Norfund was founded in 1997 and is an active, strategic minority investor – wholly owned and funded by the Norwegian Government. It offers risk capital and expertise to help building sustainable businesses in poor countries. Norfund aims to invest in sectors and countries where it can have the greatest impact, where the private sector is weak and access to capital is scarce. This is primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa, but also in some countries in South East Asia and Central America.
Norfund’s priority sectors are Clean Energy, Financial Institutions, and Food & Agribusiness. Norfund also invests in some specialised SME Funds to support small and medium sized companies in developing countries. Their investment horizon is normally 5-10 years, and when they exit investments, the funds are reinvested in other businesses. The average annual return on their investments is 4.9% since inception.
Norfund offers risk capital
Equity: Norfund's equity investments are from about NOK 20 million (4 million USD) and above. The fund takes maximum 35% ownership share. That is, the projects normally have a total equity of NOK 100 million and above. Norfund takes a position as an active owner, and follows the development of the company closely.
Loans: Norfund normally only offers loans to companies in which the fund already has an equity position. But the fund can offer ordinary loans to financial institutions like banks, or in some cases to other companies (e.g. small, Norwegian enterprises; see below). The loans are in the same size range as equity positions.
SME funds (private equity funds): In addition to investing directly in companies with equity and or loans, Norfund invests equity indirectly through SME funds. Norfund invests in funds that have an investment strategy aligned with the Norfund strategy, that is funds that work to develop local small and medium sized enterprises in the Norfund geographies. The SME fund positions are in the same size range as the direct equity investments.
Norfund offers expertise and active ownership
To maximise financial and developmental success in the investee companies, Norfund strives to be a value adding owner beyond the mere capital investment. Norfund’s investment teams have extensive experience in project development and governance, and works closely with the partners to develop the companies.
Norfund contributes to increasing access to capital for SMEs and unbanked individuals by investing in financial institutions.
Banks and microfinance institutions depend on equity and debt in order to extend loans to their customers. These financial service providers need capital to develop products and increase their market reach. They also need to make costly but crucial capital investments, for example in IT systems.
Norfund invests primarily in commercial banks and microfinance institutions, but also in non-bank financial institutions like leasing, housing finance and factoring. Their focus is particularly to support institutions and business models that target SMEs and mass market financial inclusion.
About 50% of world adult population lack access to financial service.
Norfund offers long-term financing and gives priority to equity investments. However, they may also provide senior or subordinated debt depending on the type of institution, geography and its financing needs.
Norfund’s target investments include locally-owned medium-sized and large bank institutions that are focused on serving SMEs, the retail market, and clients who have not previously had access to financial services. The banking sector in poor countries is often underdeveloped, characterised by a large number of relatively small local banks with high costs, high margins and limited services to SMEs. Therefore, Norfund aims to create efficient, scalable banks that can provide more targeted and less expensive services to SMEs and individuals through a reduction in sector costs and increased capabilities.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, Norfund's direct equity investments in banks are primarily targeted through their investment company Arise.
Microfinance includes financial services offered to low-income individuals and micro-companies that do not otherwise have access to traditional banking services. Microfinance services usually include microcredit, deposits and insurance. Microfinance institutions (MFIs) range in size from small non-profit organisations, cooperatives and self-help groups on one hand, to commercial and state banks, insurance companies and specialised microfinance institutions on the other. Norfund's investments in microfinance are primarily targeted through their investments company, the Nordic Microfinance Initiative (NMI) in Africa and parts of Southeast Asia.
Non-bank financial institutions
Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs) supplement the services provided by banks and include leasing, factoring, specialized lending and trade finance. Norfund invests in non-bank financial institutions that are dedicated to serving SMEs, such as leasing, factoring and lending institutions.
Myanmar Finance (Microfinance, South East Asia)
Norfund are now looking to hire an experienced Senior Investment Manager / Director to lead their Financial Institutions division across East Africa. S/he will be responsible for sourcing, structuring, negotiating, and executing on debt-funded opportunities across the East African region.
Qualifications & Experience Required
- 12+ years of experience within the investment or banking space
- MBA or equivalent management degree from a premier institute; CFA also preferred
- Deep understanding of the Banking sector
- Superior oral, written and visual communication skills
- Strong networking and relationship development skills
- Self-motivated with high initiative