Known for its state-of-the-art investment process and research methodology, BlueOrchard has taken steps to expand its risk management capabilities even further. To this effect, Frédéric Berney joined the microfinance investment management firm as Chief Risk Officer and member of the Senior Management Team with effect from 2 September. Frédéric is highly respected in the alternative investment industry as the former Chief Risk Officer at Harcourt, where he worked from 2003 to 2012 and became a Managing Director following the acquisition by Vontobel in 2009. Previously, Frédéric had worked as Head of Risk Measurement at Sanwa International Plc (UFC-Mitsui) in London and held senior risk management positions at Credit Suisse in Zurich. In recognition of his extensive knowledge and experience in risk management, Frédéric was appointed Head of the Alternative Investment Regulatory Circle at the Swiss Fund Association SFA in 2010, a capacity in which he served until 2012. He is also the founder of Risk Alternatives, a specialized advisory firm based in Zurich, Switzerland. Frédéric holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics as well as a Master’s dregee in Banking and Finance from HEC Lausanne, Switzerland.

“We are extremely pleased to have a senior investment professional of Frédéric’s caliber join the team”, states Peter A. Fanconi, BlueOrchard’s Chief Executive Officer. “Since the beginning of the year, we have extended our range of services to include tailor-made mandates and advisory services for private and institutional investors in addition to our existing range of investment funds. In this context, it is of utmost importance to have the most sophisticated risk management process in the industry, which requires considerable resources and a specialized expertise, which Frédéric has proven to possess.”

In his capacity of Chief Risk Officer, Frédéric will be responsible for all aspects of risk management, ranging from corporate and business risk to legal, regulatory and financial risk management. With financial and investment risks being of particular importance for a microfinance investment management firm, special emphasis will be given to Credit Risk Management under the leadership of Silvia L. Spear, Head of Credit Risk Management.

According to Peter A. Fanconi, “Silvia has considerably enhanced credit risk management at BlueOrchard, and we are fortunate to be able to draw on her four decades of experience in this sector.” A former Managing Director at Deutsche Bank AG in New York where she managed domestic and international problem loans spanning a wide range of industries, products and structures, Silvia will continue to manage and mitigate risks related to the underwriting of microfinance loans, both through a proprietary risk framework and through her role as a member of the Credit Committee at BlueOrchard.

The recent appointments clearly build on BlueOrchard’s strengths to enhance core processes even further. In Peter A. Fanconi’s view, this proactive approach is a necessary condition to meet the growing needs of discerning investors and will continue to position BlueOrchard as a clear leader among microfinance investment managers.


BlueOrchard Finance S.A. was founded in 2001 as the first commercial manager of microfinance debt investments worldwide. To this day, the company has deployed in excess of USD 2bn in loans to microfinance institutions, providing access to microcredit to over 30 million individuals across 50 countries. Investors in BlueOrchard-managed funds include private and institutional investors, supranational institutions as well as renowned foundations. The company employs highly experienced staff with backgrounds in traditional and development finance including 23 investment professionals in Geneva, Zurich, Luxembourg, Lima, Phnom Penh, Bishkek and Nairobi.