The Microinsurance Network is led by the Board of Directors, which provides strategic guidance and supervision to the Network's operations, and to the Secretariat, which takes care of the executive management of the Network's activities, including the co-ordination of working group activities. A General Assembly, attended by the Board of Director, Secretariat and Network members, takes place annually on the day after the International Microinsurance Conference.
At the core of the Network's activities lie the working groups, discussion groups and task forces, which are comprised of Network members, and focus on specific activities advancing the learning and the distilling of good practices in key focus areas of the sector.
The Board of Directors
The Board of Directors provides strategic guidance and oversight to the Microinsurance Network to ensure it meets its goals in an effective and impactful manner. The Board is elected by the Network's members for a two-year term. The General Assembly met in November 2016 and approved the new Board of Directors for the 2017-2018 term:
Doubell Chamberlain (Cenfri), Chair of the Board (2017-2018); Board member (2015-2018). Doubell has extensive global experience in microinsurance as the founder and Managing Director of Cenfri. His work has lead him to a deeper understanding of the demand for and supply of microinsurance products within a broader financial sector context, and the impact that policy, regulation and supervision has on market development. His vision for the sector is to build an inclusive insurance industry that aligns the incentives of multiple stakeholders to offer value and play its role in supporting poverty relief and economic development.
Andrea Keenan (AM Best), Vice-Chair of the Board (2015-2018). Andrea Keenan is an economist and the Senior Managing Director of Industry Relations at AM Best, having launched AM Best's first emerging market subsidiary in Mexico City. She has also acted as an advisor in international regulatory efforts towards financial inclusion and performed her own research on the business potential of microinsurance and on the contribution of microinsurance to overall economic growth.
Lorenzo Chan (Pioneer Life Incorporated), Board member (2017-2018). Lorenzo is the President and CEO of Pioneer Life and Retail Organization and Head of the Philippines Pioneer Group, which strives to provide flexibility in product development and outstanding service to Micro-Finance Institutions (MFIs) and their clients. He brings to the Board years of practical experience in both insurance and Microinsurance and his direct involvement in the business operation provides the Board with a realistic and practical perspective on what truly works and how to best manage the market, in terms of pricing, distribution partnerships, or product design.
Alejandra Diaz Agudelo (Fasecolda), Board member (2015-2018). Alejandra has extensive experience in designing and implementing strategies for the development of microinsurance markets as well as agricultural insurance, financial education and social responsibility programmes. With regards to the Network, she is committed to the idea of creating a regional body to periodically discuss best practices and lessons learned in the Latin America and Caribbean region. Alejandra also promotes the dissemination of social performance indicators among providers in the region, as well as the development of a code of best practices for consumer protection, in order to achieve effective and meaningful financial inclusion.
Denis Garand (Denis Garand and Associates), Board member (2015-2018); Former Treasurer of the Microinsurance Network (2015-2016). Denis has long-term experience as an actuary in the insurance and microinsurance sectors, and brings a wealth of expertise on mutuals and cooperatives. His current focus for the Board is finding ways to increase sharing of information amongst all actors in the microinsurance field to ensure the development of a sound sector whilst minimising duplication of efforts. He will also be focussing on the informal and cooperative insurance sectors so as to increase their participation in the Microinsurance Network.
Kate McKee (CGAP), Board member (2017-2018). Kate leads CGAP’s initiative on responsible digital finance, which seeks to ensure transparency and safety for customers through forward-thinking industry standards and proportionate regulation. She leads policy and advisory work on consumer protection regulation and supervision and the application of behavioural research insights to this policy domain. Among others, Kate headed the Microenterprise Development office at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and chaired the Consumer Advisory Council of the U.S. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve (Central Bank).
Francesco Rispoli (IFAD), Board member (2015-2018). Francesco is a Senior Technical Advisor on Rural Finance at the International Fund for Agricultural Development where he has been leading the organisation’s work on agricultural insurance, and has been responsible for setting up the IFAD-WFP Weather Risk Management Facility (WRMF), which is the first UN partnership on the subject. Francesco has broad technical experience in risk management and agricultural insurance, including index insurance, and his focus for the Network is to encourage cost-effective public-private partnerships in agricultural insurance that increase the resilience of rural households as part of their broader agricultural risk management strategy.
Mandla Shezi (Hollard), Board member (2015-2018); Former Secretary of the Microinsurance Network (2015-2016). Mandla is the Managing Director of Hollard Affinities and Direct since 2007 and the Chair of Hollard’s Financial Inclusion Megatrend Forum. He is passionate about driving access to affordable insurance products for the poor and finding systemic insurance solutions that cover poor communities against natural disasters. Mandla’s focus for the Network is the development and roll-out of viable low-cost distribution methods across Africa and Asia.
Mathilda Ström (BIMA), Board member (2017-2018). Mathilda is a co-founder of BIMA and has been responsible for driving the growth of the business into 16 countries across Africa, Latin America and Asia. She has a great breadth of experience in a variety of regulatory environments and detailed distribution channels, as well as operational expertise in building a sustainable and profitable microinsurance business. Her work has also given her an understanding of the interplay between mobile technology and the provision of financial services, as well as a closeness to the communities and customers that are buying insurance cover for the first time.
The Secretariat team
The Secretariat of the Microinsurance Network is run by a small and dynamic team comprised of:
Henk J.J. van Oosterhout, Interim Executive Director
Henk provides strategic and executive leadership to the team with a view to grow and strengthen the Microinsurance Network outreach, impact and value to the sector. In his role he draws upon his experience in inclusive finance and management, spanning over thirty years and a dozen countries across the developing world.
Annette Houtekamer, Microinsurance Expert
With a lifetime of experience in finance, insurance, reinsurance and development spanning across India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Senegal and South Africa, Annette is responsible for the identification of cutting edge and demand driven microinsurance topics for Network activities, the development of content and coordination of speakers, as well as representation of the Network at regional and global events.
Annalisa Bianchessi, Senior Communications Manager
Annalisa oversees the Network media and communication activities and the design and management of key Network events. Through a professional approach rooted in social marketing, she supports the Network to reach its full potential in terms of reach, visibility and member value.
Hugo Fulco, Communications Officer
Hugo draws on his background in journalism and international relations to promote the work of the Network, developing insightful and valuable content and supporting the management of its numerous communication channels.
Jenny Glaesener-Nasr, Senior Development Coordinator
With her dual background in agriculture and journalism and her solid experience in programme and project management, Jenny ensures the coordination of main Network outputs and uses specific opportunities to promote microinsurance in global agenda issues.
Nadia Vanuytrecht, Membership & Office Coordinator
Drawing on her background in Public Relations and professional experience in administration and event planning, Nadia provides the Secretariat with a steady, effective and professional maintenance of office operations. Nadia is the key contact person for all membership-related matters, providing members with the information and logistical support needed to join our growing and dynamic Network of microinsurance professionals.
Meredith Lytle, Junior Membership Officer
Meredith will apply her experience in international client services and support to assist the team with membership management and recruitment. She will be responsible for the maintenance of the member database and online directory, ensuring member needs and requests are catered to and developing new strategies for potential new membership opportunities.
Cristina Suárez Bordón, Junior CRM and Administration Officer
With a background in languages and translation, Cristina supports the Network’s production and dissemination of effective multilingual communication outputs and provides general logistical support to the team in the organisation of events and administrative tasks.
If you are interested in providing support, volunteering or joining the team, please see the get involved