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 public institutions and the Dutch government, supports Dutch businesses and empowers its customers and employees.

Mobilized funds

Mobilizing additional funds is important to finance the needs of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Private sector investments are among the most important sources of financing to support development and growth in low- and middle-income countries. Increasing private mobilized capital is therefore important to FMO.

Description and methodology

Our mobilization efforts are measured in terms of total committed portfolio and mobilized amounts in a given reporting period. Total committed portfolio reflects the risk exposure taken by third parties on active commitments. Mobilized amounts reflect the commitments made by third parties in a given reporting period, which distinguishes between new investments made to customers and transfers of risk from FMO to third parties. We focus on direct mobilization, which are investments made by other public and private participants due to the direct and active role of FMO. Indirect mobilization, where we participate in deals that are led by other Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), is excluded. Direct mobilized funds include commitments made by syndicate partners, FMO loan commitments that have been transferred to a third party (funded risk participation), and credit risk related to specific loan commitments that have been transferred to a third party (unfunded risk participation). It excludes equity investments. Parallel loans fall under the definition of direct mobilization but are excluded from the total committed portfolio figures as payments are administered by each parallel partner in the transaction and, as such, are not known to FMO.


Over the years, we built up a direct mobilized committed portfolio of €2.7 billion (2019: €3 billion). More than half (€1.4 billion) has been mobilized from private participants through our FIM funds and other commercial parties. This is short of our target of €3.2 billion, resulting from lower volumes of new investments of €483 million (2019: €722 million) and the depreciation of the US dollar compared to the euro.

In 2020, our efforts to crowd in more commercial capital towards projects with high development impact have been constrained by the economic crisis following the COVID-19 pandemic. Commercial investors are typically more risk-averse and are less interested in investing in developing and emerging markets at this stage of the crisis. In some cases, this has also led to opportunities for FMO and other DFIs to step in. However, the lower number of deals originating and executed by FMO have resulted in fewer mobilization volumes. Nevertheless, we continued to invest through the FMO Investment Management (FMO IM) funds and a mobilizing vehicle established with Munich Re, which have expressed their ongoing commitment to co-invest in select FMO loans. Below we provide some highlights for each FMO IM fund. 

NN FMO Emerging Markets Loans Fund I | In 2020, we welcomed a German pension fund which committed US$50 million to the fund. In addition to the remaining commitment of US$75 million put in by the Swedish anchor investor Alecta, this resulted in a final close of US$397 million. This shows investors continue to trust FMO’s investment capabilities. By year-end 2020, the fund participated in 50 loans to financial institutions, renewable energy projects and agribusinesses. 

FMO Privium Impact Fund | The fund’s net asset value decreased from US$157 million by year end to US$143 million. Private banks and wealth managers, including founding partner ABN AMRO Private Banking, continued to advise their customers to invest in the fund, though some investors needed to retract (part of) their investment due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. In early 2021, new investor capital is expected to flow into the fund. Though most investors are from The Netherlands, the fund also has investors from for instance Spain, France, and the UK. Since the launch in 2016, the fund has made 87 participations. The fund ended the year with a total committed portfolio of US$129 million, which includes investments in 63 customers mostly in FMO’s focus sectors: Energy, Financial Institutions and Agribusiness, Food and Water.

Actiam-FMO SME Finance Fund | With a net asset value by year end of €133 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. With the end of the fund’s life-time drawing closer (2025), the first cash distributions were made to investors in early 2020. By the end of 2020, the fund still had €125 million invested across 46 financial institutions and will continue to re-invest proceeds in new loans during the first part 2021, if and when loans fit within the fund’s duration.

ASN Green Projects Fund | FMO IM has been an investment advisor to the ASN Green Projects Fund since 2017. By the end of 2020, the fund had participated in a total of seven renewable energy transactions sourced by FMO, bringing the total committed portfolio in FMO loans to US$25 million.

Public funds

Public investment partners allow us to make investments with a higher risk profile and development impact.

Description and methodology

We track the total committed portfolio as well as new investments made using the public funds we manage. This follows the same methodology as FMO funds, as described previously. 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, the Access to Energy Fund (AEF), the Dutch Fund for Climate and Development (DFCD) and MASSIF. With guarantees from the European Commission we were able to set up NASIRA and the FMO Ventures program.

We also manage the Capacity Development program that offers grants to strengthen the organizational capabilities of our customers. Finally, as an accredited entity, we receive funds from the EC and the GCF that are ultimately managed by EDFI Management Company (for ElectriFi, AgriFi) and by Climate Fund Managers for Climate Investor One. Grants provided through the Capacity Development program and funds managed for GCF are excluded from the results.


Through our public funds we have built up a total committed portfolio of nearly €1.1 billion (2019: €1.2 billion). This is short of our target of €1.3 billion and is explained by lower valuations in our equity portfolio, which make up half of the portfolio, and the depreciation of the US dollar. Nevertheless, FMO was able to invest €145 million (2019: €223 million) in high-risk, impactful projects, below the target of €195 million. The deal flow for public funds was less affected by the pandemic in 2020 due to a strong push on public fund customers. Most new customers had already passed the first stage of FMO’s approval process and materialized at year-end. We also provided COVID-19 support to several public fund customers. Below we provide some highlights for these funds. For more information, refer to the separate Fund Reports on our website

Access to Energy Fund | The Dutch government and FMO set up the Access to Energy Fund (AEF) in 2007. AEF supports private sector projects aimed at providing access to energy services. At year end, new investments for AEF amounted to €17 million (2019: €44 million). In 2020, the AEF received a €40 million top-up from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, increasing the total fund size to €150 million. This funding enables us to continue financing companies like Dharma Life, which the fund invested in in 2020. Dharma Life is a social impact enterprise in India selling products such as solar lamps and cooking stoves to rural households. The organization set up a network of more than 16,000 rural entrepreneurs, of which 75% are women. The AEF loan supports Dharma Life’s growth and improves living conditions of rural households while reducing carbon emissions. 

Building prospects | Building Prospects 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. At year end, new investments for Building Prospects amounted to €52 million (2019: €115 million). Despite the COVID-19 crisis, two customers graduated to FMO-A funding. Another customer has requested early repayment because they are able to refinance with more commercial funding. This is good news for Building Prospects and demonstrates its catalytic and ‘upstream’ role in creating bankable projects.

MASSIF | MASSIF reaches end beneficiaries by financing local financial intermediaries and institutions that can contribute to their development. The fund focuses on small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs, women and youth entrepreneurs, as well as supporting innovations in inclusive business. At year-end, new investments for MASSIF amounted to €55 million (2019: €64 million). In 2020, MASSIF provided a €3 million loan facility to Alliance de Crédit et d'Epargne pour la Production Burkina Faso (ACEP BF). This transaction will support on-lending to micro, small and medium sized enterprises and will help improve access to finance in Burkina Faso, a fragile country with a large financially underserved population.

Dutch Fund for Climate and Development (DFCD) | The DFCD was set up in 2019 by FMO, SNV Netherlands Development Organization, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Climate Fund Managers. The DFCD connects the project development expertise of SNV and WWF to the mobilizing and investment power of FMO and Climate Fund Managers. At year-end, new investments for DFCD amounted to €11 million. In 2020, the DFCD funded a US$7.5 million investment in Komaza Group Inc., as part of a US$28 million Series B round with Novastar Ventures East Africa Fund, AXA Investment Managers and Mirova’s Land Degradation Neutrality Fund. Komaza is a forestry company designed to get Kenyan smallholder farmers out of poverty and to address a large and fast-growing wood market in Africa.

NASIRA with EC guarantee | NASIRA is an innovative financial program that supports young, female, and migrant entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa and countries neighboring Europe. Since April 2020, the scope has been expanded to small COVID-19-affected entrepreneurs in the same regions. NASIRA uses guarantees to allow local banks to on-lend to underserved entrepreneurs. The goal is to allow local banks to provide loans to groups they normally perceive as too risky. By sharing risks NASIRA reduces the perceived and real risks of lending to vulnerable and underserved parts of the population. In 2020, FMO made several investments through the NASIRA program. The South African Bank Sasfin, for instance, was the first customer to benefit from the COVID-19 emergency facility. The transaction concerned a seven-year US$35 million facility to support on-lending to COVID-19-affected borrowers in South Africa, and developing and originating new (digital) lending products, specifically targeting youth, female and migrant borrowers.

FMO Ventures Program with EC guarantee | The FMO ventures program was set up last year, combining €40 million in guarantees provided by the European Commission, €60 million in financing from the Access to Energy, Building Prospects and MASSIF funds and €140 million in financing from FMO’s own balance sheet. The funds 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.

At year end, new investments for the VC program amounted to €19.4 million. In 2020, FMO invested amongst others in Aerobotics, a South African AgriTech startup developing intelligent tools to the feed the world. Aerobotics enables tree and fruit farmers not only to monitor their crops but also to increase their overall yield and reduce their footprint, through a combination of satellite and drone imagery coupled with machine learning algorithms. The investment is part of a ZAR250 million Series B round led by Naspers Foundry with participation from the FMO Ventures Program and the Cathay AfricInvest Innovation Fund. The funding will boost international expansion and technological development, as well as support local operations.

Capacity development | To increase our impact beyond our investments, we use our Capacity Development (CD) program to strengthen the organizational capabilities of our customers. The program is financed by FMO and the Dutch state and contributes up to 50% of the cost for external consultants, trainers and experts to facilitate knowledge transfer and the provision of technical expertise. In 2020, we contracted €9.5 million in CD support to our customers (2019: €9.2 million). Demand for CD remains high, with nearly all projects being considered containing an element that addresses or responds to COVID-19. 

Dutch business

Over the years, FMO has made considerable effort to deepen relationships with Dutch corporate customers, increase the visibility of NL Business in the Dutch corporate landscape and in strategic relationship building. We used our Development Accelerator and Project Development Fund to develop new and innovative projects. In 2020, we disbursed €4.3 million, above our target of €3 million. In 2020, we did not close any Dutch business-related investments (2019: €54 million) and did not achieve the €100 million target. The complexity of several large opportunities, which did not materialize. This was further complicated by the COVID-19 crisis.

Through the Development Accelerator Facility, which FMO manages on behalf of the Dutch government, FMO provided development capital among others to four tech-enabled COVID-19 initiatives for the African health sector. One of these is a cloud-based artificial intelligence solution for COVID-19 screening with Delft Imaging in cooperation with Thirona. Based on X-Ray images, an algorithm was developed to screen CT Scan images. The X-Ray solution also includes insights from blood samples, which could help to detect other diseases like malaria and tuberculosis. Over 100 health facilities have signed up for the service of which about 80% in low to medium income countries. More than 15,000 images have been screened since the launch in April.

Invest International

If approved by the Senate of the Dutch Parliament, FMO’s NL Business department will be merged with select international activities of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) into a new organization named Invest International. FMO will hold a 49% stake and the Dutch government the remaining 51%. In 2020, preparations for the establishment of Invest International continued. In September, Joost Oorthuizen was appointed as prospective Chief Executive Officer of Invest International and Ineke Bussemaker as prospective Chair of the Supervisory Board, in close cooperation between the Dutch State and FMO as shareholders. In December, the draft text of the law establishing Invest International was discussed, voted on and approved by the House of Representatives. Key staff from both NL Business and RVO continue to prepare the launch of Invest International in early 2021.

Stakeholder events

FMO co-organized several webinars and exchange platforms to equip customers with the knowledge, connections and expertise to deal with the effects of COVID-19 on their business and community. FMO organized several events for our stakeholders to share expertise, ideas and build new connections. In June, FMO and Rockstart organized the second edition of Finture Solutions, a competition to support Dutch startups and scale-ups that bring positive change in emerging markets across the world in the fields of AgriTech, Clean Energy, and Health. Some 100 people attended a virtual event. Five winners were chosen after an extensive selection process that considered 80 applications and pitches of the top 10 startups. Each winner will receive €125,000 in development capital and support from FMO experts to grow their businesses. 

Customer satisfaction

Each year, FMO carries out a customer satisfaction survey. The results show that FMO continues to have a good relationship with our customers, achieving a 70.2% Net Promoter Score in 2020 (2019: 75.5%) in line with our 70% target. While this represents a decrease compared to 2019, it still puts FMO in the top quartile of professional services organizations. With a satisfaction rating of nine out of ten, customers particularly appreciate FMO’s quality of service. They are also satisfied with our financial products (8.8) and capacity development product suite (8.6). 82% of customers rate their experience with FMO better than with other DFIs, with a majority stating that this is due to their relationship with FMO, and the quality of service. Customers scored us lower on the degree to which they believe to have benefitted from FMO’s international network (7.2). 

Employee engagement

At the end of 2020, we had 627 internal staff, all of whom are covered under the collective labor agreement (2019: 601 employees). FMO invests in the well-being and development of its employees which in turn helps us realize our strategic objectives.

The 2020 Employee Engagement Survey returned an average score of 7.1 (2019: 7.4), below our ambition of 8.0. On average, employees indicated that they are passionate about FMO’s mission (proud to be ‘making a difference’) and enjoy working for FMO and with their colleagues. Areas to improve included addressing undesirable behavior across all layers of the organization, starting with management, stronger connection between staff and senior management and efficiency in the way we work.

As mentioned, the approach taken by leadership during implementation of the strategic agenda caused increasing tensions. This impacted our staff and employee engagement. Amidst the lockdown and measures that were in place, we needed to find a way to share divergent perspectives, emotions, and experiences through screens, while the situation really called for in-person conversations.

What became painfully clear is that we needed to change how we interact with one another, and that these changes were, in fact, long overdue. Several initiatives – such as continued, more frequent Open Dialogues in various forms – took place to ensure that opinions could be heard, experiences could be addressed, and follow-up could be given as and where needed. Our Speak-Up policy and our internal Grievance and Complaint mechanisms, which help us to monitor the effectiveness of the code of conduct, have also been reviewed and updated. In addition, the role of our Confidentiality Counsellors has been clarified. The Management Board and the HR department intensified engagement with the Works Council. We further embedded Open Dialogues in the regular engagement flow in our organization and they will continue in 2021 alongside a company-wide program called Culture Conversations. With this program, we decided to intensify the focus on workplace behavior, feedback, unconscious bias, diversity and inclusion; this decision followed feedback given that showed that these topics required significantly more attention in the near-term. Together these initiatives will continue to help us to connect across the organization, and to create an open environment in which all FMO colleagues trust that they can express their opinions, suggestions, and feedback.

We continued to 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 2020, 283 courses and trainings (2019: 216 courses) were followed by 492 employees (2019: 592 employees). In addition, 565 employees followed one or more trainings or modules on various Compliance and KYC-related topics. Part of these trainings were directly related to the role of the employee and were compulsory.

FMO aspires to be a diverse and inclusive employer. Last year we published a Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) statement in which we express our commitment to an inclusive and diverse society in which everyone feels valued, respected and included. At FMO we strive for diversity at all levels of our organization. We do our utmost to create an inclusive working culture for our employees and our stakeholders. We promote diversity of gender, gender identity and sexual orientation, culture (topics around ethnicity and race), age and generations and people with occupational disabilities. 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 customers and more impact on the world. FMO holds an EDGE certification (Economic Dividends from Gender Equality), the leading global standard for gender equality in the workplace.

As we believe we need to practice what we preach, we want to be transparent about how we perform on key performance indicators (KPIs), starting with Gender Equality (SDG 5). Since 2019, we are 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, 2020






Employees in senior and middle management per December 31, 2020






2. Staff growth

New joiners January - December 2020 (headcount)






Net growth percentage





3. Turnover

Number of leavers January - December 2020 (headcount)






Turnover percentage (based on total headcount at beginning of reporting year)





4. Reward

Gender Pay Gap: FMO conducts periodically (at least once per year) quantitative research to compare men and women’s salaries, while correcting for part-time work, salary scale, age and tenure to have a fair comparison. The outcome of the (multiple linear regression) analysis with reference date 1 April 2020, showed that there is no sufficient evidence to claim that men and women at FMO are not equally awarded for equal work.


5. Bonuses

Share of bonus amount paid in 2020





6. Promotions

Promotion ratio January - December 2020





7. Engagement

Engagement score based on latest survey (September 2020)





Furthermore, FMO has international staff, representing 55 different nationalities. More than one-third of our employees were born outside of The Netherlands and thirty percent of employees has a nationality other than Dutch. In 2020, 63 employees participated in cultural diversity training at our FMO Academy (2019: 70 employees). It is crucial to create a climate where people of different backgrounds feel comfortable expressing their opinions. Accepting diverse cultures starts by being aware of one’s own.

Other FMO employee statistics


Dec 31, 2020

Dec 31, 2019

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