Principal Investment Officer – Financial Institutions Group
International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Close on 10 Aug 2020
Location: United States
Grade: GH, Chief and Senior Professional
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Job Description


IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2019, we invested more than $19 billion in private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit

IFC has embarked on an ambitious new strategy to stimulate more investment activity, especially in Low Income Countries (LICs) and Fragile and Conflict affected States (FCS). This new strategy aims at creating our own opportunities for private investments in riskier markets by proactively working in these countries to create, deepen, and expand the markets themselves.

The Financial Institutions Group (FIG) is one of the major industry groups at IFC, responsible for managing roughly 40% of IFC’s overall business in terms of volume and capital at risk. FIG engages in a wide range of sub-sectors including Microfinance, SME, Gender, Climate, Insurance, Capital Markets, Housing, Distressed Assets, and other areas, with both investment and advisory services delivered to IFC’s clients through IFC’s global network.

IFC's priorities in FIG as an industry group are: (i) grow investment and advisory solutions in the region, and achieve strong profitability and impact (ii) build new and nurture existing client relationships to make IFC the preferred partner for key clients (iii) manage portfolio of assets for strong profitability and impact; (iv) support local companies, while improving transparency and corporate governance; (v) catalyze foreign investment, including mobilizing B loans and parallel loans; (vi) introduce and develop new financial solutions, products and platforms; (vii) build long-term partnerships with strong regional players and (viii) develop client, sector and country-level solutions through upstream and downstream interventions that can be scaled and replicated; (ix) be a thought leader and innovator of products and client solutions globally.

IFC views Fintech as a key solution to a growing need of emerging markets to rapidly catch up with the developed world in financial services. It expects Fintech players to catalyze transparency, safety, economic and financial inclusion and global economic integration. The Fintech Unit, part of the FIG Equity group focuses specifically in early stage Fintech investments, bringing to bear IFC’s best knowledge, expertise and network in this converged industry. For the past 8 years IFC has built a profitable and diverse Fintech portfolio while also seeking to invest in late stage or at-scale Fintech entities in order to enhance our impact and footprint.

IFC is seeking a Principal Investment Officer to lead its investment efforts in the payments space. The selected candidate will be responsible for providing leadership and expertise on payments across FIG’s business and extending that expertise to other IFC industry departments when relevant. There will be a particular focus on equity investments, including but not limited to Fintech payments companies globally. This is a senior role requiring strong and demonstrated technical skills in equity investment, debt and risk sharing instruments, as well as leadership and supervision skills. The Principal Investment Officer will report to the Senior Manager & Global Equity Head of FIG, as well as Global Head of Fintech. S/he will also have a major role on FIG’s equity strategy, operations, business growth and portfolio oversight in line with the Corporate equity strategy and mandate. S/he will also be working closely with the relevant Regional FIG teams/management.

Role & Responsibilities:

The role and responsibilities of the Principal Investment Officer will include but will not be limited to:

New Business

  • Drive, guide and support business development, globally, in line with investment thesis for the payments sector, including
    • Leading the development of equity/ quasi-equity investment opportunities in payments globally, under the overall direction of Global Equity Head and Global Head of Fintech; this would include all aspects of payments both cross-border and domestic, including mobile wallets, remittance, acquiring, and processing businesses, and Fintech payments businesses;
    • Leading the development of debt and risk-sharing investment opportunities in payments globally, in coordination with FIG regional and global investment and portfolio teams and other IFC departments. These could include facilities with global and regional payments networks and processors, with the payments units of FIG’s bank clients, with real-sector distribution companies, transportation and infrastructure providers, as well as technology and platform companies engaging in payments.
    • Identifying payments investment opportunities embedded in the bank and non-bank FIG portfolio, and in other sectors across IFC, and guiding the relevant client teams in execution
  • Maintain relationships with key global players in the payments sector, to create, identify, share investment and partnership opportunities with IFC, in the payment space.
  • Drive the development of payments as a clear business opportunity for FIG, including a wider range of investment products and broadening the range of clients that IFC works with, by thinking outside the box.
  • For each new payments investment, support the team in articulating: (i) investment thesis and development impact; (ii) investment analysis and due diligence; (iii) investment structure and valuation; (iv) consistency with global equity strategy; (v) selection of board member and on boarding;
  • Lead execution of the larger and more complex payments investments, and provide expertise to support smaller, less complex equity investments
  • For each new FIG investment client, support the team in determining if there are areas of significant value or opportunity in payments within the client’s current or potential operations, support due diligence and appraisal with respect to payments-related value elements, and assist in determining any relevant development impact from these payments activities.
  • Lead in developing a coordinated approach to embedded payments with other IFC departments, including Manufacturing, Agribusiness, and Services, and Infrastructure. Support these departments in identifying and incorporating inclusive payments solutions and digitization programs in real sector investments.
  • Lead in developing upstream opportunities in the payment sector where applicable, working closely with FIG’s Upstream Unit.
  • Develop and reinforce quality standards and set profitability targets for transactions and portfolio
  • Lead regional business development in some regions for the Fintech group more broadly, leveraging on market knowledge and relationships.


  • Provide equity-related support to the Global Head of Fintech for supervision of the payment related fintech equity investment portfolio, take leadership and responsibility for high value/complex equity exposures, in particular exit strategy formulation
  • Provide support to the Global Equity Head and to other portfolio teams for monitoring and critical value creation with respect to payments operations of bank and non-bank financial institutions in the FIG portfolio.
  • Oversight of allocated core equity investments as determined by Global Equity Head and by the Head of Fintech.
  • Serve on the board(s) of fintech companies as allocated by the Fintech Investment Committee and as approved by Global Equity Head
  • Support portfolio teams to devise and execute equity sales ensuring consistency with portfolio strategy
  • Support Global Head of Fintech in ensuring that the right candidates are appointed as nominee directors on the boards of IFC investee fintech companies, and assess their performance

Leadership and Knowledge Sharing

  • Provide leadership, professional development, and mentoring for fintech specialized IOs
  • Lead in building a network of FIG investment and operations officers with awareness of skills in payments, to be distributed across regions
  • Develop a comprehensive program for increasing the knowledge and learning and sharing of the payment sector within FIG and for its clients
  • Lead in defining and measuring the inclusion and development impact of payments businesses and investment projects, for dissemination within FIG and with colleagues across IFC and WBG
  • Disseminate FIG’s equity culture and lessons learnt
  • Serve as internal and external thought leader and go-to person for all aspects of the payments space

Selection Criteria

  • Commitment to the World Bank Group and IFC's mission, strategy and values;
  • A Master's degree or equivalent professional qualification in finance or business
  • Minimum of 12-15 years of investment experience in technology /fintech;
  • Significant experience in sourcing, negotiating, executing, and exiting equity transactions, particularly in the payments sector in emerging markets;
  • Significant investment experience with traditional payments, including payments operations of commercial banks, processors, and global payments networks, and with new payments players including PSP, payment facilitators, digital platform operators, and others.
  • Significant experience serving on several corporate boards, particularly in the payments sector.
  • Proven investment track record with multiple successful exits.
  • A demonstrated investment track record investing in a broad range of investment stages, from Series B to publicly listed companies. Experience with debt structures a plus.
  • A demonstrated investment track record investing in multiple regions relevant to the World Bank Group.
  • A demonstrated understanding of policy and regulatory trends affecting the payment sector globally.
  • A deep network of contacts with global payment companies.
  • Proven track record of supervising and motivating staff across different locations, becoming strong mentor and growing businesses, leading by example;
  • Excellent people management skills and openness to feedback; new ideas and ability to guide staff to solutions to problems;
  • Building organizational capacity through system and process improvements;
  • Ability to develop innovative solutions and challenge the status quo to build the business;
  • Recognized as a team player, leader and strategic thinker and thought leader;
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills; Fluency in English essential; with an additional language skill a plus.
  • Ability to collaborate closely with World Bank and other MFIs and financial institutions and banks;
  • Ability to represent IFC externally and to develop and manage relationships with clients, government, media, donors, and other stakeholders;
  • Ability to work in the matrix, deliver high quality work within deadlines and to meet team objectives;
  • Strong sense of service to clients and demonstrated business development aptitude;
  • Very sound business judgment, demonstrated ability to deliver results under stressful timetables and environment;
  • Very good “deal sense” based on demonstrated strong analytical skills and sound business judgment, especially in Equity Business;
  • Oversee or supervise assigned staff and consultants;
  • Develop assigned staff and members of the broader team through mentoring, coaching, and providing on-the-job learning opportunities;
  • Ensure quality control of work products;
  • Ensure efficient and effective use of resources.

Poverty has no borders, neither does excellence. We succeed because of our differences and we continuously search for qualified individuals with diverse backgrounds from around the globe.

About IFC

The International Finance Corporation is an international financial institution that offers investment, advisory, and asset-management services to encourage private-sector development in developing countries.

IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries. The Bank Group has set two goals for the world to achieve by 2030: end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity in every country.

IFC leverages its products and services—as well as products and services of other institutions across the World Bank Group—to create markets that address the biggest development challenges of our time. 

IFC is a leading mobilizer of third-party resources for projects. Our willingness to engage in difficult environments and our leadership in crowding-in private finance enable us to extend our footprint and have a development impact well beyond our direct resources.