Deputy Regional Director - Asia

Singapore, Singapore
Apply by 9 July 2018
Posted on 11 June 2018

Job Description

*Preferred location: Singapore. Other locations to be determined by home country of successful candidate within the Asia Region where VFI/WV is registered to operate.


VisionFund is seeking a Deputy Regional Director (“DRD”) to support and manage the execution of VisionFund’s strategy in the region. The Regional Director is responsible for ensuring the delivery of the ‘double bottom line’ of financial and social performance in the region and delegates certain aspects to the Deputy Regional Director who is more directly involved in supporting individual MFIs with achieving their financial and social impact targets.


Building and Scaling the MFIs in the Region:

  • Support under the guidance of the regional director the delivery of business plans of individual MFIs. This includes monitoring, analysis, problem identification and recommending solutions that will ensure improved quality of delivery of financial services, improved control environment and increased alignment of strategy.
  • Provide timely, and responsive but prioritized consulting services for MFI issues and concerns, under the direction of the Regional Director.
  • Provide clear and thorough analysis and subsequent recommendations of solutions for both the MFI management and VFI regional teams.
  • Work with the WV regional teams to ensure integration and alignment of VFI, MFI and WVNO strategies at the regional and national levels.
  • Ensure that effective controls and the focus on the “double bottom line” are always assessed (even when not part of a particular terms of reference) and that issues are immediately raised.
  • Support under the guidance of the regional director the regional roll out of global centre initiatives including how central services, new processes, new technology, etc, can be deployed to improve service to the MFI’s and their clients and to reduce costs and improve sustainability.
  • Ensure effective communication with the regional director and with relevant CEO’s and MFI relevant parties when undertaking technical reviews and assessments.


  • The Deputy Regional Director may be required to pro-actively represent VFI on the boards of MFIs.
  • The person is expected in their duties as a board member of an MFI to reflect the best interests of VFI and to make, where needed, decisions that support such a position.

Acting in a Management Capacity within an MFI during Staffing Gaps:

  • If gaps are identified in the CEO or COO position that are likely to significantly impact the performance of the MFI and in particular put the MFI at risk then the Deputy Regional Director will be required under the direction of the Regional Director to take on a management role in the MFI.
  • This can be up to 3 or 6 months while a suitable replacement is being recruited. During this period the DRD will take on the duties of the vacant position and will continue to report to the regional director, but may have an added reporting line into the MFI depending on the position.

Personal and Staff Development:

  • For those staff who are matrix-managed by the DRD, develop clear individual goals, manageable and measurable targets and ongoing feedback and support to achieve them.
  • For those staff who are matrix-managed by the DRD, give input into regular (at least bi- annual) staff performance evaluations as well reviews of career potential.
  • Attend weekly virtual operations meetings and other meetings as required by the regional director.
  • In some cases, the DRD will be the Security Focal Point for the region.

DRD will carry out additional responsibilities and projects as assigned, including reporting and planning functions both within and outside the region.


The key ability VisionFund is seeking is leadership. In addition to sound experience with microfinance and banking operations (lending, deposit taking), the successful candidate will have experience developing and nurturing a talented team, and spotting improvement opportunities and making those happen in a complex and dynamic environment. In addition, the following specific knowledge, skills and abilities are required, and may have been acquired through a combination of formal schooling, self education, prior experience or on the job training:

  • In-depth knowledge of microfinance or retail banking operations.
  • In-depth technical knowledge of managing portfolio quality (front- and back office).
  • Effective coach and able to train people in VisionFund policies and procedures.
  • Extensive project management expertise.
  • Given the need to control financial risk within the MFI’s, it is imperative that the jobholder will have good financial analysis, risk management and accounting skills, and strong internal control and project management skills including familiarity with internal audit processes.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Finance, Business or Economics, or equivalent level of knowledge gained through work experience.
  • Proven initiative and perseverance and the ability to motivate and manage a team.
  • Must have at least 5 years’ hands-on practical experience from microfinance or retail banking operations and at least 3 of those years must have been in senior management in field operations and portfolio quality management (front- and back office) that may include extensive understanding of compliance and governance.
  • Extensive leadership experience, largely in retail/commercial banking or microfinance environment. Experienced leader of people, committed to developing and encouraging staff.
  • Coaching experience and training experience.
  • Established project management experience of at least 5 years including complex projects in matrix organizations.
  • Experience working in a multinational and multicultural environment with proven cross-cultural effectiveness. Must be cross culturally sensitive and flexible as the jobholder will work with associates from different cultural contexts and timezones. Flexibility on hours to contact people within wide time zone differences is required.
  • Communication skills, problem solving, influencing skills, negotiation and conflict management skills are all required in this senior management role working with multiple MFIs. Excellence in communication and influencing skills in both oral and written forms, with a variety of stakeholders.
  • Commitment to the core values, mission and vision of VisionFund.
  • Good organizational skills, and highly developed consulting skills, with ability to analyze, recommend solutions, mentor and direct people.
  • Must be able to simultaneously manage multiple priorities and projects.
  • Balanced and respectful approach to groups’ differing responsibilities and priorities. Sensitive to complexity of World Vision direction, MFI board independence and shareholder requirements.
  • Must be experienced in managing effective support of accounting and loan tracking systems.
  • Ability and willingness to travel extensively and to be based in a MFI for periods of up to six months.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English is essential for all DRD roles.

Preferred Skills, Knowledge and Experience:

  • Facilitation skills.
  • It is preferable to bring in-depth understanding of compliance, governance, and overall enterprise risk management.
  • Board member experience is preferred.

Work Environment/Travel:

The position requires ability and willingness to travel domestically and internationally up to 60% of the time. Most travel will be within the specific region, with periods of up to six months in a leadership role in an MFI. Occasional travel to other regions.

About the Organization

VisionFund International (VFI) is the world’s largest Christian microfinance network. For more than a decade we have been improving the lives of children across the developing world, as we provide small loans and other financial services to families struggling in poverty.

As the microfinance subsidiary of World Vision, the world’s largest Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation, we work in 30+ countries through our network of affiliated microfinance institutions (MFIs) located across the globe in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. We have an outstanding loan portfolio of nearly US$ 535 million, serve over 1.2 million active borrowers and impact the lives of over 4 million children each year.

Sharing the same vision as World Vision, VFI aims to provide ‘life in all its fullness’ to children as their parents receive small loans, improve their businesses and increase in ability to care for their children as family incomes multiply.

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