MicroFinance Network Endorses New Governance Guidelines

Mar 2007
, March, 15 2007 - The MicroFinance Network (MFN), an international association of 37 leading microfinance institutions (MFIs), today announced that its members have endorsed the policies and recommendations on governance developed by the Council of Microfinance Equity Funds (CMEF).

The CMEF's Consensus Statement, "The Practice of Corporate Governance in Shareholder-Owned Microfinance Institutions," offers practical guidance on governance for MFI stakeholders-investors and prospective investors, board members and senior MFI managers-to use in assessing the governance of their own institutions and implementing industry best practices.

In its mission is to contribute to the industry's development, the MFN has endorsed the CMEF statement on governance in order to promote the best practices recommended in the document.

"As commercial and regulated MFIs, good governance is one of the principal concerns for MFN members," said Masami Hayashi, MFN director. "MFN members seek to follow governance best practices used among regulated financial institutions globally. We think the statement is a useful tool, especially for the boards and management of MFIs, in establishing corporate governance policies and practices for their institutions."

Deborah Drake, CMEF coordinator, added, "CMEF welcomes the MFN's endorsement of our recommendations for MFI governance. With MFN members promoting them in their respective countries, we hope that more and more MFIs follow governance best practices and enjoy a sound relationship with investors."

The CMEF's purpose is to articulate and disseminate knowledge and expertise about equity investing in microfinance, providing guidelines and principles for effective investment. Members include AfriCap, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, FINCA, Oikocredit, Opportunity International, Triodos Investment Management, B.V., ShoreCap International and Unitus, among others. The consensus statement is available for download at http://www.cmef.com/.

About the MicroFinance Network

The MicroFinance Network is an international association of leading microfinance institutions. Through the MFN, 37 members from 31 countries share ideas, experiences, and innovative solutions to the challenges they face in search of continuous growth and progress. MFN members, whether commercial banks or NGOs, share the common belief that an MFI can serve more clients by establishing a sustainable and profitable institution. MFN members also believe that an MFI can maximize both financial and social performance by establishing innovative business models that can satisfy both financial and social goals of the institution. MFN members seek to be models of what is possible in the industry. For more information, visit http://www.mfnetwork.org/

About the Council of Microfinance Equity Funds

The Council of Microfinance Equity Funds (CMEF) is the first membership organization that convenes the leading private entities making equity investments in microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the developing world. CMEF's members seek both social and financial returns from their investments in these institutions, all of which provide a range of financial services to poor households in developing countries. ACCION International serves as CMEF coordinator and provides the secretariat for the Council. For more information, visit http://www.cmef.com/.


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