AECM Annual Event : Madrid, 31 May – 02 June 2017

Global Conference on Guarantee Institutions for SME Financing

25th Anniversary event
Under the High Patronage of His Majesty the King of Spain


Hotel Meliá Castilla

Calle del Capitán Haya, 43 – Madrid (Spain) – Website

Seminar program


31 May 2017

19h00 – 21h00 Welcome cocktail – Hotel Meliá Castilla


1 June 2017

Meeting of the General Assembly

11h30 – 14h00

Internal session of the General Assembly (for members only)

14h00 – 15h00


15h00 – 15h30

AECM’s 25th Anniversary: public session of the General Assembly

Opening by

  • Bernhard Sagmeister, Chairman, AECM
  • José Rolando Álvarez, Chairman, SGR- CESGAR
  • Begoña Cristeto, General Secretary of Industry and SMEs – Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, Spain
15h30 – 15h45

Keynote address “Reflection on past, present & future SME policy of the EU”

  • Kristin Schreiber, Director, DG COSME Program, Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW), European Commission
15h45 – 16h30

Panel on the 25 years of AECM

Moderator: José Fernando Figueiredo, Special Honorary Chairman, AECM

  • Pablo Pombo, Founding President, AECM
  • Thomas García, Honorary Chairman, AECM
  • Guido Verhaegen, Honorary Chairman, AECM, special tribute
  • Italo Calegari, Honorary Chairman, AECM, special tribute
  • Hans-Herbert Strombeck, Honorary Chairman, AECM
  • Bernhard Sagmeister, Chairman, AECM

Group photo of all the Chairmen of AECM

16h30 – 17h30 


Moderator: Guy Selbherr, Vice President, AECM

Guarantees and EU financial instruments. Experiences of AECM’s members

  • Pedro Pisonero Pérez, SGR – CESGAR / Spain
  • Astrid Bartels, Policy Officer – COSME Financial Instruments Team Leader, COSME Financial Instruments Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW), European Commission

Guarantees and agriculture. Working group on agriculture

  • László Tóth, AVHGA / Hungary
  • Nivelin Noev, Assistant Policy Officer – Assistant Horizontal Coordinator, Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland, Slovenia; Financial instruments, Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI), European Commission

Guarantees and banking supervision. Working group on Banking Supervision

  • Adelio Ferrari, Assoconfidi / Italy

Guarantees and state aid. Working group on State Aid

  • Guy Selbherr, VDB / Germany
  • Barbara Cattrysse, State aid expert, Legal Department, European Investment Bank (EIB)

Guarantees and statistics. Working group on Statistics and Studies

  • Bernard Jehin, SOWALFIN / Belgium
  • Kris Boschmans, Policy Analyst, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs & Local Development (CFE) and responsible for the project ‘Financing SME and Entrepreneurs’, OECD
17h30 – 17h50

Training on guarantees. Operational Training Session

  • Audrius Zabotka, INVEGA / Lithuania
17h50 – 18h00

Concluding remarks and closing of the meeting

  • Bernhard Sagmeister, Chairman of AECM



Meeting of the Global Network of Guarantee Institutions (GNGI)


Transfer to the venue of the gala dinner


Gala dinner: Palacio de Negralejo


2 June 2017

Global Conference on Guarantee Institutions for SME Financing

08h30 – 09h00

Arrival / registration 

09h00 – 09h40

Welcome of the participants and opening statements:

  • Bernhard Sagmeister, Chairman, AECM
  • José Rolando Álvarez, Chairman, SGR – CESGAR
  • Matthew Gamser, CEO, SME Finance Forum
09h40 – 10h00

Session I: A Framework for Measuring Additionality of Credit Guarantee  Schemes (CGSs)

  • Pietro Calice, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, World Bank Group (WBG)
10h00 – 10h15

Coffee break and networking

10h15 – 11h45

Panel 1: Start-ups and Equity Guarantees

Introductory speaker and moderator: José Fernando Figueiredo, Special Honorary Chairman of AECM, Coordinator of the Global Network of Guarantee Institutions (GNGI)

  • Ravi Kiran Malik, Technical Adviser, Rural Finance, Prime Minister’s Office, Government of Tanzania
  • Virginie Poncet, Head of International Consulting Activities, Development and International Affairs Department, Bpifrance, France 
  • Yasushi Onishi, Executive Director of JFC, Japan
  • Gerhard Huemer, Director Economic Policy, European Association of Craft and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (UEAPME)
11h45 – 13h15

Panel 2: Assessing the long-term sustainability of Credit Guarantee institutions, SME Financing Beyond Conventional Lending

Introductory speaker and moderator: Ana Carvajal, Lead Capital Markets Specialist, World Bank Group (WBG)

  • Fernando Hernández Domínguez, Head of Service at the Directorate General for Legislation and Financial Policy, Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, Spain
  • Giuseppe Gramigna, Chief Economist at the Small Business Administration (SBA), USA
  • Nadine Wiedermann-Ondrej, Head of the Directorate Insurance and State Guarantees, DG Economic policy and Financial markets, Ministry of Finance, Austria
  • Nouaman Al Aissami, Deputy director of the Treasury and External Financing Department, Morocco

Group photo and lunch

14h30 – 16h00

Panel 3: Guarantees Institutions for financing specific sectors, esp. agriculture

Introductory speaker and moderator: Panos Varangis, Global Lead for Agricultural Finance and Agricultural Insurance, Finance & Markets, World Bank Group (WBG)

  • Giorgio Venceslai, Executive Director of ISMEA, Italy
  • João Júlio Fernandes, CEO, FGC – Fundo de Garantia de Crédito, Angola
  • Sriya Dayawansa, Director of the Regional Development Department at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka
  • Jorge Eduardo Soto Mejia, Vice president of Guarantees and risks in agricultural sector, Fund for the Financing of the Agricultural Sector (FINAGRO), Colombia
  • Antonio Vega, Vice president of SGR – CESGAR and General Manager, Avalunión, SGR, Spain
16h00 – 16h20

Session II: Improving country credit infrastructure – the G20 SME Finance Action Plan

  • Ghada Teima, Lead Financial Sector Specialist, World Bank Group (WBG)
16h20 – 16h40

Session III: Approaches to Implementing the G20 / OECD High-Level Principles on SME Financing

  • Lucia Cusmano, Senior Economist, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs & Local Development (CFE) and Executive Secretary for the OECD Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship (WPSMEE)

Closing remarks

  • Bernhard Sagmeister, Chairman, AECM
  • Ghada Teima, Lead Financial Sector Specialist, World Bank Group
  • José Rolando Álvarez, Chairman, SGR -CESGAR

AECM annual event 2018 presentation


End of the Seminar

Download the full program

Our Speakers and the presentations

Scroll down to find the presentations under each speaker’s biography.

Nouaman Al Aissami

Deputy director of the Treasury and External Financing Department

Mr Nouaman Al Aissami is the Deputy Director of the Treasury Department, in charge of the
financial sector. He is mainly in charge of developing a sustainable and promoting framework
for financing the economy by the financial sector. It involves designing, monitoring and coordinating
reforms and measures, either institutional, legal, regulatory or incentives, in the areas
of consolidating financial stability, deepening capital markets and improving financial inclusion,
and acts as representative of the Government as a shareholder of public banks and other
public financial institutions
He has a PHD in applied mathematics delivered by the University of Rabat and a Master in Business
Administration delivered by the Institut Supérieur du Commerce et d’Administration des
Entreprises -ISCAE Casablanca- (High Institute of Trade and Business Administration)

José Rolando Álvarez


José Rolando Álvarez Valbuena (Spain, 1956), holds the Presidency of Grupo Norte since 1996, although he began his professional career in the Group in 1981, when it was still a small family business dedicated to providing cleaning services. The Group was founded in 1972 and has now more than 12.000 employees, becoming  the leader in process innovation in Spain, with its businesses on Facility, HR Solutions, Security Solutions, Outsourcing, Social Services  and Insurance Brokerage.

His other roles include, since  September 2014, chairing the Spanish Confederation of Reciprocal Guarantee Societies (CESGAR), which groups the 19 societies operating in Spain, since June 2009, he has chaired the IBERAVAL Reciprocal Guarantee Company, where he has established programs aimed at helping SMEs and the self-employed to deal with their current financing problems. He was also President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Valladolid between  2006 and 2013, being named by the Plenum and unanimously Honorary President of the corporation on April 10, 2014.
From 2011 until 2014 he was a member of the Governing Council of the University of Valladolid and was territorial counselor of MAPFRE Mutualidad and President of the Advisory Board of FREMAP.

José Rolando Álvarez has received several awards and recognitions. The last, the Gold Medal of the Order of the House of Spain in 2015.

Astrid Bartels

COSME Financial Instruments Team Leader
COSME Financial Instruments Directorate-General for Internal Market Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW)
European Commission

Astrid Bartels is a team leader for the COSME financial instruments at the European Commission, DG Grow, SME Access to Finance. Before joining the Commission in 2002, she was consultant for Bain & Company and also a corporate client relationship manager at Deutsche Bank. She has strong competencies in business strategy, holds a Vordiplom in economics from the University of Hagen and obtained an MBA from the University of North Carolina, Kenan Flager Business School, USA.

Kris Boschmans

Policy Analyst
Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs & Local Development (CFE) and responsible for the project ‘Financing SME and Entrepreneurs’ OECD

Kris Boschmans works as a policy analyst for the Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs and Local Development at the OECD. He joined the organisation in 2014 and is responsible for the “Financing SME and Entrepreneurs” project, an annual OECD flagship publication, which gathers and analyses data on SME finance and relevant policies from 37 countries. Previously, Kris worked as an expert on SME finance and broader entrepreneurship issues for the Belgian government and private sector organisations. He holds an MBA from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, and a PhD in applied economics from the University of Antwerp, Belgium.


Pietro Calice

Senior Financial Sector Specialist Finance & Markets
World Bank Group

Pietro Calice is a Senior Financial Sector Specialist with the Finance & Markets Global Practice of the World Bank Group. In his capacity, Pietro manages the financial sector development work program in Libya and Saudi Arabia. He also manages regional and global engagements. In particular, Pietro currently focuses on SME finance, state-owned financial institutions, including credit guarantee schemes, and bank competition policy.

He has written extensively on financial stability and financial inclusion issues. Prior to joining the World Bank Group, Pietro served in different capacities at the African Development Bank, and worked at rating agencies and investment banks as a bank credit analyst. He has an MSc in Banking and Finance, an MPhil in Development Studies and is a PhD candidate in Economics.


Ana Fiorella Carvajal

Lead Financial Sector Specialist
World Bank Group

Ana Fiorella Carvajal is an expert with over 25 years of experience in financial sector issues, with a focus on securities markets regulation and supervision.
Since October 2013, Ms. Carvajal works as Lead Financial Sector Specialist at the Finance and Markets Global Practice of the World Bank Group. Prior to her work at the Bank, she worked as Senior Financial Sector Expert at the International Monetary Fund. Through these positions Ms. Carvajal has helped to form the position of both institutions on the regulation and supervision of securities markets and shadow banking. She has also led policy work for the G20 agenda on the use of capital markets for infrastructure and SME financing. She has provided advisory services on capital markets development and regulation in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, Morocco, Peru, Romania and Turkey. She has conducted assessments of the securities markets as part of financial sector stability assessments for many countries including Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Spain and the United States.
Ms. Carvajal holds a Master degree of Public Administration and a Law degree.

Barbara Cattrysse

Competition Lawyer
European Investment Bank (EIB)

Barbara Cattrysse is a competition lawyer at the European Investment Bank, where she is advising as a State aid expert on the design of project finance involving co-financing from Member States. Previous to the EIB, Barbara worked for 9 years at Directorate General Competition of the European Commission in the areas of banking and SME financing, as well as law firms in Brussels. She has particular expertise in access to finance, EU financial instruments and development banks. She regularly speaks, and has published on these subjects.

Begoña Cristeto

General Secretary of Industry and Small and Medium Enterprises.
Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness. Spain

Begoña Cristeto Blasco has a degree in economics and business from the Autonomous University of
Madrid in 1984. She belongs to the Commercial Technicians and State Economists Corps.
She has been CEO of Enisa, CEO of Invest in Spain, Secretary General of the Spanish Agency for
International Development Cooperation and Economic and Trade commissioner at the Economic and
Commercial Office of Spain in Miami during the period 2000-2004. Previously, she held the positions
of executive director of the Center for Implementation, Support and Communications Network of
Economic and Commercial Offices, and director of the Division of Information Systems of ICEX.
Board of Directors: Mercagalicia, Mercamadrid, Mercasa, COFIDES, INVEREADY, IFEMA, ICEX, Invest
in Spain, CDTI, ENISA, SEPI, Navantia.
She is currently the General Secretary of Industry and Small and Medium Enterprises. Ministry of
Economy, Industry and Competitivenes

Lucia Cusmano

Senior Economist
Centre for Entrepreneuship, OECD

Lucia Cusmano is Senior Economist at the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Local Development and Tourism (CFE) and Executive Secretary to the OECD Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship (WPSMEE). Ms Cusmano has a PhD in Economics from the University of Pavia (Italy) and has completed a Master of Science in Economics at Warwick University (UK). She has authored OECD works on SME financing, SME innovation, SME eco-innovation and green entrepreneurship, and benchmarking of SME and entrepreneurship policy. She has also published extensively in international journals on SMEs, entrepreneurship, innovation, structural change, institutions and economic development in advanced and developing regions.


D V S Dayawansa

Regional Development Department
Central Bank of Sri Lanka

Sriya Dayawansa is the Director in charge of the Regional Development Department of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka which operates with the objective of supporting to achieve inclusive and balanced economic growth, and promoting financial inclusion in the country. She is mainly responsible to supervise functions in the Department under two broad areas of improving access to finance and enhancing financial inclusion through public awareness programmes on financial literacy, capacity building and entrepreneurship development, especially targeting the Micro, Small and Medium scale Enterprises (MSMEs) sectors. In order to enhance access to finance, many concessionary development lending programmes, including credit guarantee schemes, refinance schemes and interest subsidy schemes targeting the development of the Agriculture, Livestock and MSMEs sectors are implemented.

She joined the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in 1986 and during her carrier in the Central Bank she has acquired operational, analytical and administrative experience mainly in the areas of regional development and financial inclusion, statistics, monetary and fiscal sectors, banking and finance, and public debt management in the capacity as a Director of Regional Development, Deputy Director of Statistics Department, and Deputy Superintendent of Public Debt Department.

She obtained her BSc. Business Adm. (Special) Degree with a Second Class Upper Division from the University of Sri Jayawardanepura, Sri Lanka in 1982, Post Graduate Diploma in Economics Development from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka in 1990 and MA in Economics from the Ohio University, Athens, USA in 1993.

She represents officially the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in many high level committees in and outside the Central Bank.

João Júlio Fernandes

FGC – Fundo de Garantia de Crédito

João Júlio Fernandes is the first Chief Executive Officer of the first credit guarantee institution in Angola, the Fundo de Garantia de Crédito (FGC). Established in 2012, the FGC is public owned and besides the credit it guarantees it may also offer counter guarantees to private credit guarantee institutions. The FGC has worked with most commercial banks in Angola and has been instrumental in the availability of finance to agricultural projects. He holds a degree in Economics from Africa University (Zimbabwe), a postgraduate diploma in Management from Universidade Lusíada (Portugal) and a Masters in Finance from the Rochester Institute of Technology (NY, USA), a Fulbright Scholarship. Previously he worked at the External Debt Department of Banco Nacional de Angola (BNA), the central bank, and participated in major post-war reconstruction loans negotiations. At BNA he also worked at the Securities Markets Department and participated in the implementation of the first real-time securities transactions platform. He worked at one of the country’s largest commercial bank, the Banco Africano de Investimentos (BAI), at the Planning and Management Control Office. He’s fluent in Portuguese, English and French and understands quite well Spanish.


Adelio Giorgio Ferrari

Fedart Fidi (Italy)

Adelio Giorgio Ferrari is the Vice President of AECM representative of Assoconfidi, the Association of the Italian Federations of Confidi operating in every economic sector. Confidi issue a mutualistic private guarantee to banks, aimed to support SMEs’ access to finance. They also have an important role as technical means for public Institutions to promote lending to SMEs. Adelio Giorgio Ferrari is the Chairman of the Working Group “Banking Supervision” of AECM, which aims to ensure that guarantee organizations’ support to SMEs’ access to finance does not become less efficient due to a strengthened banking regulation.

José Fernando Figueiredo

Executive President (CEO) of IFD
Special Honorary Chairman of AECM

José Fernando Figueiredo is from the 1st January 2015 the Executive President (CEO) of IFD – Instituição Financeira de Desenvolvimento, the Portuguese SME Promotional Financing Institution.

He was Chairman/President of AECM from 2007 to 2015 and is since 2015 Special Honorary Chairman of this international organization, with the responsibility for the Relations of AECM Outside of Europe. In this role he was Co-founder and Coordinator of the GNGI, the Global Network of Guarantee Institutions, the new network aiming at representing the guarantees industry worldwide. He is also Co-founder of REGAR, the IberoAmerican Network of SME Credit Guarantee Organisations, and Member of the Consulting Council of ALIGA, the Latin American Guarantee Institutions Association.

He is Member of the Task Force for the Design, Implementation and Evaluation of Public Credit Guarantee Schemes for Small and Medium Enterprises, created in an initiative of the World Bank and the First Initiative, as representative of Europe, now working in a definition of Additionality of the Guarantee Schemes and is Member of the “Working Party on SME group” from the OECD, representing AECM.

From 2003 to 2017, he was first CEO and afterwards Chairman and CEO of SPGM, the holding of the Portuguese Mutual Guarantee Scheme that manages the public counterguarantee mechanism. He also helped found SPGM since 1994.  From 2003 to 2017, he was founder, Executive Board Member, Chairman and Executive President of Norgarante, Lisgarante, Garval and Agrogarante – the four Mutual Guarantee Societies (MGS) in Portugal.

Alongside with guarantee activities José was also involved in the VC business as Chairman and partner of 2BPartner VC, a small Venture Capital firm running a start up fund, till the end of 2014, and was one of the founders of Invicta Angels, the Porto Business Angels Network.

Matthew S. Gamser

SME Finance Forum
International Finance Corporation

Matthew Gamser is CEO of the SME Finance Forum, a center for knowledge exchange, good practice promotion and networking for the finance industry, managed by IFC for the G-20 countries’ Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion. The SME Finance Forum today has over 110 banks, fintech companies and development banks from 50 countries as members. Mr. Gamser has over 35 years’ experience in private enterprise and financial sector development. He has worked with commercial banks and non-bank financial institutions in broadening and deepening services to households and enterprises previously lacking formal finance. He has worked with governments and policy-makers on improving the enabling environment and infrastructure for financial sector development, with a focus on financial inclusion and on the role of the financial sector in mitigating the effects of climate change. He has worked for IFC for over 12 years in various positions from Washington, DC, and Hong Kong. He holds A.B. and A.M. degrees from Harvard University, and M.Sc. and D.Phil degrees from Sussex University (UK), where his work focused on the management of technological change.

Thomas Garcia

Honorary Chairman of AECM and SOCAMA (France)

Thomas Garcia has been Associated Member and then Administrator of the Chamber of Crafts from 1975 to 2005 and for the Banque Populaire Occitane he has been Controller then Administrator from 1991 to 2008.
Chairman of SOCAMA from 1977 to 2012, he was also founder of the SOCAMA Midi-Pyrenees in 1994 and in the National Federation of SOCAMAs he was Administrator,  Chairman and Honorary Chairman.

His role in AECM has been very active, as a founding member and Deputy Vice -President, then Chairman from 1996 to 1999 and Honorary Chairman since then.

He has received many awards throughout his career, both for his professional activity  and his musical one, such as the Award for Management in the Crafts sector, the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for the Crafts activity, the Gold medal from the National Council for the Automotive Professionals. He is Knight of the National Order of Merit and Knight of the Legion d’Honneur and Officer of the Legion d’Honneur.

He is currently Manager of GTM Immobilier and is supporting as a volunteer the Microcredit activity of the Association pour le Droit à l’Initiative Economique.

Giuseppe Gramigna

Chief Economist
US Small Business Administration

Giuseppe’s academic research focused on how changes in the financial markets affect small business lending, and labor migration during periods of economic transition. He later worked in the Equity Research Department of a major investment bank, where he focused on natural resource industries.

At the SBA, Giuseppe advises the Agency on economic trends affecting small businesses, and leads research on economic impact evaluations and strategic planning. He serves as the Chair of the interagency Subcommittee on Evaluating Business Technical Assistance Programs (E-BTAP), a group responsible for developing best practices for implementing economic impact evaluations within the U.S. Federal government. He served as the U.S. Permanent Delegate and Vice Chair to the OECD Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship. Giuseppe works with international organizations such as APEC and ASEAN. He severs on the scientific committees of several academic institutions and publications, and is a frequent speaker on the domestic and international arena.

Before joining the U.S. Small Business Administration, Giuseppe headed the consulting firm, DASSI Corp.  His other areas of interest include the construction industries, tourism, information services, and regional economic development.  Giuseppe earned a graduate degree in economics from The New School For Social Research.

Fernando Hernández Domínguez

Head of Service
Directorate General for Legislation and Financial Policy
Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, Spain

Fernando Hernández Domínguez belongs to the High Corps of Spanish State Economist and Trade Experts. Currently he works at the Legislation and Financial Policy Department, where he is in charge of the Spanish policy in regards to securitization and prudential regulation. Before joining the Spanish Administration, he worked at the risk department of an international bank in Germany and in a leading Spanish international law firm. He holds a joint degree in Law and Business Administration from Universidad Pontificia de Comillas – ICADE.

Gerhard Huemer

Director Economic and Fiscal Policy
European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (UEAPME)

Gerhard Huemer is Director for Economic and Fiscal Policy at UEAPME since 1999. His main dossiers are: SME finance and relations to Banks, State aid policy, R&D and innovation policy; economic policy coordination, macroeconomic dialogue, monetary policy and tax policy. Furthermore he is responsible for the UEAPME Study Unit and the Press Office. Before Huemer works as Executive Secretary of the “Economic and Social Council” of the Austrian Social Partners” and at the Economic Policy Department at the Austrian Economic Chamber. He has a Diploma as Economist from the University of Linz, Austria and he publishes twice a year the EU SME Barometer.

Bernard Jehin

Member of the executive committee
SOWALFIN – Belgium

Bernard Jehin is member of the executive committee of Sowalfin, a financial company owned by the Walloon Region Belgium. The Group Sowalfin aims at developing a comprehensive set of financial tools and services to meet the needs of Walloon SMEs during their creation, development and transfer & takeover operations. It also facilitates access to finance for innovation and export projects. Bernard Jehin is also member of the board of Transeo, the European Association for SME Transfer. Previously, he held key positions in Belgian private and public financial institutions. He holds a Master degree in Economics from the University of Namur.

Ravi Kiran Malik

Technical Adviser (Rural Finance)
Prime Minister’s Office
Government of Tanzania

With an Honours Degree in Economics and a Certified Associate of Indian Institute of Banking & Finance, Ravi Kiran Malik has hands on experience of 32 years in the agricultural and rural finance sector in India and Africa. Worked for National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), an apex development finance institution mandated to secure develoment of agriculture and rural areas in India, both on the policy and operational matters, aimed at the development of rural financial institutions (RFIs), rural non-farm sector, microfinance, storage & marketing infrastructure for agricultural commodities, etc.
Working as Technical Adviser (Rural Finance) in the Prime Minister’s Office in Tanzania, for a project funded by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) since February 2014. Also engage with the Bank of Tanzania, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries with a view to addressing the policy, institutional framework and regulatory/supervisory issues pertaining to rural finance (including agricultural and micro finance). Besides, provide advisory support to a few community/cooperative banks, micro finance institutions, networks, academic institutions and development agencies of the government.


Nivelin Noev

Assistant Policy Coordinator
“Unit F3 – Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland, Slovenia; Financial instruments”
Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development
European Commission.

Nivelin Noev is responsible since 2007 for the technical coordination of financial instruments under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) as well as for the relationships between DG AGRI (European Commission) and the European Investment Bank’s Group in the field of agriculture and rural development. He also coordinated axis 3 of the EAFRD in the period 2007-2013 covering rural businesses, tourism, and infrastructural development. He is an author of numerous academic and economic articles and book chapters with a particular impact on the literature of economics of transition.

Yasushi Onishi

Executive Director
Japan Finance Corporation

Executive Director of Japan Finance Corporation, mainly responsible for Credit Supplementation System; Japan Finance Corporation, or JFC, is a policy bank, which is established and 100%-owned by Japanese government to promote SME and individual business. Before he took this position in June 2016, he worked for Inter-American Development Bank as senior advisor to the CFO. He took various governmental positions, since he joined Japanese Ministry of Finance in 1985. He has a MA of Economics from UCLA.

Pedro Pisonero

Managing Director
Iberaval SGR

Pedro Pisonero holds a degree in Economics from the University of Valladolid and a Master Degree in Financial Management from the CESEM, current Institute of Company Directors in Madrid. He started his professional career in 1985 in the field of Mutual Guarantee Institutions at SOTECA SGR, the forerunner of Iberaval, where he remained for four years. Later he focused his professional activity in the area of investment in company capital in the region of Castilla y Leon working for SGR Sodical for 17 years. In this phase, where he then became investment manager, he carried out multiple projects implemented in the Community. He later developed for a period of three years the implementation of the public financing institution of Castilla y Leon region, ADE Financing SA, under the regional government. He was director of investments and took part in the financing of small, medium and large businesses and also represented the company in the boards of parent companies such as Iberaval SGR. In March 2010 he took over the Directorate General of Institutional Relations and Risk Management of Iberaval, which has allowed him to get involved in the daily management of the team, studying the financial needs of small and medium enterprises in the region of Castilla y Leon and La Rioja. Since September 2011 he is the Managing Director and is carrying out an ambitious growth plan. He is also Vice-President of AECM through SGR-CESGAR.

Pablo Pombo González

Founding President of AECM
Secretary General
Iberoamerican Network of Guarantees (REGAR)

Pablo Pombo has a PhD in economic and business sciences and Professor of the University of Cordoba (Spain) and the Order of Civil Merit granted by the Spanish State in 1995 and UNICAJA Economic Research Award in 2007.
More than 36 years of experience in the sector of credit guarantees for SMEs. Founder President of the European Association of Guarantee Institutions (AECM) since 1996 and President of its first Board (1992-96).
Technical Secretary of Ibero-American network of guarantees (REGAR), since 1998, and international guarantees systems consultant. He has participated in over 34 international projects and organizing the American guarantee systems forums annually since 1998.
President of the Spanish Confederation of SGR’s (CESGAR), from 1991 to 1996, at the stage of enactment of the new law 1/94 of the SGR Spanish sector. Member of the Board of the company Spanish counter guarantee (CERSA) (1994-96).
He has participated as a speaker on the subject in numerous international forums in Africa, Latin America and Europe in more than 34 countries.
International consultant systems of guarantees for several multilateral organisations: Spanish Agency of international cooperation for development AECID, Switzerland Agency for development and cooperation COSUDE, International German GTZ cooperation, United Nations Program for Development PNUD, Social Studies Foundation FUNDES, inter-American Bank for development IDB and World Bank.
Participation as expert in the Mutual Guarantee Scheme Workshop, organized by the African Development Bank ADB in Tunisia in 2006.
Member in the World Bank Task Force “Design, implementación and evaluation of public credit guarantee schemes CGS for SMEs” in 2015 and “Additionality Assessment Framework for Credit Guarantee Schemes” in 2017.

Virginie Poncet

Head of International Consulting Activities
Development and International Affairs Department

Virginie Poncet joined Bpifrance in 2002 after 15 years as a business consultant (CSC, Accenture…).

In Bpifrance, she managed the development team covering the entire scope of IT projects of the bank. She then moved on to the business analyst team management for 5 years and joined in 2013 the international consulting activity. The consulting activity created in Bpifrance aims to help the governments and organizations in charge of SME development to acquire best practices in order to create a fertile economic environment.

Bpifrance shares with its worldwide clients, experience and knowledge regarding SME financing. There are 4 lines of consulting as in Bpifrance operations: loans, guarantees, innovation, and equity. International Affairs department provides technical assistance for business model construction or change, organization, processes, risk control (economic and regulatory) and IT system design.

Bernhard Sagmeister

Austria Wirtschaftsservice (aws) – Austria
Chairman of AECM

Since July 2009 Bernhard Sagmeister serves as Managing Director of Austria’s Federal Promotional Bank ”Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH” (aws) and the ERP-Funds (European Recovery Program). Furthermore, he chairs the “aws Venture Funds” and Austria’s “National Foundation for Research, Technology and Development” (NFTE). Bernhard Sagmeister draws on over 20 years of professional experience in the financial and banking industry. From 1994 to 2003 he held various management positions at Kommunalkredit, until he became CEO of Kommunalkredit Public Consulting (KPC) in 2003. Likewise, he has been Executive Director of Austria’s “Environmental and Water Management Fund” for over 6 years. In addition, he gained 3 years of international experience during his posting as CEO at Kommunalkredit Public Consulting in Russia.

Being a graduate of Vienna’s University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (MSc. – Environmental Engineering and Water Management) Bernhard Sagmeister was assigned at different consulting firms, responsible for projects related to structural engineering and urban water management. In addition to his current appointment at AWS Bernhard Sagmeister is affiliated to the supervisory board of the Austrian Bank for Tourism Development (ÖHT), member of “Austria´s External Economic Relations Advisory Board” (Federal Chamber of Commerce, Austria) and board member of Austria’s “Water and Waste Management Association”.

Kristin Schreiber

Director, DG COSME Program
Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW)
European Commission

Kristin Schreiber is the Director in charge of the COSME Programme (fostering the competitiveness of European SME’s) as well as SME, start-up and scale up policy in DG GROW, the DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SME’s of the European Commission.

After Studies of International Relations, Economics and European Law at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris, the University of Kent at Canterbury and the College of Europe in Bruges, she worked as a Graduate Lecturer at the University of Kent in Canterbury and a researcher on the Single Market in Bonn, before joining the European Commission in 1990 where she held a variety of positions. Kristin was appointed to her current position in 2015 after serving as Director for Governance of the Single Market and International Affairs. Previously, she was Head of Cabinet of Employment Commissioner Vladimir Špidla, Deputy Head of Cabinet of Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier and member of the Cabinets of Enlargement Commissioner Günter Verheugen and Competition Commissioner Karel Van Miert. She also served as Head of Unit for International Affairs in the DG for Employment and Social Affairs. Kristin speaks German, French, English and Spanish, some Italian and has notions of Czech and Slovak.

Guy Selbherr

Member of the Board of Directors
VDB, Germany

Guy Selbherr is Member of the board of directors of the guarantee bank of the federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bürgschaftsbank Baden-Württemberg GmbH and CEO of the SME-oriented investment company MBG Mittelständische Beteiligungsgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg GmbH. Guy Selbherr was born in 1965. He trained as lending officer at a co-operative bank. Later he studied business and administration. In 1992 he started working at the guarantee bank of the federal state of Baden- Wuerttemberg, the Bürgschaftsbank Baden-Württemberg. He then became executive assistant. In 2004 he was elected member of the board of directors. At the same time he became CEO of the SME-oriented investment company MBG Mittelständische Beteiligungsgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg. Mr Selbherr is Vice President of the European guarantee association AECM. In June 2014 he was elected President of the association of German guarantee banks VDB, Verband Deutscher Bürgschaftsbanken, in Berlin.

Jorge Soto

Vice President of Guarantees and Agricultural Risks
Fund for the Financing of the Agricultural Sector (FINAGRO)

Jorge Soto is an Attorney at the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana with specialization in commercial law and in the area of general insurance and reinsurance. He has more than 25 years of experience in commercial banking and in the last 5 years he has focused on the second-tier financing system of the Colombian agricultural sector, as well as its risk management instruments such as the Fondo Agropecuario de Garantías and agricultural insurance. He currently serves as Vice President of Guarantees and Agricultural Risks of FINAGRO.


Hans-Herbert Strombeck

Honorary Chairman of AECM

Hans-Herbert Strombeck (73), former chairman of Bürgschaftsbank Nordrhein-Westfalen, Neuss/Germany (1994-2007) and Kapitalbeteiligungsgesellschaft für NRW mbH (Private Equity).
In addition President of VDB Verband Deutscher Bürgschaftsbanken, Bonn/Berlin (Germany, 1996-2007) also Vice-President (1999-2005) and President (2005-2007) of AECM. Among others, co-initiator of the rating system for german guarantee banks and in individual cases consultant in implementing and/or organisation of guarantee systems (Hungary and Dresden/Germany).
Since the beginning of 2008 fortunately retiree.

Ghada O. Teima

Lead Financial Sector Specialist
World Bank Group.

Ms. Teima has over 20 years of financial sector development and consulting experience, of which over ten years are with the World Bank Group on financial inclusion related topics. She currently manages a digital inclusion program and co-leads the SME Finance Practice. She has led IFC SME Finance Advisory Practice globally as well as led the IFC/ World Bank contribution to the G20 SME Finance Working Group, which has supported the G20 Financial Inclusion agenda under the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion since 2010. Previously, she has managed Access to Finance advisory operations in Latin America and the Caribbean and has previously worked in the Middle East and North Africa region on financial inclusion. Prior to joining IFC, Ms. Teima held several positions in the private sector in the areas of corporate finance and management consulting with the former Andersen Consulting and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu International.


László Tóth

Deputy CEO and member of the BoD
AVHGA – Hungary

László Tóth (49) is the deputy CEO and member of the board of the Hungarian Rural Credit Guarantee Foundation (AVHA) overseeing the company’s accounting, IT, credit control and workout activities. AVHA is a guarantee organization which specializes in agriculture and has an existing guarantee portfolio of appr. 500 mio EUR. He has 23 years of experience at various foreign-owned commercial banks in Hungary, primarily in the field of corporate banking and structured trade finance. He received his M.Sc. degree from the Corvinus University (Budapest) in Economics in 1992 and his MBA from MIB School of Management (Trieste) in 1993. He is a deputy member of the board of AECM and chairman of the working group for agriculture.

Panos Varangis

Global Lead for Agricultural Finance and Agricultural Insurance, Finance & Markets
World Bank Group

Panos Varangis is Global lead for agricultural finance within the Finance and Markets GP at the World Bank. Prior to that, Panos led IFC’s work in advising financial institutions to provide financial services to SMEs, agribusinesses and farmers. Before joining IFC, Panos served as the Deputy CEO of the Agricultural Bank of Greece (2004-2009). From 1987 to 2004, he worked at the World Bank in various positions at the International Commodities Division, the International Trade Division, the Bank’s Research Department and finally at the Agricultural and Rural Development Department where he oversaw a global program on commodity risk management. Panos holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Columbia University in New York.

Antonio Vega Pérez

Vicepresidente de CESGAR
Director General, Avalunión, SGR

Antonio Ángel Vega Pérez, es Licenciado en Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales por la
Universidad de Málaga. Inicia su carrera profesional en la docencia, continuando en el sector
de la auditoria para la firma Deloitte. Desde hace más de 20 años desarrolla su actividad
profesional en Avalunión, SGR en diversas responsabilidades como Jefe de Inversiones,
Director de Administración y Control, Subdirector General, y en la actualidad desempeña el
cargo de Director General. Es Vicepresidente de la Confederación Española de Sociedades de
Garantía Recíproca CESGAR desde junio 2013.
Ha desarrollado otras responsabilidades profesionales como: Auditor jefe ISO 9001,
Responsable de calidad ISO 9001, miembro del órgano de Control Interno y Comunicación
(OCIC) para la prevención del blanqueo de capitales, representante de la Entidad ante el
SEPBLAC como responsable en materia de Prevención de Blanqueo de Capitales.
Es coordinador de diversos grupos de trabajo sectoriales (Comisión legislativa, contable y
regulatoria, Comisión para el Proyecto Sectorial de Gestión de Riesgo SICSGR, y Comisión
Informática y de medios), y ha sido miembro de diversas comisiones y grupos de trabajo
sectoriales como Grupo de trabajo Cuaderno 69 de la AEB, Grupo de trabajo de la Comisión
de Financiación de Pymes de la Confederación de Empresarios de Andalucía (CEA).

Giorgio Venceslai

Executive Director
Credit and Development Projects Department
Istituto Servizi per il Mercato Agricolo Alimentare (ISMEA) – Italy

Giorgio Venceslai has the responsibility of ‘Credit and Development Projects ‘ Department at ISMEA. Until 1999, he worked for ten year at the Italian Banks Association following rural credit and the guarantee funds issues. Giorgio is co-author of a book about Basle II and rural credit and is also author of a number of articles and interviews regarding rural finance and financial instruments. He recently worked – as a consultant – implementing a project aimed at designing and developing a State guarantee fund in Eastern Africa.


Nadine Wiedermann-Ondrej

Head of the Directorate Insurance and State Guarantees
DG Economic policy and Financial markets
Ministry of Finance

Nadine Wiedermann-Ondrej is head of the Insurance Law and State Guarantees Division in the Austrian Ministry of Finance, where she is responsible for the regulatory framework of insurance and audit supervision as well the management, implementation and monitoring of state guarantee schemes. Prior to that position Nadine worked in field of export finance guarantees. Before joining the Austrian Ministry of Finance, Nadine worked for 6 years for the Vienna University of Business in the area of taxmanagement and accounting with a strong focus on international taxation. Nadine Wiedermann-Ondrej has studied at the Vienna University of Business, HEC Paris and Hong Kong University, graduating with a doctorate in Business from the Vienna University of Business and a European Management Master (CEMS MiM). She regularly speaks and has published on the above issues. (Photo BMF/Grondahl)

Audrius Zabotka

CEO and Member of the Board

Expert of ‘fi-compass’ expert group to the EC – technical advisory platform for ESIF financial instruments and EaSI microfinance. Before joining INVEGA in 2002, he worked as the Sales Manager, CFO, Deputy CEO, CEO and Member of the board in several private companies operating in food, wood processing and logistic sectors; was a member of the Credit Committee and responsible for business development in DNB Leasing (former Lietuvos zemes ukio banko lizingas). Also worked as consultant for business development and growth financing, was in charge and successfully completed several business acquisitions. Designated national expert to the EC’s working groups which were preparing reports on: Microcredits (2002-2003), Best practice on guarantees and Early-Stage Finance in MS (2004), “Removing obstacles for cross-border investments” (2006).


Presentating the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland

Jillian Mahon, Head of Risk Sharing and Product Development




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