Deeper relationships

FMO attaches strategic importance to deepening relationships with our stakeholders, because by pooling resources and partnering with others we can significantly increase our impact. As part of these efforts, FMO mobilizes and blends funds, builds partnerships, manages funds on behalf of the Dutch government, supports Dutch businesses and empowers its employees and clients.

Mobilized funds

Our efforts to crowd in more third-party capital towards projects with high development impact have resulted in €868 million of mobilized funds at the end of 2019 (2018: €629 million). This is short of our target of €960 million. The divide between public and private mobilized funds was roughly 50-50. Although FMO performed better compared to last year, we continue to experience high liquidity in certain syndication markets. This makes it harder for FMO to find investment opportunities that meet our impact and financial criteria. FMO is looking for other opportunities involving smaller syndicated transactions. In addition, we have contracted an Unfunded Risk Participation Program with Munich Re and are preparing for a new impact fund with another insurance company to create new mobilizing opportunities. 

In 2019, together with Proparco and OPEC Fund for International Development we successfully closed a US$100 million syndicated deal with the diversified agribusiness supply change manager and trader ETC Group, which operates and manages more than 460 warehouses and more than 120 processing plants globally. The facility will be used to expand the supply chain infrastructure and local processing capacity in Africa. FMO will assist in the improvement in E&S risk management of ETC Group through training of local E&S managers in the various countries in Africa.

FMO Investment Management

FMO Investment Management B.V. (FMO IM) is a 100% subsidiary of FMO. Its purpose is to build and grow investment management services for professional investors. By the end of 2019, FMO IM had €452 million (2018: €371 million) of assets under advisory. The main contributors to this growth were the NN-FMO Emerging Markets Loans Fund and the FMO Privium Impact Fund.

NN FMO Emerging Markets Loans Fund

In 2019, we welcomed a Dutch foundation as a new investor and an increase of a French investor resulting in total investor commitments of US$272 million (2018: US$250 million) by the end of 2019. Ongoing marketing efforts in The Netherlands, Sweden and Germany led to serious interest from a German pension fund. Including a remaining commitment from our Swedish anchor investor Alecta, this will enable a next close in early 2020 that will bring the fund size to around US$400 million. By year-end 2019 the fund participated in 37 loans to financial institutions, renewable energy projects and agribusinesses with commitments totaling US$169 million.

FMO Privium Impact Fund

Thanks to a steady monthly inflow of new investor commitments, our FMO-Privium Impact Fund increased to US$157 million by year end (2018: US$131 million). Private banks and wealth managers including founding partner ABN AMRO Private Banking advised their clients to invest in the fund. Though most investors are from The Netherlands, we also welcomed investors from Spain and the UK. The fund ended the year with a loan portfolio of US$143 million across 62 clients and our focus sectors financial institutions, energy and agribusiness.

Actiam-FMO SME Finance Fund

With a net asset value by year end of €175 million, the fund participates in FMO loans to financial institutions to improve access to finance for emerging markets-based SME companies. Investors are mostly medium-sized Dutch pension funds and insurance companies. By the end of 2019, the fund invested €157 million in 49 financial institutions and continued to re-invest proceeds in new loans during 2019.

ASN Green Projects Fund

FMO IM has been an investment advisor to the ASN Green Projects Fund since 2017. By the end of 2019, the fund participated in six new renewable energy transactions sourced by FMO, bringing total commitments to FMO loans by the fund to US$20 million.

Public funds

Public investment partners allow us to do investments with a higher risk profile and development impact. Our public investment partners are the Dutch state, the European Commission and the Green Climate Fund. On behalf of the Dutch state, we manage Building Prospects, Access to Energy Fund (AEF), the Dutch Fund for Climate and Development, MASSIF and the Capacity Development program. With guarantees from the European Commission we set up NASIRA and the Venture Capital program. In 2019, we invested a total of €297 million (2018: €135 million) through public funds, exceeding our €195 million target.

NASIRA with EC guarantee

We launched the first risk-sharing facility, as a pilot under FMO’s NASIRA program. With MASSIF funding, FMO provided €1 million in risk-sharing to Tamweelcom, Jordan’s second-largest micro finance institution. They will use this money to provide loans to Syrian refugee entrepreneurs, who need working capital for their small business, such as a cafe or hair salon. This deal comes one year after FMO was selected by the European Commission to manage the program, which includes up to €75 million in guarantees and €8 million in technical assistance for entrepreneurs in Africa and the European neighborhood, with a focus on young, female and migrant entrepreneurs. Prior to NASIRA, financial institutions would consider refugees to be too risky, while the contracting process would be too complex. 2019 was a pilot year for NASIRA and FMO intends to scale up in 2020. In addition to signing the first NASIRA guarantee, FMO and the European Commission signed a €4 million technical assistance facility to support the NASIRA program and its beneficiaries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Venture Capital Program with EC guarantee

In 2019, we signed an agreement with the European Commission, which will provide €40 million in guarantees to our Ventures Program. The program will receive an additional €60 million from its Access to Energy, Building Prospects and MASSIF funds, as well as €140 million from FMO’s own balance sheet. In total, the program will have €200 million at its disposal. This will be used to invest in early-stage, technology-enabled businesses, technical assistance and the development of venture capital ecosystems in emerging markets. The EC’s guarantees will allow FMO to take an equity stake in risky but growing companies, so they can become bankable and scalable in two to three years.

Access to Energy Fund

The Dutch government and FMO set up the Access to Energy Fund (AEF) in 2007. It supports private sector projects aimed at providing access to energy services. New commitments for AEF amounted to €43 million in 2019. AEF and Building Prospects together with Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and Climate Investor One (CIO) provided US$100 million to Djibouti Wind LP to construct and operate a 60 MW windfarm in the Ghoubet area, near Lake Assal, Djibouti. US$25 million was invested by AEF and Building Prospects, the remainder by AFC and CIO. This project will help to facilitate a clean energy shift in Djibouti by providing sustainable energy and reducing the reliance on domestic thermal power production and power imports.

Building Prospects

Building Prospects (previously Infrastructure Development Fund) was established in 2002 by the Dutch government and FMO. Building Prospects supports investments in the overall agribusiness value chain. A value chain is strong when it has access to energy, water, logistics and transport, while climate resilience and gender equality are additional factors that make a supply chain sustainable.

New commitments for Building Prospects amounted to €101 million. Building Prospects partially funded the expansion of the Yalelo Tilapia farm with a US$11 million loan in Zambia. Yalelo employs 800 people and provides smallholder tilapia farmers with training. Local food production means Zambia needs to import less food, while tilapia has a much lower carbon footprint than beef, pork and poultry. 


We manage the MASSIF fund on behalf of the Dutch government. MASSIF reaches out to end-beneficiaries by financing local financial intermediaries and institutions that can contribute to their development.

New commitments for MASSIF amounted to €64 million. We provided Maha Agriculture Public Co. Ltd with a €2.6 million loan with which it can support farmers and small business owners in rural Myanmar. MASSIF funding was also used to invest in the Small and Growing Businesses (SGB) Fund, which is managed by impact investment fund manager GroFin. Our investment is earmarked for funding small and growing businesses owned and run by female entrepreneurs across Africa. GroFin received €9 million, with €5 million (including ZAR 25 million) coming from FMO-A and €4 million from MASSIF. MASSIF funding has been used to take on a higher risk, for instance by strengthening the equity base of the fund to reduce risk for debt investors.

Capacity Development

To increase our impact beyond our investments we use our Capacity Development program to strengthen the organizational capabilities of our clients. The program is financed by FMO and the Dutch state and contributes of up to 50% of the cost for external consultants, trainers and experts to facilitate knowledge transfer and the provision of technical expertise. Together with the Dutch Central Bank we supported a Certificate Program for Bankers in the Caucasus region. Sucafina, one of the leading coffee merchants in East Africa, received support from FMO on the first phase of development of its Farmer Hub initiative aimed at improving the livelihood of farmers in six countries in East Africa.

Dutch Fund for Climate and Development

In 2019, FMO, SNV Netherlands Development Organization, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Climate Fund Managers won a tender to manage the €160 million Dutch Fund for Climate and Development (DFCD). This is the first time we have ever worked with NGOs in this way and marks our foray into a new kind of business model. The DFCD connects the project development expertise of SNV and WWF to the mobilizing and investment power of FMO and Climate Fund Managers.

Climate Investor One

In 2015, FMO and Phoenix InfraWorks established the Climate Investor One (CIO) blended finance facility to encourage private sector investment into renewable energy projects in developing countries. CIO is a joint venture between FMO and Sanlam InfraWorks, a formal cooperation between Phoenix InfraWorks and Sanlam of South Africa, and is managed by Climate Fund Managers. In 2019, CIO closed at a higher-than-expected US$850 million. US$100 million was committed by Green Climate Fund (GCF). Investments include a wind park in Vietnam, a hydro project in Uganda and other high-risk projects across the planning, development and construction phases. CIO has adapted FMO’s ESG standards and its ESG team works closely with ours. For more information about the governance of CIO, refer to our website.

Dutch business

During 2019 considerable effort was made in deepening relationships with Dutch corporate clients, increasing the visibility of NL Business in the Dutch corporate landscape and stepping-up in strategic relationship building.

In 2019, a total of €47 million Dutch business-related investments was made (2018: €30 million). €39 million related to investments in the Agribusiness, Food & Water sector, including loans provided to Yalelo and Ivory Cocoa Products S.A. In addition, a US$30 million Framework Agreement was signed with Argentina's Banco de Inversión y Comercio Exterior, offering improved access to that market for Dutch businesses. Framework Agreements are part of our business proposition and focuses on improving opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprises. We did not meet the €100 million target due to the complexity of several large opportunities, which did not materialize as expected. During 2019 we continued to build relationships within the Dutch private sector and our partners which offers prospects for the future.

The Project Development activities of NLB secured a total of 12 transactions on three continents and in the sectors Water, Food, Health and Climate. The transactions were funded by the Development Accelerator and Partnership for Development Facility, both funded by the Dutch Government. Five of these transactions were the result of the Finture Solutions event, where we support Dutch small business with financing and financial expertise to aid them in their ambitions to create impact.

Invest International

The year 2019 also brought us more clarity about the future of the NL Business activities. The department will be merged with select international activities of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and the resulting joint venture will be named Invest International. FMO will hold a 49% stake and the Dutch government the remaining 51%. The formal procedure has started for the establishment of Invest International, including the development of its administrative laws and objectives. In addition, to ensure compliance with EC regulations, we are seeking green light from Brussels.

We aim to establish Invest International by the end of 2020. It will have a €800 million budget available for financial instruments to support Dutch businesses exporting to and investing in developing countries. Invest International will place strong emphasis on ESG standards and on partnerships with a range of Dutch stakeholders, as it will also operate on the basis of additionality. Building on the work of FMO and RVO, Invest International will seek to contribute to the SDGs with a more broadly defined scope to create impact on the world.

NL Business will support the VNO-NCW Africa strategy. FMO actively contributed to and supports the Africa Strategy for the Netherlands as designed by Dutch employers' organization VNO-NCW, NABC, NLinBusiness, PUM and DECP. The untapped potential for growth development on the continent creates vital investment opportunities for Dutch businesses. In March 2020, FMO will organize a CEO-level event for multinationals and SMEs with an interest in doing business in Africa.

Stakeholder events

FMO organized several events for our stakeholders to share expertise and build new connections. FMO joined forces with INSEAD, the Business School for the World, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to bring together 42 senior-level executives of financial institutions from FMO’s global client base. The Masterclass program ‘Strategy for Financial Services in the Digital Age’ combined world-class education and peer exchange, with exposure to innovations in fintech, banking and regulation at the Singapore Fintech Festival. Together with the non-profit ACCION and venture capital firm Quona Capital, FMO also organized the Fintech for Inclusion Global Summit. This brought together 250 fintech leaders, investors and financial institutions from around the world to talk about ways to increase financial inclusion. FMO further hosted the pilot of the F€mpower Your Growth program, which supports the career of female entrepreneurs and experienced bankers. FMO organized the program with ABN AMRO, ING, Rabobank, Better Future and The Next Women NL. Her Royal Highness Queen Máxima attended.

Other events that FMO organized were the DFI Portfolio Management Conference, which attracted 50 bankers from 20 DFIs. We also organized the kick-off event of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. Some 50 professionals and gender finance thought leaders made seven recommendations for increasing female entrepreneurs' access to finance. The organizers will work together to put these recommendations in practice.

Together with Rockstart, a European startup accelerator, FMO organized the Finture Solutions competition for most promising Dutch business idea in agriculture, water and energy. Out of 100 submissions, five were selected for a €125,000 prize towards the development of their business model and a pilot.

Client satisfaction

We continue to uphold a good relationship with our clients. In December 2019, we conducted a client satisfaction survey in which clients awarded us a 9.0 (2018: 8.5) on overall satisfaction. Our Net Promotor Score reached 75.5 (2018: 69.5), which is above our target of 70. The scores reflect an improvement on almost all aspects that determine client satisfaction. The most notable improvements were for reliability, lead time and proactivity. Clients are likely to continue doing business with FMO in the future (9.2) and score us highest on professionalism (9.1) and reliability (9.0). Similar to previous years, we continue to score lower on lead time (6.7) and flexibility (7.4). 

Employee engagement

By year-end 2019, our internal staff amounted to 601, all of whom are covered under the collective labor agreement. FMO invests in the wellbeing and development of employees because this contributes to our ability to realize our objectives. The average score from the 2019 employee engagement survey was 7.4, comparable to 2017 and 2018 but below our target of 8.0. On average, employees indicated that they are passionate about FMO’s mission and enjoy working for FMO. There are also points to improve, such as efficiency in the way we work.

We encourage employees to develop themselves through internal and external training. Our FMO Academy offers various trainings and courses, from personal development to banking knowledge. In 2019, 216 courses and trainings were followed by 592 employees.

Last year we defined four values and corresponding behaviors that underpin our culture: making the difference, diversity, quality and integrity. We organized various events, dilemma and team sessions for staff to discuss what these values and behaviors mean in practice. These activities will continue in 2020.

FMO has the ambition to be a diversity and inclusion (D&I) leader in The Netherlands and among DFIs. Diversity is something our clients and stakeholders find important, too. FMO promotes diversity of culture, age and gender across the organization. We believe a diverse workforce produces better, more balanced decision-making and enhances creativity and innovation. All of this leads to better solutions for our clients and more impact on the world. In 2019, FMO renewed its EDGE certification. Economic Dividends from Gender Equality (EDGE) is the leading global standard for gender equality in the workplace. Certification requires a rigorous external assessment of the workplace against international best practice. 

As we believe we need to practice what we preach, we want to be transparent about how we perform on key performance indicators (KPIs) for Gender Equality (SDG 5). In 2019, we committed to reporting on our performance on seven gender diversity KPIs, in the areas of gender balance, recruitment, turnover, reward, bonuses, promotions, and engagement.

7 Gender diversity & inclusion metrics





% female

1. Gender balance

Total number of employees per December 31, 2019






Employees in senior and middle management per December 31, 2019






2. Staff growth

Net growth January - December 2019 (headcount)





Growth percentage





3. Turnover

Staff turnover January - December 2019 (headcount)





Turnover percentage (based on average total headcount)





4. Reward

Gender pay gap based on simple average salary per group


(minus means average salary for women is lower)


Senior management (salary scale 13-15)



Middle management (salary scale 12)



Staff (salary scale 4-11)



5. Bonuses

Share of bonus amount paid in 2019





6. Promotions

Promotion ratio January - December 2019





7. Engagement

Engagement score based on latest survey (October 2019)





Other FMO employee statistics1


Dec 31, 2019

Dec 31, 2018

Number of internal employees



Number of internal FTEs



Percentage non-Dutch employees



Number of nationalities







Number of external employees



Total number of internal and external employees



  • 1 In 2019, we changed the method to report the number of employees per end of the period to exclude the employees who are leaving FMO on the last day of the period. Numbers per year-end 2018 have been adjusted for comparability purposes. 

In 2019, FMO became more international. More than one-third of our employees were born outside of The Netherlands and every fourth employee has a nationality other than Dutch. In total, our colleagues represented 57 nationalities. Accepting diverse cultures starts with being aware of one’s own. It is crucial to create a climate where people of different backgrounds feel comfortable expressing their opinions. In 2019, 70 employees participated in cultural diversity training at our FMO Academy.