Main points of attention

FMO experienced changes at the top. In 2017, Jurgen Rigterink became FMO’s new CEO and in October 2017 Fatoumata Bouaré joined FMO as CRFO. A few months into his new role, however, Mr. Rigterink announced he was to leave FMO by the end of March 2018. The Supervisory Board would like to acknowledge CIO Linda Broekhuizen for the excellent way in which she took the helm and kept the ship steady while the Supervisory Board began the search for a new CEO.

We felt that FMO was in need of a CEO capable of developing the internal organisation and preparing it for an increasingly challenging environment. Out of more than 50 candidates we chose Peter van Mierlo, who in spite of not having a background in development finance, brought a wealth of experience with organisational change. FMO welcomed Mr. van Mierlo in June of 2018 and the Supervisory Board is pleased to see the energy and complementarity displayed by the now complete Management Board.

This was evident in the way the Management Board accelerated the implementation of the internal change programme initiated to improve FMO’s ability to serve clients efficiently and effectively. Internal change is also needed in light of a rapidly evolving environment and changing expectations from our stakeholders.

This aligns with the publication in 2018 of the Dutch government’s inspiring new vision on sustainable development. The June visit of Mrs. Sigrid Kaag, Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, to FMO’s offices was symbolic of the closer relationship we are developing with the Dutch government and the key role the Dutch government sees for FMO in its own international agenda. An example is the call made on FMO to play a role in the development of Invest-NL, a €2.5 billion fund designated for Dutch businesses seeking to invest in sustainable development projects in the Netherlands and elsewhere in the world. FMO was called to play a key role in organizing the activities of Invest-NL that will support Dutch companies to invest in emerging and developing countries.

FMO is actively engaged in strengthening the cooperation between the European development finance institutions through EDFI. In a world in which the US-based IFC has considerable clout and a growing volume of Chinese investments is entering Africa, it is important that European DFIs join forces.