Board of Directors

Momina Aijazuddin
Global Head of Microfinance and Financial Inclusion - IFC

Momina Aijazuddin is IFC’s Global Head of Microfinance/ Financial Inclusion and works also as Principal Investment Officer in IFC's Financial Institution Group (FIG).

She covers IFC’s microfinance investment and advisory activities globally, which exceeds cumulative investments of US$6 billion worldwide with over 300 MFIs, in addition to advisory services worth $63.7 million in 68 projects across 30 countries. This includes oversight of the work in Responsible Forum (which IFC manages for the GPFI/ G20), institutional transformation and capacity building – to better enable financial sector providers to provide diverse and reliable products and services to suit their clients’ needs. She is leading IFC’s efforts to scale up private sector commitments with strategic partners in the digital finance, microfinance and fintech space committed to achieving the World Bank Group’s Universal Financial Access by 2020. She was also a core member of the drafting team for the G20 Digital Financial Inclusion Principles. She also manages the IFC Boulder strategic partnership and hosts the training for Boulder- IFC Strategic Leadership in Microfinance which has trained almost 200 leaders in the financial inclusion space.

Momina brings over two decades of investment transaction experience in financial services, microfinance and manufacturing sectors in over 60 countries across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, MENA and LAC regions. Her technical expertise transforming institutions to become regulated banks, strategic and digital transformation and engaging with policymakers and industry players. She has spent the last four years heavily engaged with IFC’s financial inclusion efforts in China; including with leading banks and MFIs in digital transformation and fintech players. She was recognized as Global 100 top 100 women in FINTECH by Lattice80, a fintech hub.

Momina currently serves on the Supervisory Board of the Microfinance Initiative for Asia (MIFA), a US$175 million debt fund, launched by IFC and KFW and managed by Blue Orchard. Her experience prior to joining IFC includes work in the banking sector. Momina holds a Master’s degree in Economics with Distinction from the London School of Economics. She is based in Washington DC with her husband and two children.

Orli Arav
Development finance and impact investing specialist

Orli Arav is a development finance and impact investing specialist with over 20 years of experience in these fields. Orli’s specific areas of leadership have included development finance, project and structured finance within funds, financial institutions, and advisory firms, and impact investing (with a focus on frontier and emerging markets).

Managing Lion’s Head Asset Management Debt Funds with direct responsibility to overseeing the operation of 4 debt funds with a total AUM of USD600+ million and an invested portfolio of circa USD300+ million across 70 transactions in Africa. Key LPS across the funds are KFW and AfDB.

Orli holds a number of non-executive positions; Orli serves on the Board of Factor(e) and The Microfinance Enhancement Facility (MEF). In the past years, as the MD and founder of EMFin Advisory, Orli has been advising, a number of leading institutions (IFC, Norfund, WB, UN ECA, DFID) on private sector investments in infrastructure, mainly power, in Africa.

Previously, Orli has served as the Director of Investments for Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF). At SEDF, Orli was actively involved in investments in emerging markets such as Aspada, IPDevII and the WorkingCapital Fund.

Prior to SEDF, Orli successfully led, structured, and closed numerous transactions providing capital to infrastructure projects and companies Africa (54 Assets over USD1 Billion of principal investments, across 21 countries and 7 sectors). Orli also successfully raised capital from donor countries, as well as debt financing from commercial banks and development finance institutions (DFIs). Leadership experience focused on infrastructure in Africa has included serving as CIO for Impala Energy Holdings, LLC (Co-Founded the company), as well as nearly 10 years serving as MD of the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), a dedicated open-end commercial debt fund.

Prior to her leadership at Impala Energy and EAIF, Orli served as assistant director at TASC - Ernst & Young and a Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in the infrastructure and project finance divisions advising governments and private sector clients on infrastructure & telecom projects.

Orli has an accomplished academic background in economics and finance, and she is frequently invited to share her expertise at industry conferences and events.

Ihno Baumfalk

Ihno Baumfalk, chair of the Board of Directors since 2019, combines 25 years of international commercial and financial experience with a particular focus on development finance and structured finance.

Ihno dedicated much of his professional life to asset and corporate finance. He served as Head of Financial Engineering Teams for the German branches of Chase Manhattan Bank and Crédit Agricole CIB before joining the structured finance division of Germany’s promotional bank KfW in 2008. He subsequently relocated to the South Africa office of KfW’s development finance division with responsibility for the energy and climate portfolio. Since 2016 Ihno specializes in financial sector development within KfW’s Africa divisions where he represents KfW’s shareholder interests in various impact investment funds, focusing on SME and micro-finance. Ihno is also a member of the board of directors of reponsAbility Participations AG, a Swiss-based equity fund specialized in investing in SMEs and in financial sector institutions in developing countries across the globe.

Having studied European Business Administration in France and Germany, Ihno graduated from the European School of Business and holds the Diplôme d'Etudes Supérieures Européennes de Management from Ecole Supérieure de Commerce in Reims/France.

Ruurd Brouwer
Chair of the Board - Chief Executive Officer – Managing Director TCX

Ruurd Brouwer joined the Board of MEF in 2021. He was appointed CEO of TCX in January 2015. Prior to joining TCX he held several senior management positions within FMO, amongst which Global Head Financial Institutions and Director Credit, chairing FMO’s Credit Committee. He started at FMO as Investment Officer Africa focused on Financial Institutions, Capital Markets, and Infrastructure.

During his career, Ruurd served on the Board of Directors of financial institutions and investment funds in the US, UK, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Mauretania, The Netherlands and lastly as chair of the Supervisory Board of REGMIFA. He joined the investment committees of several Africa focused funds, amongst which Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund and Capital Alliance Private Equity, Nigeria. He currently chairs the IC of BIX Fund.

Ruurd started his career in 1993 at the United Nations Protection Force followed by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the private sector department.

Parallel to his professional career, Ruurd was lecturer International Finance at The Hague University of Applied Sciences and Guest Lecturer at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam/Institute of Social Studies. He thoroughly enjoys teaching on Banking, Emerging Markets and Financial Instability. He publishes frequently on same topics.

Alan Ridgway
Independent Director

Alan Ridgway is a partner at The Directors’ Office in Luxembourg, where he provides independent directorship, consulting, and liquidation services to clients, mainly in the investment fund industry. With more than 30 years’ experience in financial services, Alan is an independent director to a variety of companies representing approximately EUR 10 Bn in assets under management. Alan specializes in the legal, risk and compliance aspects of fund management including prevention of money laundering.

Prior to joining The Directors’ Office, Alan spent 11 years working for the IKANO Group (the IKANO Group is owned by the Kamprad Family, Ingvar Kamprad was the founder of the IKEA Group) where he was CFO, a conducting officer and executive director of the Investment Fund Management Division. At the time IKANO Funds held approximately EUR 5 Bn in funds under management, in a complex multi-manager structure employing some 28 assets managers from across the world. IKANO was one of the first companies to receive a fund management license under UCTS III.

Before joining IKANO in 1999, Alan spent 5 years working in Svenska Handelsbanken (one of Sweden’s largest banks), working mainly in corporate lending and debt restructuring. He trained as a Chartered Accountant at Deloitte where he has worked in Ireland, Luxembourg and Russia over a period of 7 years. Alan is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Limerick in Business Studies (Finance) and from University College Dublin in Banking and Financial Services. He is a Licentiate of the Irish Institute of Bankers and a member of the Luxembourg Institute of Directors.

Swapnil Neeraj
Principal Investment Officer & Microfinance Lead for Asia

Swapnil Kant Neeraj has more than 25 years of experience as a development banker with investments in private equity and debt across Asia. He is presently based in Singapore as a Principal Investment Officer & Microfinance Lead for Asia with the International Finance Corporation (IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group). Mr. Neeraj has led several landmark transactions with financial inclusion at the core and brings decades of experience in microfinance as well as microenterprise and SME finance. Relatedly, he has also led several Technical Assistance Projects on sectoral issues or for client institutions.

Mr. Neeraj is a British Council Scholar and holds an MBA (Finance; Indira Gandhi National University, India), a B.Sc. (Honours, in Physics & Chemistry; Patna University, India), and post-graduate diplomas from the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow, India; University of Wales, United Kingdom; and Darden Business School, University of Virginia, USA. He is a Chartered Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers (CAIIB).

Investment Committee

Michael Neumayr
Chair of the Investment Committee

Michael Neumayr started his career in international commercial banking with major Austrian banks in 1982. From 2002 until 2008 he was Executive Director and Member of the Board of Directors at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London, representing Austria and five other shareholder countries. Since 2008, he is an independent business advisor and member of supervisory boards and investment committees of several financial institutions (including the Microfinance sector).

Suzannah Carr
Development Banker

Development banker with over 25 years of experience working with financial institutions and emerging markets. Broad-based expertise spanning investment structuring and portfolio management, credit policy, development impact measurement, corporate governance and information technology. Served in numerous senior-level operational and corporate roles over a 24 year tenure at International Finance Corporation, the private investment arm of the World Bank Group.

Madhu Dutta-Sen
Development Banker

Madhu Dutta-Sen spent 27 years at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), working in multiple regions, investing in and managing IFC’s investment portfolio in emerging-market finance companies, both banks and non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs). In her last position, she was based in Istanbul, Turkey, as Senior Manager, Portfolio (Financial Institutions), covering Turkey, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Central, Southern, and Eastern Europe.

Following her retirement from IFC in 2016, her independent work has covered a variety of assignments: She was a member of the Board of Directors of an Indian NBFI from 2017 to 2019; and a financial structuring consultant with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Rome, Italy, in 2018. Presently, Ms. Dutta-Sen is a member of the Investment Committee of the European Fund for South-East Europe (EFSE) and also serves as Chief Credit Officer (Consultant) at IFC for financial institutions in the LAC region (Latin America and Caribbean).

Christine Lier-Tomowski
Development Banker

Christine is a professional with more than 30 years of experience in the international commercial and development finance industry. Having worked in the private and public finance sector across Africa, Asia, Europe, Japan, South America and the United States of America in various management positions she joined KfW, the German Development Bank, in 2001. Christine served in different senior positions in Structured Finance, Export- and International Project Finance, Treasury, Private Equity and Debt Funds, Financial System Development of Central Africa and Regional Funds as well as in the Global Equity Funds and Financial Institutions Department.

She represented KfW’s shareholder interests in various impact investment funds and engaged in bilateral financial inclusion programs, focusing on SME and micro-finance. Christine acted as member and chair of boards of directors, supervisory boards, investment committees and technical assistance investment committees of Luxembourg and Mauritius-based public-private structured funds.

As a Certified Management Accountant Christine worked in different roles, such as Resident Financial Manager for an international group in Vietnam, as CFO of an international structured finance investment joint venture in Indonesia, as consultant in financial services and commercial mediation in Japan, in restructuring of International Project Finance and as Principal Project Manager at KfW headquarters in Germany. Following her retirement from KfW in 2021 her work as independent consultant includes assignments as Commercial Mediator.