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Deputy Regional Director, MEER & EA & Peer Review Coordinator


*Position location to be determined by home country of successful candidate within the UK or Europe where WVI/VF is registered to operate.

*For World Vision/VisionFund internal applicants only.

Organisational Background:

VisionFund is the world’s largest Christian microfinance network. For more than a decade we have been improving the lives of children across the developing world, as we provide small loans and other financial services to families struggling in poverty. Our clients are able to build successful businesses, which enable them to ensure their children grow up healthy and educated.

As the microfinance subsidiary of World Vision, the world’s largest Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation, our microfinance institutions (MFIs) are found across the globe in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe and have an outstanding loan portfolio of nearly US$535 million. Serving over 1.2 million active borrowers, over four million children are impacted each year when parents receive small loans, improve their businesses and increase family incomes.

Sharing the same vision as World Vision, VisionFund aims to provide ‘life in all its fullness’ to children throughout the world, as their parents receive small loans, improve their businesses and increase in ability to care for their children as family incomes multiply.


VisionFund is seeking a Deputy Regional Director (“DRD”) to support and manage the execution of VisionFund’s strategy in the Middle East & Eastern European Region (MEER) and East Africa (EA) region. The Deputy Regional Director working for the Regional Director is responsible for ensuring the delivery of the ‘double bottom line’ of financial and social performance in the region.


Building Capacity in the MFI:

  • Support under the guidance of the regional director the delivery of business plans of individual MFIs. This includes monitoring, analysis, problem identification and recommendations that will ensure improved quality of delivery of financial services, improved control environment and increased alignment of strategy.

  • Support under the guidance of the regional director the regional roll out of global centre initiatives including how central services and regional banking software can be deployed to improve service to the MFI’s and their clients and to reduce costs and improve sustainability.

  • Provide timely, and responsive but prioritized consulting services for MFI issues and concerns, based upon an agreed terms of reference.

  • Provide clear and thorough analysis and subsequent recomendations for both the MFI management and VFI regional teams.

  • Work with the WV regional teams to ensure integration and alignment of VFI, MFI and WVNO strategies at the regional and national levels.

  • Ensure effective communication with the regional director and with relevent CEO’s when undertaking technical reviews and assessments.

  • Ensure that effective controls and the focus on the “double bottom line” are always assessed (even when not part of a particular terms of reference) and that issues are immediately raised.

Governance and Management:

  • As Deputy Regional Director the position may be required to take on a board role within an MFI.

  • The person is expected in their duties as a board member of an MFI to reflect the best interests of VFI and to make, where needed, decisions that support such a position.

  • Governance development – the person will be required to develop board disciplines and practices to ensure fully functioning, value adding boards in the regions covered.

Acting in a Management capacity within an MFI during staffing gaps:

  • If gaps are identified in the CEO, COO or CFO position that are likely to significantly impact the performance of the MFI and in particular put the MFI at risk then the Deputy Regional Director will be required under the direction of the Regional Director to take on a management role in the MFI.

  • This can be up to 6 months while a suitable replacement is being recruited. During this period the DRD will take on the roles of the required position and will continue to report to the regional director, but may have an added reporting line into the MFI depending on the position.

Personal and Staff Development:

  • As a VisionFund leader, in a Christian global organisation, support the RD in the spiritual and professional development of MFI CEOs.

  • Support the RD in developing clear individual goals, manageable and measurable targets and ongoing feedback and support to achieve them.

  • Inform the bi-annual staff performance evaluations as well as an annual review of performance and career potential.

  • Attend weekly virtual operations meetings and other meetings as required by the Regional Director.

Peer Review (10-15% of time):

  • Responsible for coordinating Peer Review activities across the global MFI network under the guidance of the Deputy COO.

  • Mobilising teams to review and troubleshoot operational/governance issues in the MFIs and create action plans.

  • Oversight of progress being made in countries visited and capturing best practice to share/feed into other operational effectiveness/compliance activites in the network.

  • Facilitate structured brainstorming sessions to identify operational issues and extract root causes.

DRD may carry out additional responsibilities and projects as assigned, including administrative and planning functions both within and outside the region.


The key ability VisionFund is seeking is leadership. In addition to experience with microfinance and banking operations (lending, deposit taking), you will have experience developing and nurturing a talented team, and spotting improvement opportunities and making those happen in a complex and dynamic environment.

In addition, the following specific knowledge, skills and abilities are required, and may have been acquired through a combination of formal schooling, self education, prior experience or on the job training:

  • Thorough knowledge and extensive experience in microfinance, insurance and banking operations and in governance and compliance.

  • Solid understanding of financial reporting and performance measurements and planning/forecasting.

  • Strong Operational and Governance Skills in microfinance ideally gained in the relevant region through managing MFIs or gained from consulting experience.

  • Extensive experience working in a multinational and multicultural environment with proven cross-cultural effectiveness. You must be cross culturally sensitive and flexible as you will work with associates from different cultural contexts and timezones. Flexibility on hours to contact people within wide time zone differences is required.

  • Leadership experience, likely to have been gained in a financial services, banking or microfinance environment.

  • Given the need to control financial risk within the MFIs, it is imperative that the jobholder will have good financial analysis, risk management and accounting skills, and strong internal control and project management skills including familiarity with internal audit processes.

  • Strong facilitation skills in group settings enabling evaluation of underlying root causes of issues.

  • Effective coach and able to train people in VisionFund policies and procedures.

  • Ability to balance Christian values with sound commercial practices. Commitment to the core values, mission and vision of VisionFund.

  • Communication skills, problem solving, diplomacy skills, negotiation and conflict management skills are all required in this management role working with multiple MFIs.

  • Fluency in English. Excellence in communication and influencing skills in both oral and written forms, with a variety of stakeholders.

  • Good organizational skills, and highly developed consulting skills, with ability to analyze, recommend solutions, mentor and direct people. Must be able to simultaneously manage multiple priorities and projects.

  • Balanced and respectful approach to groups’ differing responsibilities and priorities. Sensitive to complexity of World Vision direction, MFI board independence and shareholder requirements.

  • Ability and willingness to travel extensively and to be based in a MFI for periods of up to six months.

  • Bachelor’s degree in Finance, Business or Economics, or equivalent level of knowledge gained through work experience.

Work Environment:

  • Either based in home country (if practical for time zone difference and travel to the region, and if WVI has a registration to employ staff in that location) or based in an office in the region with travel to entities nearby (MFIs within the remit of this role are in MEER & Kenya & Ethiopia). This role typically requires travel between 25% and 50% of the time but when there are gaps in MFI management teams there is a requirement to be based in a MFI for periods of up to six months.

VisionFund International aims to be a diverse and inclusive organisation and candidates of all backgrounds and cultures are welcomed. We are dedicated to all our staff development and their success. We aspire for all employees to be fulfilled through their work and their contributions to an organisation working to provide long-term sustainable solutions to the world’s most vulnerable people.