Operations Officer

World Bank Group

Colombo, Sri Lanka

IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2022, IFC committed a record $32.8 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity as economies grapple with the impacts of global compounding crises.

IFC’s Financial Institutions Group (FIG) works through financial institutions to provide much-needed access to finance for millions of individuals and micro, small, and medium enterprises that we would never be able to reach directly. This is an important part of the World Bank Group strategy to end extreme poverty and build shared prosperity.

FIG Asia Pacific provides the strategic investment and advice needed by financial institutions to build a strong, engaged private sector and tackle the region’s most pressing development challenges. We account for about 32 percent of FIG’s Global investment portfolio, and our projects support micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), Trade and Supply Chain-smart projects, housing, insurance, supply chains, and digital finance. We demonstrate the business case for greater financial inclusion, particularly for women and other under-served segments of the community. Our tailored advice helps clients build capacity, strengthen risk management, and diversify and scale their product offerings. Stretching from the Pacific to South Asia, our projects are delivering on the IFC 3.0 agenda and enabling the region to fulfill its potential.

FIG Advisory in Asia Pacific leverages on IFC’s global presence, to drive thought leadership and deliver expert advice to our clients towards achieving greater access to finance in our priority markets in the region.  Thematic areas of specialization include SME Banking, Microfinance, Agrifinance, Supply Chain Finance, Risk Management, Digital Financial Services, Trade and Supply Chain Finance, Gender Finance and Housing.

The jobholder will be responsible for generating and implementing advisory engagements in Sri Lanka, under the guidance of Country and Thematic leads, with the key focus on gender. The jobholder will report directly to the FIG Advisory Services Country Anchor in Sri Lanka.  The jobholder will have a co-supervisory reporting line to the relevant Practice Lead in Asia for Gender.  He/she will work with the Practice Lead to drive the practice and support delivery of engagements in Asia as per FIG Asia’s expert-based model.  He/she will be an integral member of the country team and will work closely with key stakeholders in supporting the delivery of the WBG/IFC country strategy.

Role and Responsibilities

Then main responsibility of the jobholder is to provide input to the design and support delivery of client advisory services solutions that operationalize country and thematic mandates and contribute to knowledge sharing and capacity building.  IFC’s financial institutions advisory services aims to deliver innovative solutions that support clients in sustainably growing their presence in underserved markets and that are aligned with IFC’s country strategies and development objectives.  Founded on comprehensive diagnostics, IFC designs and implements capacity building to strengthen clients’ strategy, business model, products and services, risk management framework, market outreach and impact in the thematic areas aligned to regional and countries’ development challenges. 

The jobholder will also participate in the implementation and/or project management of client solutions, including:  managing external consultants and other providers, the project budget and overseeing project execution. Moreover, the job-holder would also actively contribute and participate in the Gender Practice in the Asia and Pacific region and also regionally contribute to Gender linked engagements. 

Client and Stakeholder Management

  • Communicate with middle-senior management of the bank and support the articulation of institution-level as well as segment-level solutions especially in Gender advisory area.
  • Support the delivery of knowledge transfer sessions, diagnostics with the client, and also be a technical resource for advisory project executions in Sri Lanka as well in the Asia region.
  • Scope technical and commercial market potential for sustainable gender finance in Sri Lanka as well in the Asia region and identify opportunities relevant to FI clients, such as identifying gaps and needs for developing sustainable gender finance programs, and formulation of motivation/drivers for end-users to implement gender projects using FI’s financing.
  • Lead project management and oversight of projects in Sri Lanka, under the guidance of Country Anchors and/or Practice Leads, to reinforce quality and consistency of approach. 
  • Work collaboratively with team members in the designated countries (mainly Sri Lanka) to support Country Anchor and/or Practice Lead in helping close pipeline projects and providing solutions to key portfolio clients. 
  • Provide expert advice to investment and advisory services teams and external financial sector clients on the potential and scope gender advisory projects, to help identify opportunities on the market for FIs and to help formulate both investment and advisory strategies to reach out to those opportunities.
  • Support Country Anchor in engaging with the relevant teams at the World Bank and IFC to support the work on reforms needed to unlock new markets and work collaboratively with Upstream teams. 
  • Support country priority initiatives such as Innovation, Climate and Inclusion linked initiatives. 
  • Be an integral part of the Asia gender practice and contribute through ideas as well as new product innovation linked to gender. 
  • Support the development of SME, digital and climate solutions for the Asia Pacific Region. 

Design and Operationalize Solutions

  • Work with senior thematic specialists in reviewing project proposals to ensure IFC mandate is adequately addressed and thematic solutions are well-designed to meet customer needs.
  • Provide technical support in designing pitch materials for business development and thematic proposals for inclusion in straightforward projects that will include drafting other relevant project documents.
  • Gather information from clients and project teams to monitor implementation of thematic area recommendations.

Create and Share Knowledge

  • Gather information from external sources on best practices, evolving trends and challenges, and emerging players that can be used to create new knowledge products.
  • Provide organizational and coordination support in the convening of knowledge sharing forums and conferences and contribute to the development of content materials.

Build Capacity

  • Coordinate and deliver straightforward training programs and workshops for IFC staff to raise their awareness of thematic area, especially gender, and its importance.

Selection Criteria

  • Master’s Degree in Business, Finance or Economics, or professional equivalent (CFA, CPA)
  • At least 8-10 years’ experience primarily in banks; experience in corporate banking and MNC banking is preferable. Having led a business unit role in a bank is a plus
  • Experience in product development, especially in the space of commercial banking, supply chain finance, solutions structuring and lending products
  • Strong working experience in the area of commercial banking and knowledge of Trade and Supply Chain finance. Having experience of providing training to frontline staff of the bank
  • Experience in strategy or risk management in commercial banking is a plus 
  • Experience in financial and credit analysis preferably in commercial banking
  • Understanding of inclusion gaps for women entrepreneurs and some experience in designing propositions for women entrepreneurs to gain access to financial services  
  • Having been involved in operational process reengineering including but not limited to digitization
  • Past experience in participating in transformation initiatives is a plus
  • Industry/Sector Knowledge - Understanding of sector drivers, business and market development cycles, and how business performance and long-term competitiveness and viability are measured within a sector and how sector dynamics may evolve within a country or region
  • Excellent knowledge of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and aptitude to learn new systems is a must.  Ability to use project management systems is a plus
  • Excellent written, verbal communication and presentation skills plus fluency in English is must. Ability to speak a second language is a plus.