Omtrix characterizes by spotting regional needs unattended by the industry and by then structuring initiatives that address those needs, and by supporting inclusive financial systems through financial and/or technical support for regional financial institutions, and also through direct support by means of consulting services.
The Higher Education Finance Fund (HEFF) aims at mobilizing educational loans for the low- income population segments of Latin America. The Fund offers and delivers technical support to microfinancial institutions and other financial intermediaries serving the most vulnerable population segments so that these institutions can use the financing from HEFF to finance their educational loan portfolio. HEFF is managed from Costa Rica by Omtrix Inc.
HEFF is the first Microfinance Fund entirely devised to venture in the educational credit market with the mission of showing that educational loans can be a viable financial product with an impact perceivable both from a financial and social stand point. By using an innovative approach to the educational credit methodology and by working through our contact network of MFIs throughout Latin America, HEFF has supported students lacking the resources to pay for their education but who do have the ambition and motivation to become professionals. It has been shown this way that the financing of students does contribute to the economic growth of the countries participating in the Program.
Calmeadow is a Canadian Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), managed by Omtrix, which has supported innovating ideas in microfinances for over 30 years. The initiatives supported by Calmeadow have contributed to the promotion of greater levels of performance and reach through the provision of commercial financial services to low income borrowers and small and micro businesses. Founded by a Canadian philanthropist family, Calmeadow has generated a great impact in the global microfinance industry.
Over time the role of Calmeadow has evolved in sync with the great development of the microfinance industry. Calmeadow was restructured by downsizing and by refocusing on interventions that specifically target the eliminations of barriers affecting the financial inclusion sector – a constantly changing one. The aim of the Charity is to promote the most appropriate and efficient financial services for low income people and their businesses, through the strengthening of the financial institutions that serve them.
Since inception, Calmeadow has invested in several institutions in Latin America, Africa and also in other parts of the world. Nowadays, the Charity also supports other initiatives aimed at addressing the key issues of the financial inclusion sector.
ProFund has provided capital and quasi-capital resources to eligible financial institutions striving to grow and improve their operations through the achievement of a larger and sustainable scale.
Profund invested in twelve institutions in ten countries of Latin America and the Caribbean; it also provided them support in corporate governance allowing them to operate in a high growth but unstable environment. The portfolios of the institutions that benefited from an investment from Profund experimented expansions ranging from US$ 86 million to over US$ 800 million. Over 900,000 micro and small businesses were serviced by those institutions. As a fixed term close-ended capital Fund, ProFund was successfully liquidated after ten years. This surprised many at the time, given that all investments and the Fund itself were liquidated according to the pre-defined plan, generating a final yield of 7% which exceeded the expectations of investors.
EMERGENCY LIQUIDITY FUND
The Emergency Liquidity Fund (ELF) was created in August 2013 as an alternate option for MFIs facing temporary liquidity problems caused by an external factor such as a natural disaster or a systemic financial crisis. Omtrix was responsible for structuring and managing the Facility during its 11 years of operations.
ELF acted as a debt financing source of last resort for over 51 MFIs in Latin America and the Caribbean that were pre-qualified in order to be eligible for a swift financing. At the closing of the Fund in August 2015, ELF had attended 8 emergencies for a total disbursement of US$41.2 million, through 34 loans to MFIs of 7 countries in the Region. All of the loans were collected according to the terms and conditions agreed upon to at the time of their disbursement.
ELF TECHNICAL SUPPORT FACILITY
It was a Facility for technical assistance that managed a funding of US$780,000 that was invested to support 51 MFIs in 13 countries affiliated to ELF. The program included an evaluation and a diagnosis of the degree of institutional preparedness of the MFIs in the event of an emergency caused by external factors. Omtrix was responsible for the managing the Facility, as well as for the structuring of a qualified task force to support and provide technical assistance to the MFIs.
The Program had a second stage that was financed with US$280,000 used in supporting 15 MFIs for the implementation of contingency plans.
CARIBBEAN TECHNICAL SUPPORT FACILITY
The Caribbean Technical Support Facility (CTSF) was conceived and structured because many of the MFIs in the Caribbean did not comply the requirements to affiliate to ELF. Thus, it was established to provide technical assistance for the prevention and management of natural disaster risks to Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) in the Caribbean. The Facility, managed by Omtrix, was funded with non-reimbursable contributions of US$ 630,000. By the closing of the CTSF in March 2012, the Program had benefitted 21 MFIs.
HAITIAN EMERGENCY LIQUIDITY PROGRAM
HELP was structured and managed by Omtrix as a response to the emergency caused by the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The Program sought to support low income micro entrepreneurs and loan recipients that were struck by the earthquake, via the backing of the MFIs that serviced them. HELP allowed the temporary purchase of the loan portfolios of eligible MFIs. The objective of this was to allow the MFIs to restore their operations, to refinance/ restructure the portfolio affected by the earthquake and thus to improve their equity position and to reinstate their access to financing sources to allow them to keep operating.
ANTARES EQUITY PARTICIPATION FUND
Antares EPF was created in 2004 with Gray Ghost Microfinance Fund’s contribution of US$ 5 million. It had the goal of contributing to generate greater liquidity to MFI’s equity shares. The Fund was structured and managed by Omtrix Inc. By the closing of the Fund’s operations in December 2011, Antares EPF had made investments in 8 MFIs of Latin America and the Caribbean for an amount of US$8 million and generated an overall yield of 10,9% for its investors.
AFRICAP MICROVENTURES, LTD
In 2000, Omtrix signed a consultancy agreement with AfriCap Microventures Ltd. in order to provide technical assistance for the structuring and implementation of an Investment Fund focused on promoting the growth of the regulated Financial Institutions in Africa that specialized in the provision of financial services to small and micro enterprises. According to this agreement, Omtrix was responsible for:
- Advising on the selection and hiring of an Investment Manager based in South Africa.
- Supporting in the establishment of the organization of the government structure of AfriCap Microfinance Fund (AfriCap).
- Contributing to the preparation of the Investment Policies and Guidelines of AfriCap.
- Collaborating in obtaining a funding of US$13.3 million for AfriCap.
- Delivering administrative and treasury services to AfriCap.
RISK MANAGEMENT FACILITY
RMF was a technical assistance Facility for MFIs in Latin America and the Caribbean for comprehensive risk management. The Facility received non-reimbursable donations of US$2.2 million. The funding was provided by highly regarded funders including The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of Switzerland, Calmeadow, Appui au Dévelopment Autonome (ADA), DOEN Foundation and Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO).
Omtrix was responsible for developoing the concept, and the structuring and management of the Facility. It developed a series of tools and manuals specially designed for MFIs. The program was implemented in 14 countries and 33 MFIs in the Region.
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