Symbiotics - Investment Advisory

Symbiotics has helped setup over 25 impact investing funds and has originated over USD 4,885 million of impact investments since 2005. The company has issued more than 3,683 transactions for 425 institutions in 83 countries.

Financing Solutions

You are a financial institution, a company or a project following sustainability principles and pursuing development impact goals. You are looking for financing through debt or equity to finance your growth and activities

Investment Opportunities

You are a fund manager, institutional investor or wealth advisor seeking deals which follow sustainability principles and pursue development impact goals. You are looking for investment opportunities, whether as loans, bonds or equity transactions.

Current investments Since inception

Latin America & the CaribbeanAfrica & the Middle EastEastern Europe & Central AsiaSouth & East AsiaTotal
Deals (USD m)1696723129911844902

Financing Solutions

“Symbiotics is a proud partner of over 300 financial institutions and multiple social ventures
across the globe. We strive to bring a wider network of institutional investors with a range
of terms and expectations to fit each financed project’s needs, throughout their growth cycle.”


– Vincent Lehner, Head of Financial Institutions –

How it works


Basic terms


We offer the following financing instruments at market rate in maturities ranging from 1 to 8 years:


  • Term loans
  • Promissory notes
  • Sub-debt/Mezzanine
  • Bond issuances
  • Market rates

Eligibility criteria


  • Financial institutions/intermediaries
  • Majority of activity in micro/SME finance or dedicated program
  • Minimum track record of 3 years
  • Commercially sustainable financials and business plan
  • Externally audited accounts
  • Completion of annual due diligence process
  • Monthly/quarterly reporting requirements

Due Diligence Process


Prior to disbursement, each financial institution will go through a full due diligence process performed by our investment analysts. They will collect financial, legal and operational information and interview multiple stakeholders (shareholders, board, management, staff, clients and others) on-site. The due diligence process is repeated every year and includes monthly/quarterly reporting information.

Required Documentation


  • All applicants are required to provide the following information:
  • Institutional presentation
  • Founding documents (corporate bylaws and statutes)
  • Registration document and license (if existing)
  • 4-year audited accounts, including signed letter from auditor and notes
  • 3-year business plan with financial projections
  • Detailed list of outstanding debt
  • Shareholding structure
  • List of board of directors
  • List of management team with CVs and organizational chart
  • External ratings (if existing)
  • Monthly and annual reporting on-line on
Vincent Lehner
Vincent Lehner

Financial Institutions


Financial Institutions

Vincent joined Symbiotics in 2007 first serving as an investment analyst covering Latin America and E. Europe and later for W. Africa. Previously, he worked for Nestlé, as a supply chain and operational project manager in S. America and E. Europe, as a logistician with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) supporting operations in Angola, Sudan and Russia and as a business consultant for IBM. Vincent holds a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

Anya Berezhna
Anya Berezhna

South & East Asia


Financial Institutions

Prior to joining Symbiotics in 2008, Anya worked in Syria, Burkina Faso and Mali for the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance (AKAM), an international network of microfinance institutions. During her assignment in Syria, she assisted the Finance and Operations departments in establishing the first MFI in Syria. In Burkina Faso and Mali, she worked as a technical assistant for the Internal Audit and Finance departments. Anya holds a master’s degree in Microfinance from Nancy University in France.

Todd Farrington
Todd Farrington

Latin America & Caribbean

Senior Manager

Financial Institutions

Prior to joining Symbiotics in 2008, Todd worked in equity and credit enhancement transactions as Director at Acción Global Investments, start up and management of a specialized rating company with MicroRate, MSME investment at the Inter-American Development Bank, and grant making with the Inter-American Foundation. Todd holds a master’s degree in Economics and Business from The Fletcher School and Harvard Business School, and a bachelor of arts degree in Literature from Amherst College.

Duncan Frayne
Duncan Frayne

Sub-Saharan Africa


Financial Institutions

Prior to joining Symbiotics in March 2015, Duncan was country manager in China for Accion International where he led the launch and management of microfinance operations over the past 6 years. Previously, he worked for several years in commercial and private banking in South Africa and later spent six years in various managerial positions for FINCA International and Accion in Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania and Nigeria. Duncan holds an MBA and postgraduate certificate in Business Administration from the Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University.


Investment Opportunities

“Symbiotics stands out in the impact investing space as being the leading investment
adviser, customizing deals and mandates for institutional investors and wealth managers
wanting to access a wide range of markets and opportunities.”


– Fabio Sofia, Head of Client Relationship –

Unique Value Proposition

Our investment advisory unit’s unique selling proposition is to make microfinance investments as user friendly as possible for traditional asset managers and institutional investors. The investment value chain in accessing small banks in frontier markets often lacks the traditional infrastructure available in mainstream investments: information platforms, data providers, specialized news agencies, rating agencies, due diligence firms, structuring agents, broker dealers. Symbiotics’ advisory services are split in four distinct teams, between Financial Institutions analysts, providing due diligence reports, Market & Credit Risk analysts, providing credit and social ratings, Investment Operations advisers, building deal-flow and structuring transactions, and Client Relationship advisers assisting clients with their investment strategy and portfolio construction.

Each transaction follows the same standardized investment process, providing equal quality and treatment. Transactions are available on-line through our deal flow platform ( either on a first come first serve basis, reflecting the state of funding needs of the market, or proactively on a top-down customized approach based on specific client demands. Clients can access the platform on an ad hoc / deal by deal basis, or through on-going / recurring mandates.

 Private Debt

Our private debt instruments include investments through:

  • Certificates of deposits
  • Short term loans and promissory notes
  • Term loan agreements (3-5 years)
  • Guarantee agreements
  • Subordinated debt


We have structured over 3,683 private debt transactions, cumulating more than USD 2.6 billion.

Listed Bonds

Our listed bonds are issued in Luxembourg through MSME Bonds S.A., a regulated securitization company.

Their key features include:

  • UCITS compliant status (excl. liquidity)
  • electronic settlement and trading
  • full due diligence, internal credit review and monitoring
  • market makers and brokers available
  • third party daily valuation if needed
  • Bloomberg page available


Fund manager, promoters and institutional investors which prefer relying on a buy-side advisory team assisting them with their investment strategy and portfolio construction can structure their deal flow and relationship with Symbiotics through an Investment Advisory Mandate, customized to their specific needs and aspirations.


The website is not directed to, or use by, any person or entity who is a citizen or resident of, or located in any locality, state, country or other jurisdiction where such publication, availability or use  would be contrary to local laws or regulations or which would require the registration of Symbiotics SA within any jurisdiction.

Bénédicte Brochu
Bénédicte Brochu

Continental Europe

Senior Investment Adviser

Investment Operations

Bénédicte joined Symbiotics in 2007, where she first served as an investment analyst for three years. Prior to this, she worked for BNP Paribas in France as a client relationship manager in the agricultural sector. She then held positions in several microfinance institutions: she was the CEO of an MFI in Cameroon and the CEO advisor for an MFI in Mali, both part of the French bank, Crédit Mutuel. She holds a master’s degree in Agronomy and a “master en administration des entreprises” from the University of Amiens, France.

Geremy Birchard
Geremy Birchard

UK & North America

Senior Investment Adviser

Asset Management

Geremy joined Symbiotics in 2009 and served as Africa Regional Manager for three years. Prior to this, he worked at FINCA International, holding various management positions including board positions at FINCA’s affiliate programs in Africa and Eurasia and served as the Managing Director of FINCA Zambia. Before this, he was a Portfolio Manager at a boutique investment fund in the USA specializing in asset backed securities. Geremy holds a bachelor of science in Finance from the University of California at Berkeley.