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MFO Credo, the leading microfinance organization in Georgia, joins AccessGroup

Berlin, 03 November 2014

 

VisionFund International (VisionFund), Access Microfinance Holding AG (AccessHolding), responsAbility Investments AG (responsAbility) and Triodos Investment Management BV (Triodos) announce that the sale of VisionFund’s microfinance institution in Georgia, Microfinance Organization Credo, LLC (Credo), to a consortium of social impact investors comprising AccessHolding and funds managed or advised by responsAbility and Triodos, has taken place following  approval by the National Bank of Georgia.

 
Scott Brown, President and CEO of VisionFund, says, ‘the sale of Credo is in line with VisionFund’s strategy, announced in 2011, in which we pledged to refocus our resources in Africa, Asia and Latin America in order to improve the lives of 3.5 million children annually by 2015. Credo has been a pioneering microfinance institution in VisionFund’s network. With experienced, loyal and motivated management, it has grown rapidly in size and quality, whilst providing customer focused innovation and outstanding customer service. We wish the management and staff of Credo and their new owners every success as they continue to grow and develop the business to achieve Credo’s social mission of making a wider range of financial services accessible to the poor in Georgia.’

Thomas Engelhardt, Chairman of the AccessHolding Management Board, says, ‘Credo and the AccessGroup make an exceptionally good fit in terms of our corporate culture, customer orientation and our general approach to doing business. We are impressed with the management and staff of Credo, and will work together to take the institution to the next level in terms of products, services and distribution channels... We are also very pleased to be able to complete this landmark transaction together with responsAbility and Triodos. Both are longstanding strategic partners of the AccessGroup with vast industry experience and commitment to very similar values.’

Michael Fiebig, Head Financial Institutions Equity at responsAbility Investments, comments, ‘We have been proud supporters of microfinance in Georgia, and Credo in particular for many years.  We see Credo’s clients and its exceptional staff and management at the heart of the institution’s success. Together with these, we at responsAbility, alongside AccessGroup and Triodos, are now looking forward to jointly shaping the future of Credo.’

Frank Streppel, Deputy Manager Emerging Markets at Triodos Investment Management, says, ‘We have partnered with Credo and VisionFund for quite a number of years and highly appreciate the impressive work done by the management, board and shareholders. Credo stands out as an internationally recognized example in providing microfinance services throughout Georgia. We are proud to further develop this partnership by acquiring ownership together with strong and well-respected partners AccessHolding and responsAbility. In close cooperation with Credo’s management we will further build on the very solid foundation and continue to develop Credo into a leading provider of sustainable and accessible financial services and thus contribute to social and economic development in Georgia.’

About VisionFund
VisionFund improves the lives of children in the developing world by offering small loans and other financial services to families living in poverty. VisionFund empowers clients to grow successful businesses which enable children to grow up with improved health and education. Their network of microfinance institutions, after the sale of Credo, will span 34 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and Eastern Europe.  As World Vision’s economic empowerment engine, VisionFund aims to achieve long-term change which will unlock potential for future generations.

About Credo
Credo’s mission is providing sustainable financial services to the entrepreneurial poor and Georgian micro and small businesses, with a preference for rural activities and those businesses that create income and employment opportunities for the poor. Credo is the leading microfinance organization in Georgia. At 30 September 2014 Credo had 48 branches across Georgia, a net loan portfolio of c. USD 149 million and c.153 thousand clients.

About responsAbility
responsAbility Investments AG is one of the world’s leading independent asset managers specializing in development-related sectors of emerging economies. They comprise the areas of finance, agriculture, energy, healthcare and education. responsAbility provides debt and equity financing to non-listed companies with business models that target the lower-income section of the population and can thus drive economic growth and social progress. responsAbility offers professionally-managed investment solutions to both institutional and private investors.

Founded in 2003, responsAbility currently has USD 2.2 billion of assets under management, which are invested in 500 companies in 90 countries. responsAbility is headquartered in Zurich and has local offices in Paris, Lima, Mumbai and Nairobi. Its shareholders include a broad range of reputable institutions in the Swiss financial market as well as its own employees. responsAbility is registered with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA.

About Triodos Investment Management
Triodos Investment Management is a wholly owned subsidiary of Triodos Bank, one of the world’s leading sustainable banks. Triodos Investment Management is a globally recognised leader in impact investing, managing investment funds in different sustainability themes ranging from renewable energy, to sustainable real estate and inclusive finance in emerging markets, with combined assets of EUR 2.5 billion at year-end 2013. Since 1994, its assets under management in inclusive finance have increased to over EUR 550 million, making it one of the leading investors in the industry. Through specialised funds Triodos Investment Management provides finance – both debt and equity - to 112 upcoming and well-established financial institutions in 44 countries. They hold equity stakes in 22 financial institutions; senior staff of Triodos Bank join the Board of Directors and actively contribute to the governance of these institutions.