Stakeholders and material topics

We actively engage with our stakeholders to find out what matters most to them and improve our decision-making and reporting. We have identified FMO’s stakeholder groups based on the influence they have on FMO’s strategy as well as the extent to which they are affected by that strategy. 

The following table provides an overview of our key stakeholders and how we engage with each of them. It also outlines which topics and subtopics are most material to them.

Stakeholder group



Most Material Topics/Subtopics

Clients - Our clients are companies, financial institutions, private equity fund managers, and infrastructure and energy project developers in developing countries

Regular business meetings, specific events or conferences


Development impact (inclusive development, early stage projects, mobilizing private and public capital )


Financial sustainability


Client satisfaction (product offering)

State of the Netherlands - We were founded as a public-private partnership with 51% of our shares held by the State of the Netherlands, through the Ministry of Finance.

Organized meetings with Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation


Development Impact (inclusive development, early stage projects, additionality )


Financial sustainability


Transparency and accountability

Shareholders - The remaining 49% of our shareholders’ capital is provided by Dutch commercial banks, trade unions and other members of the private sector.

Annual General Meeting of shareholders


Financial sustainability


Development impact (environmentally sustainable development, early stage projects)


Transparency and accountability

Employees - Includes Directors and FMO Management Board

Works council meetings, department meetings, town hall meetings


Development impact (inclusive development, environmentally sustainable development)


Financial sustainability


Environmental footprint (GHG emissions, deforestation)

Investors - Includes Bond Investors, Public Investors and Commercial partners who help us catalyze private capital through syndicated loans.

Roadshows, frequent meetings


Development impact


Transparency and accountability


Business integrity

Partner DFIs - Includes International Financial Institutions and Multilateral banks

Business meetings


Development impact (environmentally sustainable development, inclusive development)


Financial sustainability


Promote ESG best practices

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) - Includes international organizations with corporate/local presence that represent environmental and human rights advocates, knowledge centers and banking whistle blowers.

Specifically, organized meetings


Environmental footprint of FMO’s investments (GHG emissions, deforestation)


Human rights (local stakeholder engagement, land and livelihood)


Development impact (environmentally sustainable development, early stage projects)

Local communities and clients of clients* - As FMO is active in more than 80 countries, we work with NGOs to gain deeper understanding of local community needs.

Ad hoc meetings

Ad hoc


Supervisor and regulator*

Regular organized meetings



Knowledge partners – Universities, NGOs, evaluation partners, etc.

Organized meetings


Environmental footprint of FMO’s investments (deforestation and land use change, Greenhouse gas emissions)


Promote ESG best practices


Development impact (environmentally sustainable development)


* Not included in materiality survey, please refer to How we report

In 2018, FMO’s key stakeholders were asked to rank 14 topics on their importance and the degree to which they believe FMO has an impact on them, as prescribed by Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards. The results are used to guide the reporting process for this annual report. A more detailed explanation of the assessment is included in the How we report section. For a full list of topics and subtopics please see annex Glossary of terms. The results were plotted along two dimensions: the importance to stakeholders (on the vertical axis) and their impact on society, environment and the economy (plotted on the horizontal axis). The top right quadrant represents FMO’s material topics, the topics our stakeholders found to be highly important and very impactful.

The results of the survey provide validation that FMO’s strategic focus and reporting is in line with stakeholder expectations. There is consensus among our stakeholders on the importance of sustainable economic growth, reducing inequalities (both part of Development impact through responsible investing), and climate action (Environmental footprint of FMO’s investments).

Furthermore, our stakeholders confirm the importance of financial sustainability and risk appetite. A strong balance sheet and profitable operations allow us to further increase our investments for impact, but also enable us to attract partners to co-finance the businesses and projects that generate impact, allowing us to act as a catalyst. Finally, the results confirm that being accountable and transparent is conditional to our role as development bank.

The survey also taught us that some areas have become more important and impactful. Stakeholders increasingly expect us to be accountable for the human rights risks in our portfolio. In 2018, we made human rights an integral part of our investment process and published our first human rights progress report.

We have also continued our engagements with the Dutch Banking sector on human rights to further implement the UNGPs through the Dutch Banking Agreement on Human Rights. We recognise that we still have work to do to track the outcomes of our clients’ efforts to respect human rights and will continue to invest in this area.

Another area is business integrity. Stakeholders expect us to ensure our funding contributes to a better world, benefitting the people that need it most. At FMO we take substantial measures to ensure that our investment process as well as employees, clients and partners adhere to high ethical standards. Please refer to the next section that describes our investment process in chapter Our business model for more information on human rights and business integrity.

A third area that has become more important is FMO’s role in promoting ESG best practices. Our stakeholders support our efforts to use our unique position in the Netherlands and our markets to share knowledge and networks, thereby leveraging our impact beyond our financing.