International Finance Development








About IFD












About IFD

IFD was founded in 2007 and since operated by Dr. Birgit Galemann in order to contribute to the enhancement of local financial markets and institutions that serve their local communities.

Her involvement “dates back to the early 1990s, when she was working toward a mathematics Ph.D. in the USA. There she met many Ugandans with whom she discovered a shared commitment to helping that nation’s poorest members. In 1994, doctorate in hand, she spent one month in the far West of Uganda doing research for the establishment of a financial network in the community where the Microfinance Institution Hofokam is now based, (Fieldstudies). She joined Deutsche Bank (DB) later that year and began a career in Market and Credit Risk Management, which has added a firm foundation in finance to her mathematical skills.” ( Article in DB’s Spotlight magazine, Feb07 )

First Birgit was delegated to DB in New York to quantify risk originating from market fluctuations on equity and bond trading positions. Back at the head office in Frankfurt in 1998 she analysed credit portfolio models measuring the economic capital of the bank in particular for retail clients. In her latest role as “Head of the Derivatives Exposure Methodology Group at DB” which she started at DB London in 2002, Birgit was responsible for the methodologically development and implementation of Deutsche Bank’s global credit exposure system for all product areas. Through the successful development of this risk engine especially with respect to its usage in the regulatory capital calculations according to the Basel 2 guidelines, Birgit received special recognition. (For details on these and all activities please click here.)

All the same, she never stopped following up on the progress of the financial programs taking place in the Ugandan community. When the MFI Hofokam was established through a merger of three village banking programs in 2003 and costs were still exceeding income in 2005, she decided to work on-site at the institution during her vacation. At that time she managed to develop a performance model for Hofokam that helped to bring the organization to that crucial break-even mark.     

During the following visits, when working together with the local people be it at the grass root or at management level, Birgit felt that she could contribute so much more through the development of further ideas and applications which would make a difference for the Microfinance Institutions and their clients. In order to be able committing her energy full time to this international finance development work, she therefore decided in 2007 to leave her position at Deutsche Bank.

Soon after starting her work as an independent consultant for the microfinance industry she assessed for GTZ the operational efficiency, outreach and loan pricing of the People’s Credit Banks in Indonesia (BPR). Based on this research she developed a quantitative management tool for the BPR-Industry which was well received by the BPRs and Bank Indonesia’s Directorate of Credit for BPR and MSME. The tool’s concepts and applications are being taught by local trainers across Indonesia. (An article in the magazine MediaBPR Sep-Oct09 tells more about this topic.)