The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
Advisory committee for S3I investments appointed
UNOPS has finalized the selection process for the advisory committee* on investments for its Sustainable Investments in Infrastructure and Innovation (S3I) initiative.
Known as the Advisory Group on Investments (AGI), the ten committee members are renowned experts in their fields and UNOPS is excited to welcome the knowledge and resources that each member brings to the team from the experience they have accumulated in the course of their career. For the new members, being part of the S3I AGI will give them the opportunity to make a real impact on people’s lives all over the world.
Based in Helsinki, Finland, S3I is specifically designed to support the UN Secretary-General’s Roadmap for Financing the 2030 Agenda by channelling private financing into two key priorities: infrastructure and innovation. S3I sustainable investments aim to provide affordable housing and clean energy to millions of people and boost innovative startups that are dedicated to finding solutions to acute global problems.
The tasks and responsibilities of the AGI include assisting the S3I Chief Executive and the team in strategy, policy development, partnership building, project origination and evaluation. The terms of reference for the AGI can be viewed here.
*Committee in this context should not be inferred to mean that this body has any decision-making powers as the Advisory Group on Investments does not have any such authority.
Members of the S3I Advisory Group on Investments
Mr. Bart Le Blanc acts as chair of the AGI. Mr. Le Blanc has more than 25 years of experience as an international banking executive. He has also worked extensively with the government of the Netherlands, where he has also served as a board member of national pension funds. In the 1990s, he served as the first Secretary-General of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and later as a Vice-President. Since 2016, Mr. Le Blanc has led the UNOPS Investment Committee.
Ms. Ifeoluwa Elizabeth Fashola, who started her career in the City of London, has over two decades of experience in the financial services and investments industry, working with the private sector as well as governments. She specializes in Africa, currently working as Group Chief Executive Officer of Kedari Capital Limited, an investment banking firm in Nigeria.
Ms. Valerie Dujardin has more than 20 years of experience in the impact investing industry. Specializing in developing markets, she has an in-depth understanding of public-private partnerships and a strong network of both public and private international lenders. She worked several years for the French development finance institution, Proparco, and in 2006 she joined Symbiotics, a Swiss-based impact investing platform. More recently she has worked with startup incubators and venture capital funds promoting sustainable business.
Mr. Gregor Paterson-Jones is an independent investment professional, specialized in impact, clean energy and infrastructure. He has a long career as a principal investor, and he has held positions of trust in numerous investment committees of international funds. He currently advises several international organizations, including the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, UN Capital Development Fund, UN Development Programme, Boston Consulting Group and the World Bank.
Mr. Eddie Chen’s 30-year career path spans sectors and functions, ranging from UN senior staff to diplomat and executive. He has worked in the USA, Sweden, France and now works in China, as managing director and head of China/Asia for EURAZEO, a leading French private equity company. He also manages a €1 billion France-China Cooperation Fund focusing on Sino-European Union cross-border investments.
Mr. Robert van Zwieten has three decades of experience in global finance, sustainable development and emerging markets. He has held senior leadership positions in organizations such as the Asian Development Bank, General Electric, Lehman Brothers and Singapore Exchange. Mr. van Zwieten currently works as managing director for the Asia-Pacific region of Convergence, a global network for blended finance, and a pro bono ambassador for the World Benchmarking Alliance.
Mr. Dominic Kiarie is an entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in financial services and infrastructure-related businesses. Building his career in sub-Saharan Africa and the United Kingdom, he has held senior management positions and served on several boards of directors in the public and private sectors. Mr. Kiarie currently acts as group Chief Executive Officer of Century Asset Management Ltd, a pan-African alternative asset management holding company.
Ms. Julie Abrams started her career in microfinance and has more than 25 years of experience in impact investing in more than 40 countries. Ms. Abrams holds several positions of trust and has authored over 25 impact investing publications and participated in 12 industry standards-setting groups. She currently serves as investment lead at CATALYZE Palladium Group, and she is also the founder and managing director of Impact Investing Analytics.
Ms. Jessica Tan acts as Co-Chief Executive Officer of the Ping An Group and is also a member of the Group’s Executive and Investment Management Committees. She has been a partner at McKinsey & Company in the United States and Asia for 13 years. During her extensive career, she has worked with leading financial companies and regulatory authorities in 15 countries, focusing on strategy, innovation, operations and technology.
Mr. Martin Illner’s extensive experience spans from strategy consulting at Bain and McKinsey & Company to impact investing for the United Kingdom’s development finance institution, CDC. At CDC, he helped manage a pilot, where he was responsible for energy and technology projects in sub-Saharan Africa. He also has experience in running companies and subsidiaries, working with startups and co-founding a number of his own digital ventures. Mr. Illner currently works with Creative Dock, a pan-European company builder.