EMIIF’s team is built of diverse individuals with a broad skill-base and extensive investment experience in emerging markets. EMIIF has a strong governance structure with investment committee members with experience from DFIs and leading impact investing firms.
EMIIF Investment Committee
Kylie Charlton, EMIIF IC Chair
Managing Director at Australian Impact Investments
Kylie leads the team at Australian Impact Investments and over more than fifteen years has built a deep understanding of the key success factors to mobilising capital for impact in Australian and globally. Kylie is a co-founder of Unitus Capital, Venture Partner of the Giant Leap Fund, Chair of RIAA’s Impact Investing Forum, working group member of the Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative and awardee of the AFR 100 Women of Influence 2018. Prior to transitioning her career into impact investment, Kylie spent 11 years in commercial and investment banking in Sydney and New York. Kylie graduated in Commerce from the University of Canberra and holds an MBA from the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford in England.
Jeremy Cleaver, EMIIF IC Member
Independent Development Finance Consultant
Jeremy is currently an independent development finance consultant, engaged with clients such as EMIIF and the Asian Development Bank and focusing on impact investing, private sector development, MSME finance and financing growth issues in emerging markets. Between 2011 and 2020, Jeremy was a Director of CDC’s Africa funds business. During his time at CDC, he was responsible for fund relationships across Africa in multiple sectors. Between 2018 and 2020, Jeremy was Head of CDC’s Johannesburg office, where he was responsible for managing both the office and CDC’s relationships with UK government and other stakeholders. Prior to joining CDC, Jeremy worked for the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Sydney as a private sector development specialist. Prior to that he worked in investment banking for Macquarie Bank and Goldman Sachs. In the first half of his career, Jeremy lived and worked in China and Hong Kong. Jeremy holds a BSFS from Georgetown University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Maud Savary-Mornet, EMIIF IC Member
Founder at Beyond Finance Consulting, HK
Maud brings a track record of 12 years in impact investment in emerging economies. She successfully grew the activities of responsAbility in Asia Pacific, one of world’s leading asset managers in ESG and impact investments. She led the investment team in private debt in financial inclusion and climate finance for 8 years before becoming regional director of Asia Pacific with teams in Hong Kong, Mumbai and Bangkok. She conducted more than 100 due diligences in SME banks and microfinance institutions, closed multiple deals and opened several Asian countries for investment. Maud started her career at Central Banker as financial analyst before being posted at the European Commission, at the French Banking Commission and at the French Trade Commission in Hong Kong. Since July 2020 Maud is the founder of Beyond Finance Consulting Hong Kong, specialised in ESG and impact investment. She is Senior Advisor Southeast Asia to the GIIN, the Global impact investment network and advises several companies on ESG, impact investment and GLI. French and Australian citizen, Maud graduated in 1991 from Sciences Po Paris. She is French Foreign Trade Advisor in Hong Kong.
Gerhard Pries, EMIIF IC Member
Founder & CEO at Sarona
Gerhard is the founder and leader of the Sarona team, overseeing all aspects of the business, today and into the future. He believes passionately that thoughtful and caring private business must lead the development of vibrant and healthy economies that deliver prosperity for all. As a visionary impact investing leader for over 25 years, Gerhard has been a founder and/or director of MicroVest Capital Management, MEDA Investments Inc, Grand Challenges Canada and ImpactAssets, among others. He began his career in the mid-market advisory practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers, with formative experiences in international development finance. Today, Gerhard is a sought-after speaker and advisor, addressing topics of economic growth and development, and private-public collaboration to build healthy new economies.
Serge LeVert-Chiasson, EMIIF IC Member
Managing Director of Impact & CCO at Sarona
Serge oversees Sarona’s impact imperative and manages the firm’s legal and compliance work. Prior to joining Sarona in 2008, Serge was an underwriter and loan officer at Export Development Canada, a business analyst at Crédit Lyonnais, and founding chair of Agro Capital Management, a Ukrainian agricultural equipment leasing company. Today, he serves on several private equity funds’ advisory committees, corporate boards, and serves on the board of the Canada Forum for Impact Investment and Development. Serge holds an MSc in Accounting and Finance from the London School of Economics, an International MBA from the Schulich School of Business, and is a CFA charter holder.
Ralitsa Rizvanolli, Partner & Head of Impact Mandates, EMIIF at Sarona
Rali is responsible for the sourcing, diligence and monitoring of investments for EMIIF. Rali brings 12 years of experience in SME and microfinance investing. As an investment manager at Triple Jump, a Dutch impact investing asset manager, Rali built a portfolio of private equity and fixed income investments for an emerging market SME fund (Dutch Good Growth Fund), and served as Portfolio Manager with responsibility for credit risk analysis and top down allocation for microfinance funds. She started her career in microfinance, having held various positions at MIX (Microfinance Information Exchange). Rali holds a B.A. in International Relations from Pomona College in California and an M.A. in International Development from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Raya Papp, Founding Partner at SAGANA
Raya is a Founding Partner at SAGANA, a global impact investing and advisory firm where she focuses on Gender-Smart Investments. Raya also advises PE/VC funds in integrating a gender lens across their firm, investment processes and portfolio companies. She co-authored several reports in the sector including “Gender Lens Investing in Waste Management and Recycling” and “Gender Lens Investing Landscape – Asia”. And she’s passionate about her work with Cartier Women’s Initiative to support their program for women impact entrepreneurs. She was formerly Co-Head of Asia Pacific at LGT Impact managing the region’s investment portfolio. She ran the Social Enterprise Team at Impact Investment Exchange Asia, and served as interim Director of Water for Cambodia, a clean water NGO.
Raya began her career on Wall Street holding various positions in corporate finance and M&A at Morgan Stanley, Thomson Reuters and Deutsche Bank. She worked at tech start-up Priceline.com, closing two rounds of private equity and the IPO. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia.
Nicole DeMarsh, Associate Partner at SAGANA
Nicole is an Associate Partner and co-leads the Consulting Practice at SAGANA. Nicole brings more than 15 years of experience supporting innovative funders and their investees in quickly growing markets. Nicole has spent the last decade developing a particular expertise in impact investing and entrepreneur development, with a particular focus on gender-lens and climate integration.
Prior to joining SAGANA, Nicole worked for several leading management and investment consultancies. She founded and led the Uganda office for Open Capital Advisors (OCA) and led the firm’s gender practice. She was a Consultant with TechnoServe in Zambia, and she began her career at Bain & Company, working across the Johannesburg, Toronto and New York offices.
Jessica Villanueva, Technical Director of Impact Investment at MEDA
Jessica leads MEDA’s Impact Investment Technical Area, specializing in blended finance, gender lens investing, and market systems investment. Her expertise has been developed by working in more than 20 emerging market economies with emphasis in business development programs and agribusiness investment projects in Latin America, Africa and Asia, as well as field experience providing management, financing and technical assistance to rural and urban financial institutions, and projects with emphasis on microfinance, rural finance and agribusiness. Prior to MEDA, Jessica worked for WWF Peru as Conservation Finance Director. In this position, she supported green finance in the Amazon region. Prior to joining WWF, she worked at responsAbility, a Swiss asset manager, as a Senior Investment Officer for Sustainable Agriculture, structuring investment opportunities in agribusiness, with positive social and environmental impacts. Prior to joining responsAbility, she worked in the Inter American Development Bank, leading and supporting project teams in designing loan and technical cooperation projects to finance rural business in Latin America.
Dr. Bernadette Whitelum, CEO, Alinea-Whitelum
Bernadette brings over 25 years of experience working with governments, NGOs, and private sector clients to support them to think and act strategically, set goals, and establish pathways for their achievement. She is an expert in supporting clients structure-in adaptive management principles and practices to their work, and utilise evidence to inform policy and practice directions. Bernadette has worked within the Australian community development sector, the Australian Government aid program, and the United Nations Development Program.
Dr. Julie Delforce, Principal Consultant at Alinea-Whitelum
Julie has over 36 years’ experience as a development professional. As an Alinea-Whitelum Principal Consultant, she drives quality across the consultancy portfolio as well as leading specific projects. Julie spent 21 years with AusAID/DFAT in various roles, most recently providing specialist oversight in agricultural development and food security. Her experience extends across multiple spheres of economic and social development in Asia and the Pacific, including market systems development, inclusive business and women’s economic empowerment. Julie has also been Economic Adviser with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and Senior Analyst with Australia’s Office of National Intelligence. She holds a BSc (Economics, Honours) with social anthropology major from the London School of Economics, a Master of Economics and a PhD in agricultural economics.
Milena Bacalja, Gender Lens Investing Specialist at SAGANA
Milena is a Gender Lens Investing Specialist leading SAGANA’s delivery of GLI technical assistance to EMIIF. She has worked across the public and private sector along her key expertise areas of women’s economic empowerment, gendered markets and women-centred innovation. This includes practical work experience in providing GLI technical assistance to investors and businesses, executing gender lens investing research projects, and supporting the design and delivery of women-centred programmes and products with non-profits and social innovators respectively. She has practical work experience from the Asia-Pacific, East-Africa and Latin America region.
In addition, she is considered a thought leader within the femtech sector and is also a mentor for the UNICEF Venture Fund. Milena holds an MPhil in Multi-Disciplinary Gender Studies from the University of Cambridge and Masters in International Development from RMIT.