Innovative Blended Finance Solutions for Impact

Tuesday, October 4, 2022 – Tuesday, October 4, 2022
16:00 – 18:30
Centre International de Conférences Genève - Room A
Innovative Finance

This event discusses innovative blended finance solutions globally and how they can achieve scale and reach the next frontier. Moreover, it gives an update on the SDG Impact Finance Initiative since its launch at the Building Bridges Week 2021 including upcoming activities.


Philippe Valahu

CEO, Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG)

Philippe Valahu has 30 years of international experience in infrastructure project and export finance and risk management in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Dominique Paravicini

Head of the Economic Cooperation & Development Division, State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)

Ambassador Dominique Paravicini is the Head of the Economic Cooperation and Development Division and delegate of the Federal Council for Trade Agreements since 1 September 2021.

Sabine Döbeli

CEO - Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF)

Sabine Döbeli has worked in the field of sustainable finance for over 25 years in different roles. After establishing Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF), she took over the role as CEO of SSF in 2014. Previously, she was Head of Corporate Sustainability Management at Vontobel where she was responsible for coordinating sustainability topics at group level and for preparing sustainable investment services. At Zürcher Kantonalbank she built up the sustainability research unit within the financial analysis department and was involved in the launch of various sustainable investment products.

Maya Ziswiler

Chief Executive Officer - UBS Optimus Foundation

Maya Ziswiler is the Chief Executive Officer of the UBS Optimus Foundation, which leverages philanthropic capital to build an impact economy, through high impact programs in education, health, child protection and the environment, with a strong focus on innovative social finance solutions. Beyond grantmaking, the foundation leverages innovative social finance solutions to mobilize and incentivize new and better capital to reach the UN’s SDGs. She spearheaded the Foundation's work on the first Development Impact Bond and impact linked loans, before expanding to a range of different outcomes-based instruments. Ms. Ziswiler joined the Foundation from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria where she was responsible for managing public-private partnerships such as (RED) or the MAC AIDS Fund to provide treatment, care and support for HIV/AIDS and malaria programs in Africa and the Caribbean. Previously, she worked for UNICEF in Peru, building partnerships to support early childhood development programs there. She also brought valuable project management experience from Procter & Gamble in the Middle East and non-profit consulting experience from China. Ms. Ziswiler holds a Bachelor in International Development Management from McGill University in Canada, and an MBA in International Organizations from the University of Geneva.

Liliana de Sá Kirchknopf

Head of Private Sector Development Division - State Secretariat for Economic Affairs

Liliana de Sá Kirchknopf is Head of the Private Sector Development Division in the Economic Development Cooperation Directorate at Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO), promoting a better business environment, access to finance and strengthened skills for the companies to foster entrepreneurship and innovation. Ms. de Sá Kirchknopf has been working for SECO since 1996 in different positions, including as Senior Advisor at the Swiss Executive Directors Office at the World Bank Group in Washington D.C., as private sector development specialist for the International Finance Corporation IFC and as Head of the Swiss Contribution Office in Budapest. She holds a masters in economics from the University of Berne with a minor in political science.    

Leticia Ferreras Astorqui

Portfolio Manager - Allianz Global Investors

Leticia Ferreras Astorqui is a portfolio manager in the Allianz Global Investors’ Development Finance team, which manages over USD 3bn of commitments. She joined AllianzGI in July 2020 to help expand AllianzGI’s presence in Emerging Markets through various development finance strategies. Before working for Allianz Global Investors, Ms. Ferreras Astorqui was in a rotational analyst program at Citi where she ended up working with public sector institutions that focus on promoting exports internationally and support large infrastructure projects globally. This is where Ms. Ferreras Astorqui discovered her passion for infrastructure and energy (i.e. real assets) and the significant positive impact promoting these sectors can have especially in developing countries. She then went on to work in project finance and renewable equity projects but overall, her roles have involved investing in developing countries, across real assets and in cooperation with the public sector.

Kruskaia Sierra-Escalante

Senior Manager, International Finance Corporation IFC

Kruskaia Sierra-Escalante is the Senior Manager of IFC’s Blended Finance Department, managing a pool of contributor funds of over $5 billion focused on accelerating IFC’s engagement in low-income and fragile and conflict-affected countries, climate, infrastructure, gender, small and medium enterprise development, and agriculture.

Laura Hemrika

Global Head Corporate Citizenship & Foundations, Managing Director, Credit Suisse Foundation

Laura Hemrika leads the bank’s global social commitment in financial inclusion, financial education and future skills development. Her work also includes close collaboration with the bank’s client philanthropy and impact investing work, particularly on new investment product development, public-private partnership design and thought leadership initiatives.

Christian Frutiger

Ambassador, Assistant Director General, Head of Global Cooperation Department - Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

Ambassador Christian Frutiger is Assistant Director General at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). He is responsible for five global programmes in the areas of climate change, water, migration, health, and food security, as well as for the financial and strategic engagement with Switzerland’s priority multilateral organisations.

Josien Sluijs

Independent Executive Board President, SDG Impact Finance Initiative

Besides her role as Independent Executive Board President of the SDG Impact Finance Initiative, Josie Sluijs n is also the Managing Director of Aqua for All. She has been active in the field of inclusive finance for over 20 years.

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