Board of Directors
Advans SA's board of directors is chiefly responsible for the overall management of Advans SA in accordance with the company's statutes and Luxembourg law. The board is made up of qualified senior professionals with extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of financial services.
Matthias Adler, Chairman of the Board of Directors: Head of Division, Infrastructure and the Financial Sector in West Africa, KfW
Matthias Adler began his professional career in 1985 at the German Foreign Ministry in the Development Co-operation division. Prior to joining KfW as Project Manager for the West Africa Region, he served, among other activities, in the German embassy in Cameroon as Desk Officer for two years. In 1999 Mr. Adler was appointed Senior Financial Sector Economist and worked as a Microfinance specialist in the Financial sector and policy department where he accompanied microfinance projects (fixed income and equity), and conducted due diligence analyses of MFIs. Since October 2002 he has been Principal Economist at KfW, serving in the Africa Region dealing with sovereign risk assessments, and, since October 2007, in the Sector and Policy division, Financial and Private Sector Africa where he coordinated, inter alia, KfW’s microfinance activities. Since April 2014, he serves as Head of Division in KfW for Infrastructure and the Financial Sector in West Africa.
Claude Falgon: Advans Invest
Claude Falgon is founder and former CEO of Advans International and is Board Member of Advans SA. Claude has also been deeply implicated in the governance of the Advans affiliates, acting as Chairman of the Board for several of them. Earlier, as a consultant specialising in retail banking, microfinance, and rural and agricultural finance for more than 30 years Claude carried out studies or advisory services assignments in more than thirty countries in the Mediterranean Region, Africa and Asia. He has specialised in equity investment in the financial and microfinance sector in developing countries since the late 1990s, and in 2004 initiated the setting up of Advans SA, a project supported by Advans’ six current DFI shareholders.
Maria Largey: Microfinance Investment Manager, CDC
Maria Largey is the Microfinance Investment Manager at CDC Group plc, the UK’s Development Finance Institution. She has been working in the microfinance sector since 2008, including roles at Agora Microfinance Partners LLP, a microfinance investment company based in London, and Opportunity International, a global microfinance network. Before joining the development sector, she was Vice President at JPMorgan Asset Management in both London and New York where she was responsible for providing investment solutions to international banks, insurance companies and fund providers. Maria holds a BSc in Biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and has completed International Finance courses at New York University.
Gail Buyske: Consultant, International Finance Corporation
Gail Buyske is a non-executive director and emerging markets banking consultant with extensive experience on the board of directors of banks, and on the advisory boards of private equity funds. Ms Buyske has been involved in sustainable finance initiatives, including chairing the board of directors of a Russian MSME bank (KMB Bank). Ms Buyske has worked on a wide range of issues related to financial sector development for organizations including the World Bank, IFC, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Standard & Poor’s, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the Center for Financial Inclusion.
Ms Buyske’ s international banking career included three years in Moscow with the EBRD, where she managed the financial institutions team, and 12 years at JP Morgan Chase, where her positions included Team Manager for Corporate Banking in Hong Kong; Country Credit Supervising Officer for Latin America and Canada and Deputy Director of the Soviet and Eastern European Division. Ms Buyske has a PhD in political science from Columbia University.
Eelko Bronkhorst: Partner, Financial Access Capital Partners
Eelko Bronkhorst is a Partner at Financial Access Capital Partners, based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Mr Bronkhorst is particularly active in the Micro and SME finance area in emerging markets. He guides financial institutions to scale up, transform and professionalize their operating businesses and prepare them for accelerated and sustainable growth. Mr Bronkhorst has extensive experience in international finance, management and building businesses in the financial sector. Before joining Financial Access Mr Bronkhorst has worked in various commercial and senior executive roles for ABN AMRO Bank in The United States, Asia and Europe. As Country Head for ABN AMRO in Korea he was instrumental in transforming the bank during Asia’s financial crisis in the late 1990’s. In 2001 Mr Bronkhorst became responsible for ABN AMRO’s energy finance business in Asia Pacific and the Middle East and from 2004 to 2006 Mr. Bronkhorst served as CEO of ABN AMRO Bank Switzerland SA, Chairman of ABN AMRO Luxembourg SA and as ABN AMRO’s Regional Head of Private Banking Emerging Markets. In 2007 Mr Bronkhorst became the CEO of the Orangefield Group, formerly ING Trust, in a management buy-out. Mr Bronkhorst holds a Masters of International Law Degree from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands and has completed the Advanced Management Programme at INSEAD, France.
Hervé Schricke: Consultant
Hervé has worked for more than 20 years in private equity investing, after a career in international banking. He is also an entrepreneur and a business angel, with an in depth knowledge of the African continent. Hervé was president of the AFIC (A French association of investors in growth) from 2010-12 and today is president of the association’s African club which he founded in 2015. As founder of XAnge Private Equity, created in 2003, he especially focused on the development of the brand in the digital domain from Paris and Munich until 2015. Hervé also directed Natexis Private Equity fund and was co-sponsor of the Africinvest-Casablanca fund. In 1999 he became co-founder of meilleurtaux.com, one of the first French FinTechs. Hervé worked for eight years in banking in Africa with the BIAO, founding the National Bank of Congo (Brazzaville) and then working as Head of Group Markets. Today Hervé acts as a consultant to African investment funds, including Fanisi in Kenya, the group Investisseurs & Partenaires (impact fund) and Teranga Capital in Senegal. Herve has qualifications in international law from the University of Abidjan Law School and Paris-Pantheon.
Harry Schoon: Head of Acier Financieringen
Harry Schoon has been in Retail and Commercial Banking since 1989. His career spans the fields of Sales, Product Management, Retail and Commercial Risk Management and Operational Management in various roles. He has been engaged in developing new payments systems, developing risk models and card- and banking systems implementations. Mr. Schoon started his career with ABN AMRO, based in Amsterdam, for which he worked both in the domestic and the international network. For RBS Harry served Head of Retail and Commercial Risk Management Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East. As an independent banking consultant he worked in China and the US on projects on mortgages lending and implementing deposit infrastructure. In 2011 he joined Achmea Bank. He served as Head of Product Management till 2015, and is currently Head of Acier Financieringen and member of the Finance and Risk Management team of Achmea Bank. Harry holds a Masters degree in Geology (Earth Sciences) from the University of Utrecht (Netherlands).
Jan-Albert Valk: Founding partner Accelerator Africa
The Audit and Risk Committee
The Audit and Risk Committee of the Board of Directors has a fundamental role in (i) controlling financial information and (ii) supervising the internal control and risk management system of the Advans group and ensuring its effectiveness. The Audit and Risk Committee comprises three non-executive directors appointed by the Board of Directors. The group Audit department reports directly to the Audit and Risk Committee on a quarterly basis.
HR and Governance Committee
The HR & Governance Committee supports the Board of Directors in exercising both its corporate governance functions, notably through: i) ensuring the Board’s effectiveness and development by reviewing and making recommendations on its composition; and ii) ensuring the group’s adhesion to good corporate governance by reviewing and making recommendations on the situation in all group companies; and its HR functions, through: i) proposing candidates for senior management positions to the Board of Directors; and ii) reviewing and proposing appropriate compensation packages.
Advans has nominated a Social Performance Management (SPM) Champion who is responsible for supervising the integration of social performance practices within the group. The SPM Champion is responsible for building awareness amongst Board Members of the importance of good SPM practices and giving feedback in general on the group’s social performance.