES:
Degree and preferably post graudate in development, social sciences, economics, banking or business administration.
Microfinance/ banking experience 5 years in a middle management role,
More than five years in a customer service organization,
Worked in integrated rural/ agricultural projects,
Experience in rural Africa,
Working Environment / Conditions:
Ability to live and thrive in difficult operating environments, travel at least 25% of the time,