Wasmus Consulting is a small management-consulting firm, based in the Netherlands. We specialize in supporting impact investors, banks and microfinance institutions (MFIs) that operate in emerging markets and transition economies. Our clients are both banks & MFIs as well as investors, fund managers & donors that promote financial inclusion. Since the start of the company in 2014, we implemented over 30 projects in 18 countries. Our team consists of experienced practitioners who served in both executive and non-executive roles in prominent microfinance banks and MFIs.
Our approach, based on a combined 45 years of hands-on banking and consultancy experience, is participatory and holistic. Starting from a deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges that our clients face, we are able to provide pragmatic and tailor-made solutions that address the real issues.
Wasmus Consulting offers a wide range of services within the scope of microfinance and banking. In addition to the services mentioned below, we can also respond to specific needs or demands.
Despite enormous growth in financial inclusion worldwide, there are still countries and customer segments that are severely under-banked. Such situations may merit a Greenfield initiative. Our consultants have first-hand experience in establishing and managing Greenfield micro and small enterprise banks on different continents. Services include conducting the initial feasibility study, pre-selection of likeminded investors, governance, recruitment of management, capacity building of staff, MIS selection, and drafting key operational policies and procedures. Whatever your specific needs, we can help you achieve your goal of establishing a target group oriented financial institution in an underserved market in the shortest possible time.
As the micro and SME finance sector is maturing and competition increases, many financial institutions are faced with questions concerning the appropriateness of their business model. Is the institutional strategy still valid in the rapidly changing business environment? How does the institution’s performance compare to its competitors and international best practice? Are products and services still up-to-date? Are processes optimized, taking advantage of new technologies? Is the applied lending methodology still adequate given the changing risk profile of the clients? Should the institution invest in digital financial services or other delivery channels? If your institution faces these or similar questions, a Quick Scan may be of great value. This cost-effective solution provides you with an excellent understanding of the challenges and opportunities and offers actionable and easy-to-implement recommendations to stay ahead of the game. If so desired, we’d be more than happy to assist you in the implementation of those recommendations in a follow-up assignment.
While there is high demand from farmers for agricultural finance in emerging markets, most banks and MFIs in emerging economies have difficulties in delivering adequate financing to smallholders and commercial farmers on a profitable basis. We offer financial institutions the following services related to agricultural finance: feasibility study and implementation plan, agricultural credit training programs for loan officers, establishment of an agricultural credit department, product development, value chain financing methodologies and last but not least an innovative, tablet-based application - Agri LoanAppraiser - which guides the loan officers through the complete loan analysis process.
As the demand for MSME finance continues to grow, so does the need for refinancing of local financial institutions. We perform market studies on behalf of donors and fund managers that want to expand their geographical or thematical footprint. In doing so, we leverage our extensive networks to assess supply and demand for refinancing in order to highlight the key opportunities and challenges in a particular country or region. In addition, we conduct due diligences of potential partner financial institutions for funds and advise on capacity building facilities. In the last three years, Wasmus Consulting conducted three regional market studies and a pre-feasibility study on behalf of donors and fund managers.
Risk Management has quickly become an undisputed part of today’s financial institution structure. However, if a risk management function is not designed well, it may easily become overcomplex in comparison to the size of the institution; and fail to add value. This is especially true for MFIs. We have developed a pragmatic, workable approach to risk management, consisting of a three-stage system of risk recognition, risk measurement and risk management, complemented by a practical and understandable risk dashboard. In the field of credit risk management, we assist banks and MFIs not only to conduct loan portfolio migration/ transition and vintage analysis, but also to interpret these data and recommend a set of easy-to-implement actions that reverse negative portfolio quality trends. We also assist impact investors with the set-up or review of a risk management framework that translates fund investment guidelines into concrete, measurable and manageable risk tolerance limits and a well-diversified portfolio, underpinned by solid and practical risk management policies.
Great progress has been made in recent years when it comes to the application of technology in banks and MFIs in emerging markets. Mobile money and branchless banking have taken off in a big way and have eased access to credit and banking services for millions. One area where technology has made less of an impact, is in enhancement of productivity and data quality in the loan analysis process. To this end, we have developed state-of-the-art, tablet-based Digital Field Applications (DFAs) to assist loan officers in credit analysis. We offer Apps for agricultural loan officers and for MSE loan officers. These Apps can be seamlessly integrated with any core banking system through a REST API but also add value as standalone tools. The data collected with help of these Apps provide a perfect basis for developing credit scoring tools – another area where our experts are happy to assist. For more information, please visit www.loanappraiser.eu.
Good governance is an absolute prerequisite for the long-term sustainability of financial institutions. As active board members of reputable financial institutions, we have first-hand governance experience that we apply to our consulting practice. Our services include the restructuring of corporate governance in compliance with best practices and applicable regulations, drafting of documentation (board charters, committee charters, policy guidelines etc.), evaluating the effectiveness of boards and training/ coaching of non-executive directors.
Human capital is the key to success of any financial institution. We can help you develop human capacity both at operational and management levels. Our services include training needs assessments, development of tailor-made training courses for (agricultural and business) loan officers, front and back-office staff, as well as coaching of management and non-executive directors. Our consultants are experienced trainers and apply best-practice adult learning principles.
Koen Wasmus is a senior SME/microfinance banker with 26 years of international experience in more than 20 countries. Koen established and led commercial microfinance banks and MFIs (among which MEB/ ProCredit Bank Kosovo) and held executive positions at holding/network level (ProCredit, Opportunity International). At IPC and Wasmus Consulting, Koen has gained significant and diverse short-term consulting experience in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Koen has a strong personal interest in agricultural finance and a proven track record of establishing agricultural lending units within financial institutions. Koen served on 8 boards of banks and MFIs, most recently as chair of the Board of Directors of KEP Trust in Kosovo. Koen is a member of the SANAD Fund Investment Committee and TA Committee. He holds an MSc in Agricultural Development Economics from the University of Wageningen.
Barbara Wasmus is an experienced MSME banker with 20 years of experience in emerging markets. She has a strong affinity and first-hand experience with the design and implementation of operational and internal control systems in the context of greenfields, turnarounds, and major technological innovations in banks/MFIs. Barbara held senior executive positions in financial institutions (founding-CEO of ProCredit Bank Angola, deputy-CEO of ProCredit Bank Kosovo) and implemented various short-term consultancy assignments. Barbara also gained significant experience in investing in development as former senior investment officer at Triple Jump. Aside from her consulting work, Barbara is an investment committee member for Developing World Markets in the US and previously served as non-executive director of Finca Microfinance Bank Tanzania. Barbara holds an MA in International Relations from the University of Groningen.
Wasmus Consulting has a pool of trusted consultants who all served as CEOs of microfinance banks/ MFIs and often also have experience as non-executive board members. These senior experts are contracted for specific assignments on a need basis.