*Preferred location: London, UK. Other locations to be determined by home country of successful candidate in a jurisdiction (US state or country) where VisionFund/WVI is registered to operate.
World Vision (“WV”) is a Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. One important component of WV’s work is Micro Finance, providing Financial Services such as credit, savings and insurance to the poor, enabling them to earn increased income, build assets and provide financial security for their families. Numerous studies confirm the strong impact of Micro Finance on the well-being of children. Studies also show, however, that the integration of Micro Finance with other development activities can have an even greater impact when compared to either Micro Finance alone or development
activities alone. WV’s Micro Finance operations are managed through VisionFund (“VF”) and its 6,000 staff.
VF manages a network of 34 Microfinance Institutions (“MFIs”) globally and has an outstanding loan portfolio of approximately US$600 million to over 1 million clients and annual network revenues of over US$138 million. The MFI’s were created to provide Financial Services in the areas where WV works.
PURPOSE OF POSITION:
Operationally, Micro Finance is similar to mainstream Financial Services (Banking) and requires a high level of automation to manage and deliver the product. Therefore, having state of art appropriate technology platforms, processes and people to deliver the services is critical to achieving VF’s strategic goals. Because of the highly specialised nature of the business, VF now has its own small team of specialists who will be responsible for the efficient and effective use of technology and change management processes within the business. This change management concept is focused on three equal elements: people – providing training and upscaling of organizational resources; processes – establishing
industry best practices across the whole organisation; and platforms - implementing strategic banking and accounting systems, derivative Management Information systems, mobile and client focused tools. Thematic Programme Managers (“TPMs”) are therefore people with a strong understanding of the business model and processes (operational and financial) such as Finance, Technology platforms, insurance, savings etc. and who can bring the two aspects together strengthening the capacity of the organisation.
TPMs will have oversight of one of the global strategies (including Savings, Accounting, Core Banking Systems, PMO etc.) identified by VF, to ensure MFIs are in alignment with, deploying and managed to these global strategies. TPMs will work closely with Regional Programme Managers (“RPMs”) and MFI staff.
Process Evaluation and Design:
Support for Regional Directors (“RDs”) in global strategy development for delivering business and social goals through the implementation of industry leading business processes, training people and maximizing the use of technology platforms;
Tight integration with capacity development and training to ensure VF’s human capital can handle the new operational processes and global standards. Ultimately VF’s goal is to impact more children through the development of the network.
Provide oversight in functional verticals (such as credit processes, savings, loan processing, delinquency management, etc.) of each MFI to ensure MFI operations are supported adequately. Aligning system and operational procedures with globally defined policies and procedures.
Support RPMs and other TPMs in ensuring that MFIs have the skills and competencies within business functions to use technology to maximum effect, and support them in skills training and capacity building so that they become more capable in operational standards.
Supporting RPMs, other TPMs and MFIs evaluating business operational processes to determine local changes and impact on technology solutions. VFI has identified global operational standards, the TPM-BP (Business Processes) is responsible evaluating local implementations and aligning with overall strategic alignments with VFI standards and initiatives.
Responsible for the ownership, accountability and delivery of key projects within the scope of the TPM-BP strategic theme.
TPM will work with MFIs in designing how to improve business processes and controls. TPM is responsible to ensure the design is sound in functional verticals, addresses cross functional interdependencies and adhere to VFI strategic goals.
Supporting VFI direction by ensuring proposed IT projects adhere to global policy and procedures, and designing policy and procedures where any are lacking.
Looking at ways in which opportunities exist to improve cross-regional efficiencies and performance.
Support RDs and RPMs in reviewing annual plans and budgets and ensuring that adequate provision is being made so that the MFI is on a path to sustainability in its operational structure.
VF OPERATIONAL STANDARDS STRATEGY:
Working with global management to ensure an effective VFI strategy is in place, focusing on the ‘standardisation’ of business processes and impact on people for specific Theme that TPM is responsible for (e.g. Front Office Solutions (Mobile Money / Tablets) or Data and Credit (Data Warehouse and Credit policy).
Core functionality: Develop and maintain a core set of functional requirements building on the ‘standardisation’ work, and lessons learned from MFIs around the globe.
Develop a detailed plan of how the MicroFinance in Motion project plans will be rolled out including core banking applications, infrastructure, support and ‘other technologies’ across the MFI. Responsible for ensuring little, if any deviation occurs from agreed strategy, and if necessary approved with Global Director.
Communicate initial strategy and the roll out plans as well as all other on-going communication on business processes that affects the MFIs.
Matrix responsibility in hiring, budgeting and management of local project management resources, hired as a result of project funding, which will support the implementation of this strategy, in collaboration with local line manager.
PIPELINE AND PRIORITY MANAGEMENT:
Recommend MFIs for strategic operational initiative and present prioritization plan (Microfinance in Motion (“MiM”)).
Propose, develop and implement plans for centralization and shared services in terms of support, plus supporting other operational shared functions.
Budget / Funding:
Work together with RD / RPM on proposal on regional budgets and funding.
Work with regional project managers and ensure all projects are effectively managed within globally defined and aligned PMO standards. Specifically manage local Project Management and line resources identified with local / regional / global management to support and manage a given project.
Oversee the project manager’s work at MFI level on the gathering of shared functional specification for the region. Evaluation, clarification and correction of standards to reflect VF global standards and to ensure continued industry leading best practices. Finding a balance between enforcing current standards and developing those based on lessons learnt.
Oversee, influence and assist in the due diligence and software selection process for systems solutions. May involve brining in external expertise for audit / review.
Oversee pre-implementation plans which include data clean-up, review of change management business impact, human resources, risks etc.
Oversee the implementation of all business processes with a planned MiM project and participate in issue-resolution decisions and regular update communication to all stakeholders.
Ensure that adequate support is in place, both internally at the MFI level as well as external at the vendor level, for the on-going maintenance, issue-resolution and future customizations.
Oversee the assessment of a post-implementation review and lead on any findings / recommendations of the same.
Personal and Staff Development:
As a Christian VFI leader, develop others encouraging excitement and growth both in their careers but also in spiritual growth. This role is all about matrix management and influencing others often without line function responsibility.
This matrix management is across the entire organisation from global management through to field operations staff.
Other Assignments as needed:
Carry out additional responsibilities and projects as assigned, including administrative and planning functions.
Participate in Daily Devotional Meetings:
Attend and participate in weekly chapel services and daily devotional meetings whenever possible.
Participate in weekly dept. meetings:
Attend and participate in weekly meetings to ensure alignment of specific Theme with others within the Change scope. Interdependency of the Themes and implications across people, processes and platforms is critical to the overall success of the strategic processes.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS & ABILITIES:
Educated to degree level, ideally in a finance related discipline.
Experience of leading a number of successful microfinance operation implementations, ideally in developing countries.
Project management experience working to recognized PM methodologies. Qualification in a recognized PM discipline preferred.
Understanding of microfinance/retail banking operations, from a credit, financial, risk and systems perspective.
Project management and office tools experience (e.g. Microsoft Project, Office tools).
Service orientation with ability to lead teams, organize, prioritize, and delegate tasks while transferring knowledge and expertise.
Ability to work under pressure and on multiple tasks and projects concurrently.
Strong analytical and problem solving skills and be able to work effectively with and manage a diverse and geographically remote team of information technology professionals.
Good organizational skills as well as consulting skills to be able to analyze, judge risk, recommend solutions.
Cross-culturally sensitive and be able to work with staff from across the world and in a virtual environment.
Proficiency (both speaking and writing) in English is a must; Other languages (particularly Spanish or French) is a plus.
Demonstrated ability to write polished reports (e.g. business cases, risk management plans, project close out reports, etc.).
Requires flexibility on working hours to contact people within wide time-zone differences.
Must be able to travel internationally (minimum 40% of time).
Ability to balance Christian values with commercial practices.
Extensive project experience within a Financial Services context, including elements of people, processes and platforms.
Extensive ‘theme’ experience including one of: credit, savings, data, accounting etc.
Project Management certification including one of AGILE, PRINCE 2, LEAN / SIX SIGMA, PMI etc.
Effective in written and verbal communication in English.
Preferred Skills, Knowledge and Experience:
Degree level accreditation in economics, maths, accounting or related field.
The position requires ability and willingness to travel domestically and internationally up to 50 % of the time.