Loan Guarantees Operations Officer
Lusaka, Zambia, Full Time Closes: August 17, 2022
The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 46 least developed countries. With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources to reduce poverty and support local economic development. UNCDF’s financing models work through three channels: inclusive digital economies, connecting individuals, households, and small businesses with financial eco-systems that catalyze participation in the local economy, and provide tools to climb out of poverty and manage financial lives; local development finance, that capacitates localities through fiscal decentralization, innovative municipal finance, and structured project finance to drive local economic expansion and sustainable development; and investment finance, that provides catalytic financial structuring, de-risking, and capital deployment to drive SDG impact and domestic resource mobilization.
SMEs play an important role in Zambia’s economy, contributing significantly to GDP, employment, and the private sector. Despite their important role, SMEs face challenges in operating and growing their businesses. SMEs therefore are an important target group for UNCDF’s activities. UNCDF is setting up a loan guarantee and technical assistance facility in collaboration with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Embassy of Sweden in Zambia. The objectives of the facility are;
To scale up SME financing significantly and on a sustainable basis in Zambia. This includes financing for SMEs in sectors such as digital-first enterprises, renewable energy companies, agriculture sector, water and sanitation sector, women-owned enterprises, eco-tourism, and nature conservation.
Improve the capacity of commercial banks to better serve SMEs, particularly through digital approaches.
Support SMEs to run their businesses better and more efficiently using digital tools.
Support the SME ecosystem in Zambia, including policy makers and regulators, in improving the operating and financing environment for small businesses.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Loan Guarantees Operations Officer will work closely to evaluate, analyze, and process loan guarantees (portfolio and individual) extended to respective financial institutions for their SME financing activities, and will cover the end-to-end guarantee issuance and administration activities. The incumbent will take on a variety of strategic responsibilities helping shape UNCDF Zambia’s loan, guarantees, and technical assistance operations.
The scope of work covers the following functional areas:
A. Onboarding of prospective financial institutions on to the guarantee programme:
Performing independent, forward-looking appraisal of current and prospective financial institutions in compliance with UNCDF onboarding processes;
To collaborate and ensure an in-depth understanding of the financial institution’s lending portfolio placed under guarantee, through regular value-adding interaction to effectively meet their needs.
B. Relationship management with financial institutions:
Ensure utilization of the guarantee facilities by having adequate knowledge of the financial institution’s SME finance products, processes and procedures;
Proactively identify and address challenges in the guarantee utilization process;
Explore opportunities to deepen collaboration with the financial institutions.
C. Monitoring of the guarantee facility:
Conduct periodic monitoring of the financial institution’s guarantees portfolio to ensure compliance with the set eligibility criteria, guarantee agreements, and UNCDF’s standards;
Ensure that guarantee portfolio monitoring reports submitted by the financial institutions to UNCDF are timely, accurate, consistent, and accurate.
D. Technical assistance to financial institutions:
By having a deep understanding of the financial institution’s SME finance products, processes and procedures, carrying out needs assessment, and through continuous partner engagement, the Loan Guarantees Operations Officer will identify areas for technical assistance/capacity development for the financial institution:
Actively participate in the design, delivery, and monitoring of technical assistance / capacity development programmes for financial institutions.
E. Guarantee claims management:
Receive guarantee claim requests from financial institutions and conduct initial checks / verification of the claim information in compliance with UNCDF internal guidelines;
Provide support as required during the guarantee claims analysis, approval, and payment process.
F. Direct investment / debt financing activities:
Generate pipeline for potential direct investment by UNCDF through its various funding vehicles;
Carry out investment appraisal activities, prepare assessment and due diligence memos, and participate in investment committee meetings;
Carry out post-investment monitoring activities.
The Loan Guarantees Operations Officer will work under the direct supervision of the Guarantees and Investments Expert in Zambia.
Achieve Results: LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact.
Think Innovatively: LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems.
Learn Continuously: LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences
Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands
Act with Determination: LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results
Engage and Partner: LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration
Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity
Business Direction & Strategy
Ability to understand and deal with a business situation in a manner likely to lead to a good outcome;
Knowledge and understanding of the operational frameworks in the organization and ability to make good judgements and quick decisions within such frameworks.
Negotiation and Influence
Ability to reach an understanding, persuade others, resolve points of difference, gain advantage in the outcome of dialogue, negotiate mutually acceptable solutions through compromise and create ‘win-win’ situations.
Ability to develop solutions to problems by involving the human perspective in all steps of the problem-solving process.
Integration within the UN
Ability to identify and integrate capacity and assets of the UN system and engage in joint work; knowledge of the UN system and ability to apply this knowledge to strategic and/or practical situations.
Ability to manage programmes and projects with a focus on improved performance and demonstrable results.
Ability to communicate in a clear, concise, and unambiguous manner through both written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience.
Ability to build and maintain partnerships with a wide network of stakeholders, governments, civil society and private sector partners, experts, and others in line with internal strategy and policies.
Required Skills and Experience
Master’s degree in Economics, Finance, Public/Business Administration, or a related discipline or;
Bachelor’s degree in the related filed with additional 2 years of relevant experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the Master’s degree.
Minimum of 7 years with Master’s degree or 9 years with Bachelor’s degree of progressive relevant professional experience, relating to loan/credit guarantee operations and/or lending to the MSME sector;
Different types of credit guarantee/loan guarantees/risk sharing mechanisms;
SME finance, preferably within a financial institution (commercial bank, microfinance institution, investment fund, etc.).
Credit/investment appraisal and evaluation;
Financial analysis and financial modelling;
Credit risk management;
Design and implementation of technical assistance/capacity development programmes for financial institutions;
A self-starter with strong internal motivation, able to set up systems and procedures in a ‘start up’ environment;
Flexibility: readily adapts to change, new products, systems, methods, and products;
Effective communication skills, written and oral;
Demonstrated ability to meet aggressive deadlines per business demands, and ability to change work schedule to accommodate competing priorities.
Fluency in English, with excellent writing, verbal communication, and presentation skills.
Applicant information about UNDP rosters
Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.
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