Impact Investing - Nexii Leaders Forum - OPIC Conversation @ JSE

New Corridors of Capital
Stimulating innovation and growing private sector impact capital flows in South Africa

A dialogue with OPIC’s Elizabeth Littlefield and key leaders in impact investing in South Africa
  • Monday, 6th August 2012, registration at 11h30 for commencement at 12h00 - 14:30PM
  • JSE Auditorium, Sandton. South Africa

“Business can shoulder more responsibility for creating stability and opportunities in the world while at the same time taking advantage of high-growth markets and turning a profit. It’s not a zero-sum game but a double win.  It is the government’s job to enable the private sector to achieve this end” - Elizabeth Littlefield, Forbes Magazine, December 2011.

The Nexii Impact Leader’s Forum is delighted to be joined by Ms Elizabeth Littlefield, CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and other South African impact investment thought leaders to discuss the impact investment model and the experience of OPIC, the US Government’s Development Finance institution, in stimulating private sector role in development and the impact investing sectors, as well as the particular challenges and opportunities in the application of and enablers for the growth of impact investment in developing countries. 

This interactive session will encourage discussion and debate on important questions such as:

·         What are the policies and incentives (public, private and civil) necessary to catalyse investment in high impact social and/or environemental enterprise, and small and growing businesses in (South) Africa?

·         How are investment decisions shifting to include social and environmental impact factors, from considering general development investment to specific investment designed to deliver a direct positive impact on certain sectors?

·         What is the role and responsibility of the private sector – corporations, institutional investors or captains of industry – in helping impact investing to emerge as an investment theme, and how can this be encouraged?

·         What can be done to better build the understanding and capacity of private sector actors to help the sector grow, and the role of public sector to enable that growth? How can we begin to engage retail and institutional level to encourage participation in this investment strategy?

·         How interested are asset consultants, legal advisors and financial planners in impact investing? How should impact investments be positioned and described to advisors? What is the opportunity to increase the amount of sustainable investment that advisors recommend to their clients? What barriers are holding them back from recommending these investments? How can these be overcome?


11h30  Arrival and registration
12h00  Welcome and introduction of keynote speaker and panellists
12h15  Keynote address: how do we stimulate private sector engagement in impact investing
12h30  Overview key South African developments in impact investing (5 min overview each)
* Erin Pacific, USAID: Use of a development credit authority to stimulate SME investment
* Graham Sinclair, AfricaSIF: Policy reforms to increase institutional allocations to sustainable investment
* Mark Van Wyk, Mergence: Using GIIRS ratings to unlock institutional investment for development
12h45 Dialogue session with Elizabeth Littlefield and panellists to include interactive Q&A
13h30  Close (Elizabeth Littlefield departure by 13h45)            
Finger lunch

When: Monday, 6th August 2012, registration at 11h30 for commencement at 12h00
Where: JSE Auditorium, Sandton

We do hope that you will participate in this important conversation. Please RSVP to Mariette on 021 794 0451 or before end of day Thursday 2nd August 2012. Please note that photo ID will be required.

KEYNOTE ADDRESS Speaker and Panelist:

ELIZABETH LITTLEFIELD: President and CEO, Overseas Private Investment Corporation

Elizabeth Littlefield was appointed by President Obama as OPIC’s tenth President and CEO.  From 2000 until 2010 Ms. Littlefield was Director of Private and Finance Sector at World Bank and Chief Executive Officer of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), a multi-donor organization housed at the World Bank and created to help build a professional, global microfinance industry providing flexible, high-quality financial services to the poor.

Prior to joining CGAP in 1999, Ms. Littlefield was JP Morgan’s Managing Director in charge of capital markets and financing in emerging Europe, Middle East and Africa.  Her responsibilities encompassed public and private financings for governments, corporations and banks, and related advisory work such as debt management and credit rating advisory.  Prior to that she set up JP Morgan’s LDCdebt trading department and was JPM’s Head Debt Trader in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia.  She also served as a Director in JP Morgan’s Paris office, among others.

Ms. Littlefield also spent 1989 – 1990 providing banking consultancy to several microfinance institutions in West and Central Africa.  She has taught Financing Sector Development as an Adjunct Profession in the Masters Program at S.A.I.S.  She has served on the Board and Executive Committee of Women’s World Banking, the Mastercard Foundation and Calvert Foundation, among others.  She was the founder of the Emerging Markets Charity in the UK.  Ms. Littlefield is a graduate of Brown University and also attended Ecole Nationale de Sciences Politiques in Paris.

OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds. Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 150 countries worldwide. To date, OPIC has supported nearly $200 billion of investment in over 4,000 projects

OPIC’s role is to support U.S. businesses investing in emerging markets by providing loans and guarantees as well as risk mitigation tools, like insurance, that remove barriers to investment in important projects in emerging markets.  In so doing it contributes to economic development abroad and can transform the way we think about the business community and its relationship with international development (unfortunately known as ‘foreign aid’). OPIC focuses on encouraging the private sector to do as much of the development job as it can profitably manage. That’s OPIC’s raison d’être. It is a resource multiplier, mobilizing an average of $2.68 of private capital for each $1.00 of OPIC financing and insurance.

This event is brought to you by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Nexii, the and the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business.


ERIN PACIFIC: Director of Regional Economic Growth Office, USAID

Erin Pacific is the Director of the Regional Economic Growth Office (REGO) at USAID/Southern Africa Mission based in Pretoria. A career member of USAID’s Foreign Service, Ms. Pacific has served in various positions both in the field and in Washington for the past twelve years. She began with USAID as a Presidential Management Intern in 2000, serving as the Caucasus Desk Officer in Washington, covering a $135 million annual portfolio for Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia. She then joined USAID’s Foreign Service in 2002 as a Private Enterprise Officer and served as the Deputy Director for Enterprise and Finance at the Central Asia Regional Mission in Almaty, Kazakhstan where she oversaw the Mission’s small and medium enterprise (SME) portfolio and the launching of the Partnership for Economic Development (PED) with the Kazakhstani Government to support the country’s economic diversification from oil. She then served in Washington as USAID Administrator Henrietta Fore’s Special Assistant covering the Latin America, Europe, and Africa portfolios. In 2008, Ms. Pacific returned to the field as the Deputy Director for Economic Growth with USAID/Afghanistan based in Kabul where she oversaw the economic policy portfolio advancing Afghanistan’s trade, customs reform, and the business enabling environment. She joined USAID/Southern Africa in 2011 as the REGO Director where she oversees the Mission’s work for several USG initiatives, including Feed the Future (FTF), Africa Competitiveness and Trade Enhancement (ACTE) initiative, and Global Climate Change in the area of clean energy, in addition to the Mission’s support for SME and financial sector development. Before joining USAID, Ms. Pacific received her Masters in International Development Economics, Trade and Investment from The Fletcher School, Tufts University in 2000, and her Bachelors in Journalism Communication from the University of Oregon.


Tamzin is widely regarded as creating the first social investment exchange in the world and was a visionaryfounder and leader of the GreaterGood/GreaterCapital Group in South Africa for over 12 years.  Through GreaterGood/GreaterCapital she conceptualised and developed the South African Social Investment Exchange in June 2006. SASIX has facilitated significant capital allocation to both performance-based philanthropy and impact investment whilst also leveraging larger-scale external investment in social financial offerings. For the past two years, with USAID support, Tamzin has focused on establishing the first social stock exchange – the Impact Exchange – iX, and its “on deck” Impact Capital Platform – the iC.  She has continually sought to use the markets for greater social good.  She was awarded the GIBS Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2007 and appointed an Ashoka fellow in 2008. Through Nexii’s public benefit sister organisation, the Impact Trust, Tamzin is currently leading a regulatory review for South Africa’s National Treasury to look at a new enabling policy, tax and regulatory structure for high impact social businesses and SMEs in South Africa.

GRAHAM SINCLAIR: President, Africa Sustainable Investment Forum (

Graham Sinclair is President of the Project, an independent, pan-African, not-for-profit network, knowledgebase and advocate promoting investment in sustainable development across the continent and Principal at SinCo – sustainable investment consulting. Launched in June 2010, the Project is volunteer-run building a network of institutions and individuals promoting sustainable investment in Africa by investors in public, private and philanthropy sectors across asset classes, countries and stakeholders from its platform at  Graham  is Principal at SinCo - sustainable investment consulting - and chairs the Prudential Assets Working Group of the investment industry group ASISA, is a member of the Investment Analysts Society of Southern Africa, and lifetime member of Net Impact.

MARK VAN WYK: Impact Fund Manager, Mergence Investment Managers

Mark Van Wyk is head of Impact Investment at Mergence Investment Managers.  His career includes experience in development finance, structured finance, external auditing and property management.  Prior to joining Mergence Investment Managers in 2011, Mark was responsible for establishing new wholesale debt funding relationships, performing due diligences, drafting business plans, financial modelling, liaison with funding partners and oversight of proprietary private equity investments at Mettle, a company within the financial services sector.  At Mergence, Mark heads up the first South African Impact Investment Pioneer Fund using the USAID funded Global Impact Investing Rating System (GIIRS).  He has significant experience of incorporating impact measurement systems based on the Impact Reporting & Investment Standards (IRIS) into the investment process and is one of the leaders in providing institutional investment offerings in high impact investments in South Africa.