BlueOrchard Aims for Financial Inclusion

    Stockholm (NordSIP) – Founded in 2001 as an initiative of the UN, BlueOrchard became the first commercial manager of microfinance debt investments worldwide. Fast forward to today, and the firm, which is now a member of the Schroders Group, has transformed into a leading global impact investment manager dedicated to generating lasting positive impact on communities and the environment while providing attractive returns to investors.

    On 31 May, the manager announced the launch of the BlueOrchard Financial Inclusion Fund, a private equity strategy aiming to foster financial services for low-income individuals and connect millions of entrepreneurs in growth markets with investors. The new fund will invest in companies operating in the fields of microfinance, MSME financing, (micro-)insurance, and technology. It has been classified under Article 9 of the SFDR.

    “Our latest private equity fund offers investors the opportunity to invest in high-quality institutions that we have identified during our 20-year journey of driving financial inclusion in some of the fastest-growing markets,” comments Philipp Mueller, BlueOrchard’s CEO. “This strategy enables us to further accelerate the expansion and digitization of leading financial institutions while driving the inclusion of millions of entrepreneurs and individuals in the financial system,” he adds.

    Earlier this year, BlueOrchard managed to fully deploy another private equity strategy focused on climate insurance. The new fund is targeting to extend financial services to up to more than 30 million low-income individuals and MSMEs, contributing to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

    “We see increased interest from investors in financial inclusion, and for good reasons: Emerging market financial services have been growing strongly for most of the past two decades,” explains Felix Hermes, Head of Private Equity and Sustainable Infrastructure at BlueOrchard. “This is particularly true for firms that are active in financial inclusion, providing services to previously unserved and underserved populations and businesses. On average, the firms in BlueOrchard’s portfolio have grown their assets more than fivefold over the last decade. By providing the expertise and capital for growth, private equity offers excellent access to these predominantly unlisted companies. The Fund, managed by a highly experienced team, is well-positioned to leverage this potential for impact and return,” concludes Hermes.

    Image courtesy of TheDigitalWay from Pixabay
    Julia Axelsson, CAIA
    Julia Axelsson, CAIA
    Julia has accumulated experience in asset management for more than 20 years in Stockholm and Beijing, in portfolio management, asset allocation, fund selection and risk management. In December 2020, she completed a program in Sustainability Studies at the University of Linköping. Julia speaks Mandarin, Bulgarian, Hindi, Russian, Swedish, Urdu and English. She holds a Master in Indology from Sofia University and has completed studies in Economics at both Stockholm University and Stockholm School of Economics.

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