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Since the early 1990s, the International Advisory Services (IAS) team of Frankfurt School has been committed to improving financial markets and increasing access to financial services worldwide. To achieve this, we design and implement consulting and training programmes and conduct applied research on finance and management topics. Regarding the development and implementation of customised technical assistance (TA) to support our clients, IAS offers services across a wide range of thematic areas, as shown below.

FINANCIAL INCLUSION & MICROFINANCE

To support the development of the microfinance industry, IAS focuses on capacity building and disseminating best practice. Through these two levers, IAS supports innovation and helps to strengthen financial service providers that offer affordable financial services to meet the varied needs of micro-enterprises and economically disadvantaged groups.

SME BANKING & DEVELOPMENT

Under the scope of SME Banking and Development, IAS collaborates with local banks and financial institutions to create, enhance and/or expand their outreach to the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) market. The goal is to support financial institutions establish or improve SME finance as a sustainable business segment.

Since 2002, FS TURCASIA has implemented several (M)SME Capacity building programmes, including the EBRD MSME Lending Programme in Turkey from 2010–2017 where more than 2,600 bankers were trained in (M)SME lending, agri-lending and other topics. In addition, we have expanded the scope of SME market assessments to support the innovation and innovation policy in Turkey as well as the Turkish host community for Syrian refugees.

See the online courses we offer in SME Banking & Development:

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Contact Person for SME Banking & Development:

Ahmet Güney Gönüllü

Senior MSME Finance Expert, Trainer 

RURAL & SMART AGRI-FINANCE DEVELOPMENT

The agricultural sectors of Turkey, Central Asia and the Caucasus vary considerably by development stage. The region’s economies range from developed to emerging markets and have different levels of technical capabilities and infrastructure. In parallel, financial sector players in the region increasingly request customised, sustainable and sound lending mechanisms and tools to finance the agricultural and rural sectors.

Since 2010, IAS has offered consultancy and capacity building in agricultural and rural finance alongside (non-)financial and technical trainings to both Financial Institutions (FIs) and beneficiaries in the region. To date, we have implemented flagship projects in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Tajikistan and Turkey among others. Our advisory services are guided by a holistic approach to sustainable rural development. It combines access to finance for all sizes of farms, agribusinesses, rural enterprises, and households with improved technological solutions and cost-efficient delivery channels. In addition, FS TURCASIA developed and successfully implemented the Agricultural Loan Evaluation System (ALES) to strengthen the agricultural lending capacity of FIs and establish the link between agricultural enterprises and FIs.

See the online courses we offer in Rural & Smart Agri-Finance Development:

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Contact Person for Rural & Agri-Finance Development:

Ömer Faruk Demirhan

Senior Agricultural Finance Expert, Trainer

CLIMATE & SUSTAINABLE ENERGY FINANCE

The FS-UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance (FS-UNEP Centre) facilitates private sector investment and finance for sustainable energy and climate change mitigation and adaptation projects across the globe. The FS-UNEP Centre’s activities are organised into four thematic areas: Policy advice, Research, Project design and Implementation. By integrating multi-disciplinary research with advisory and capacity building work, the FS-UNEP Centre is able to integrate good practices in sustainable energy and climate finance. The FS-UNEP Centre also conducts think tank activities and provides leadership in advancing policy-relevant knowledge about sustainable energy and climate finance. Its work is designed to encourage and assist the finance community to scale-up current investment, or to take the first steps into new markets, particularly in developing countries.

IAS currently implements several flagship climate finance projects, primarily in Turkey and Central Asia. The projects range from advisory to government institutions, management of climate finance via credit lines, capacity building and promotion of green technologies. Among the projects is the ongoing EBRD Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF) in Tajikistan.

Contact Person for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance:

Zühal Ürgüplü Şanal

Project Manager

HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT

Human Resource Management (HRM) and Human Resource Development (HRD) are of core importance in the development of top financial institutions. We help our partners improve their staff management systems by offering tailored strategies and operational systems. Our services include advisory on HR strategy design, recruitment and selection, performance management and appraisal, succession planning as well as the provision of training services amongst others.

RISK, GOVERNANCE & REGULATION

Under Risk, Governance & Regulation, IAS implements risk management frameworks for banks, non-bank microfinance institutions (MFIs), leasing companies and financial cooperatives of various sizes and complexity in emerging and developing markets. Specifically, we focus on the following key areas: Credit risk management (including Policy development), Rating and scoring development (including Behavioural finance and psychometric scoring), Financial risk management and Capital markets, Treasury and ALM (including Liquidity, FX, Interest rate and Commodities), Operational risk management, Audit and control, Regulatory developments and prudential compliance (e.g. Basel 3, ICAAP, ILAAP, IFRS 9, IFRS 7) and Risk sharing mechanisms and hedging.

WOMEN BANKING & EMPOWERMENT

Women face disproportionate challenges in accessing financial services, business literacy, business advisory and trainings, networking options, markets and supply chains. These challenges are even more acute in Turkey, Caucasus and the Central Asian region. Significant gender gaps are documented in accessing credit and entrepreneurial opportunities due to many reasons including lack of collateral, low levels of financial literacy, low levels of business training as well as rigid gender codes in society.

In this regard, IAS helps financial institutions understand the needs and demands of women-led businesses and design customised financial and non-financial solutions targeting this client segment. Moreover, we help improve the business models and delivery mechanisms of financial institutions to enable them to serve their women-led MSME clients more effectively. We also provide non-financial services directly to female entrepreneurs and business leaders to elevate their knowledge on business management, leadership, and financial products and services. Within the scope of donor programmes, we have developed self-diagnostic tools that help women-led MSMEs evaluate their own business skills and the strengths and weaknesses of their businesses as well as equip them with the tools to tackle the business challenges facing their businesses.

IAS has completed numerous programmes on strengthening women entrepreneurs and enhancing gender finance, especially in Turkey and Central Asia. Examples include the EBRD Women in Business Programmes in Turkey and Kazakhstan, as well as the GEFF Gender Component under the Tajikistan Green Economy Financing Facility. We expect to continue developing and implementing gender mainstreaming activities in projects across various thematic areas.

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Contact Person for Women Banking & Empowerment:

Cansu Karatay

Senior Project Manager

AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCE

Access to decent shelter is a basic human need. It is the first target of the UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030: making cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. This goal must be backed by adequate financing for housing. The provision of appropriate financial services is thus instrumental to improve the living conditions in many countries.

To promote housing finance, IAS has been engaged in institution and capacity-building programmes for several years. We define housing finance broadly, ranging from housing microfinance to mortgage lending, and the provision of affordable housing to the promotion of energy efficiency in residential buildings. We have carried out a few flagship programmes in the region (Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan).

FRAMEWORK CONTRACTS

Frankfurt School provides assistance to various international institutions in the design, implementation and evaluation of projects that aim to contribute to a better and more sustainable future for all. This includes projects that focus on reducing poverty by strengthening financial intermediation in emerging markets or maintaining natural habitats and ecosystems by supporting measures in climate change adaptation and mitigation. Our services also include the facilitation of reforms in both emerging and developed markets.

Relying on a team of technically excellent in-house and freelance experts, IAS currently manages several Framework Contracts (FWCs) as a lead partner or as an active partner in a consortium.

DIGITAL FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS

IAS helps institutions realise their IT/MIS strategies. We provide innovative technology solutions, training, and tailor-made software development services with end-to-end project management. We help institutions shape, digitalise and transform with “New IT” concepts such as Blockchain, Robotic process automation, Cloud computing, Internet of things and Artificial intelligence alongside the development of customised software and tools such as Agricultural Loan Evaluation System (ALES). Our Digital Financial Solutions team based in Turkey and network of global experts can develop a secure software for statistical modelling and machine learning algorithms with Java technology and inject existing legacy data with sound data migration and conversion principles.

Building on flagship projects in Turkey and the Caucasus, we have customised IT tools and integrated them successfully into the core systems of financial institutions. Given the rapid development of IT infrastructure and the benefits of digitalisation, especially amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, we expect to continue supporting financial institutions in their digitalisation process.

Contact Person for Digital Financial Solutions:

Ilker Tokgöz

IT Project Manager