A Journey to Understanding Risk as a New Board Director in “Governing Banks: MFI Edition”

> Posted by Madeleine Dy, Program Specialist, CFI

The Investing in Inclusive Finance program at the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion explores the practices of investors in inclusive finance. Across areas including risk, governance, stakeholder alignment, and fund management, this blog series highlights what’s being done to help the industry better utilize private capital to develop financial institutions that incorporate social aims.

Effective risk governance is critical for the growth and sustainability of an MFI, and board members play an important role in overseeing, monitoring, and controlling institutional risks. Governing Banks: MFI Edition, the latest publication of the Center for Financial Inclusion’s Running with Risk project, is a comprehensive risk and governance manual that follows a newly appointed director of an MFI bank on his journey to acquire the understanding and skills needed to meet the unique challenges of his role. Through the different characters the director meets, including the Chair of the Board, CEO, and Chair of the Risk Committee of the Board, the author Karla Brom holds a candid, educational, and easy-to-read conversation. She discusses a multitude of topics, including best practices in determining board composition, risk management roles and responsibilities, and risk appetite.

Governing Banks: MFI Edition builds on the work of the Governing Banks supplement created by IFC’s Global Corporate Governance Forum, and modifies the document to take into account the specifics of regulated microfinance institutions. For the MFI Edition, valuable input and oversight were provided by an advisory team comprised of Lauren Burnhill of One Planet Ventures, David Risser of NestorAdvisors, Mike Lubrano of Cartica Capital, Keith Waitt of Consultancy Matters, and Deborah Drake of the CFI. The publication is the third output of the Running with Risk project, which seeks to raise awareness about the importance of effective risk governance for institutional growth and sustainability. The first two publications were Microfinance – A Risky Business and Ten Risk Questions for Every MFI Board.

Governing Banks: MFI edition will be published in three parts, and Part 1 of this publication, focusing on risk governance, was released today and can be found on the CFI website, here.

Have you read?

Staying the Course When Risks Rise: Advice for Board Members

Ten Risk Questions for Every MFI Board

How Can MFI Boards Be Explicit about Risk Strategy and Appetite