Mar. 19 SVMN Meeting: Financing the Microfinanciers

Financing the Microfinanciers

How microfinance institutions (MFIs) are sourcing capital

The next Silicon Valley Microfinance Network (SVMN) meeting will be Thursday, March 19, 2009 and will feature Ann Miles of BlueOrchard and Maya Chorengel of Elevar Equity, an affiliate of Unitus that manages Unitus Equity Fund and Unitus Equity Fund II.

Ann Miles Maya Chorengel
ann-miles-blueorchard maya-chorengel
blueorchard-logo Unitus Equity Fund logo

This SVMN meeting will explore issues and challenges in financing microfinance institutions (MFIs) — using debt, equity, and savings.  As the microfinance market expands, the use of microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs) continues to develop and portfolios continue to shift.  What environments best fit different vehicles?  What are the challenges to mobilizing savings?  What types of plans exist to mobilize MFIs to take deposits?  Our presenters will discuss microfinance investments in the current economic climate.  With rich experience as Managing Director at BlueOrchard Finance S.A., providing loans to MFIs, Ann Miles will speak about debt financingMaya Chorengel, Managing Director of Unitus Equity Fund, will share perspectives on equity financing in MFIs.

To register, please click on the SVMN registration link here:


When: Thursday, March 19, 2009

6:00-6:30pm: Registration, Dinner, & Networking
6:30-8:00pm: Speakers & Discussion
8:00-8:30pm: Networking

Where: Omidyar Network

1991 Broadway Street, Suite 200
Redwood City, CA 94063
(directions here)


in advance: $20 regular attendee | $10 students & non-profits (w/ ID)
at the door: $30 regular attendee | $20 students & non-profits (w/ ID)
(includes dinner + drinks)

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Speaker Bios:

Ann J. Miles

Ann Miles is a Managing Director at BlueOrchard Finance, S.A., a for-profit asset management company based in Geneva, Switzerland that specializes in microfinance commercial debt and equity instruments. She manages the US operations, BlueOrchard Finance USA, Inc. BlueOrchard began operations in 2001 and now manages approximately $800 million in assets for several institutional and high net worth clients. Through its debt funds, BlueOrchard has made loans to more than 145 microfinance institutions in 40 countries. BlueOrchard completed the first collateralized debt obligation for microfinance institutions for a total of $87 million in 2004. This transaction was completed in partnership with JPMorganChase, OPIC and Developing World Markets. In April 2006, BlueOrchard closed its second collateralized debt obligation for $99 million in partnership with Morgan Stanley. It followed with a third and publicly rated collateralized debt obligation for $110 million in 2007, also with Morgan Stanley. BlueOrchard’s equity initiative began in late 2007 and its fund is expected to close in the 1st quarter of 2009.

Prior to joining BlueOrchard, Ann worked for Women’s World Banking (‘WWB’), a not-for-profit organization based in New York. WWB is a network of more than 50 microfinance and other financial institutions engaged in microfinance. Ann managed the Financial Products and Services team which helped WWB’s network members access funding in the local and international financial markets.

Ann was a Vice President at Citibank, N.A. from 1982 to 2000. She graduated with a B.A. in Economics and French Literature from Drew University. Ann is a member of the Board of the International Association of Microfinance Investors, and she serves on the external investment committee of the Calvert Foundation.

Maya Chorengel

Maya Chorengel is a Managing Director of Elevar Equity, LLC, which manages Unitus Equity Fund and Unitus Equity Fund II.  The two funds, totaling just under $100 million in assets to date, provide equity financing to microfinance institutions and companies providing products and services to the underserved in India, Southeast Asia and Latin America.  Having invested in 8 companies since 2006, Elevar Equity is one of the most active equity investors at the base of the pyramid.  Signature investments include SKS, currently India’s largest national MFI with over 3 million customers, and Ujjivan, India’s leading urban focused MFI.  The funds intend to bridge the gap between underserved communities and global capital, helping to create a virtuous cycle of opportunity based on open access for all.

Maya has been involved in microfinance investing since 2005.  Prior to co-founding Elevar Equity, she was Managing Director of the Dignity Fund, a private investment fund that provided local-currency loans and guarantees to commercially oriented, high-growth microfinance institutions throughout the developing world.  Maya serves on the boards of Comat Technologies, the Dignity Fund and Silicon Valley Microfinance Network.  She also serves on the advisory board of WaterPartners International, as well as the investment committees of the Dignity Fund, MicroCredit Enterprises and Wokai. Prior to joining the Dignity Fund, Maya was a Vice President of the private equity firm, Warburg Pincus, working in the firm’s New York, Hong Kong and Menlo Park offices. She invested in a variety of companies, from early stage business service ventures and mature consumer packaged goods companies in the US, to manufacturing, service and food companies located in Hong Kong, China, South Korea, the Philippines and the US.  Earlier in her career she was an associate in the investment banking division of Morgan Stanley Asia Limited (Hong Kong and Singapore) and an analyst at James D. Wolfensohn, Incorporated. Maya graduated with Honors in Social Studies from Harvard University and has an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

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