History

Until DWM began its financial advisory and structuring work in 2003, microfinance and other socially motivated enterprises in the developing world had little or no access to the capital markets. The primary sources of term capital were philanthropic or governmental.

Our initial experience in microfinance, as philanthropists and active board members of microfinance institutions, helped us appreciate these financing challenges from the inside.

In turning Developing World Markets into a socially oriented asset manager and investment bank, we combined our philanthropic experience with many years of emerging markets investment banking, both in the field and on Wall Street.

A History of Innovation

Click on any event below to view more detail.

1994 — DWM is Founded as an Emerging Markets Fund Manager

The firm is co-founded by DWM partner, Peter Johnson.

1998 — Establishes the First Emerging Markets IPO Fund

DWM invested over $150 million in 20 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, participating in around 350 initial public offerings on local stock exchanges.

1999 — Creates the Pro Mujer Loan Fund

The concept for the fund originated through DWM's founders' personal involvement with Pro Mujer, a non-profit network of Latin American microfinance institutions. This transaction started DWM's work in microfinance investing.

2004 — Structures and Raises the First Cross-Border Microfinance Collateralized Loan Obligation (CLO)

DWM partnered with BlueOrchard to create a CLO structure that channeled $87 million to 14 microfinance institutions (MFIs), served as a catalyst for other private capital flows into the industry and was a seminal transaction in the history of impact investing.

2006 — Structures, Raises and Manages the First Rated Microfinance CLO

This CLO raised $60 million for loans to 26 MFIs in 17 countries, reaching over 1 million low-income entrepreneurs in Latin America, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. The Senior Tranche was rated A1 by MicroRate, a Washington D.C.-based risk assessment firm.

2006 — Arranges the First Major Direct Equity Investment into a Microfinance Institution by a Mainstream Asset Manager

DWM arranged a $43 million investment by TIAA-CREF, a leading U.S. provider of retirement savings products and services, in ProCredit Holdings, a network of banks that operate in developing countries and serve SMEs and low-income individuals.

2007 — Partners with ACTIAM N.V., to Launch Innovative Investment Fund for European Institutional Investors

ACTIAM N.V. (formerly SNS Asset Management), a premier asset manager for Dutch institutional investors and is now part of VIVAT, one of the largest life insurance companies in the Netherlands is the Fund Manager and DWM's partner. DWM, the investment manager, made debt and private equity investments in microfinance institutions across Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia, & Africa in the ACTIAM Institutional Microfinance Fund I* which grew to approximately $250 million.

2007 — Structures the First International Bond Issuance Out of Azerbaijan

DWM structured and placed notes to fund a $25 million loan to Microfinance Bank of Azerbaijan, now called Access Bank, via two closings in 2007 and 2008. The transaction represented the first cross border capital markets transaction by any company in Azerbaijan.

2007 — Syndicates a €10 Million Loan to an MFI in the Balkan Region

The transaction represents one of the largest loans made to any MFI in the region.

2008 — Launches Second Innovative Investment Fund for European Institutional Investors with ACTIAM N.V.

Partnering again with ACTIAM N.V., DWM, the investment manager, made debt and private equity investments in MFIs across Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia, & Africa. The ACTIAM Institutional Microfinance Fund II* grew to approx. $260 million.

2009 — Closes its First Dedicated Private Equity Fund, the DWM Microfinance Equity Fund I*

Since its launch, the $82 million fund took private equity stakes in 16 inclusive financial institutions across the emerging and frontier markets. The target institutions serve low-income populations in the developing world through microcredit, small and medium-sized enterprise loans, housing, agriculture and education loans, and other targeted financial services.

2010 & 2011 — Develops Proprietary Method for Measuring Impact of Portfolio Institutions

DWM developed a questionnaire and scorecard, called the Social IQs, for collecting and analyzing social performance data from portfolio institutions in conjunction with ACTIAM and Oikocredit. DWM mapped this method with the Global Impact Investment Network's (GIIN) Impact Reporting and Investment Standards (IRIS) to align with impact industry standards./p>

2011 — Launches the First Commercial Microfinance Investment Vehicle Designed for the Japanese Retail Market

DWM developed the DWM Microfinance Fund J† in partnership with Daiwa Securities and Tokio Marine Asset Management. The Fund offers daily liquidity to investors with its portfolio of both loans to microfinance institutions and development finance institution bonds. The Fund is the sole investment of a mutual fund in Japan.

2012 — Commits to Becoming a Pioneer GIIRS-Rated Fund

Global Impact Investing Ratings System (GIIRS), is a comprehensive and transparent system for analyzing and rating the social and environmental impact of companies and funds. DWM has been named a pioneer fund by GIIRS and will be one of the first funds to receive a GIIRS Impact Rating.

2013 — Finalizes Social Impact Management Information System (MIS)

DWM finalized an internal MIS allowing us to aggregate the social impact metrics that we collect from our portfolio institutions annually. This capability enhances our ability to analyze our social impact across our funds and to report these findings to our investors. Read an example of our social impact investor reporting.

2014 — Completes First Close of the DWM-advised, ACTIAM Institutional Microfinance Fund III†

As with the ACTIAM Institutional Microfinance Funds I and II, DWM is the Investment Manager and ACTIAM N.V., of the Netherlands, is the fund manager. The Fund invests debt in microfinance institutions that provide access to loans and financial services for micro entrepreneurs in the developing world. European institutional investors had committed capital of approximately $115 million as of September 30, 2016.

2015 — Closes DWM Inclusive Finance Equity Fund II* at $52 Million

DWM's second private equity fund takes stakes in inclusive financial institutions across Asia and Latin America. The target institutions serve low-income populations in the developing world through microcredit, small and medium-sized enterprise loans, housing, agriculture and education loans, and other targeted financial services.

2016 — Surpasses $1 billion in Impact Debt Investments

DWM reaches a milestone with over $1 billion of debt investments made since becoming an impact investment manager in 2006.

2016 — Publishes Details of all 450 Loans Made in the Past 10 years, a Data Trove for the Impact Investment World

To support transparency in the rapidly evolving impact investing field, DWM released details on each of its more than 450 privately negotiated loans to socially positive financial institutions across over 40 developing countries. In alignment with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, 46% of DWM's debt investments are in financial institutions whose primary clients are women and many support rural small holder agriculture.

2016 — Signs Second Impact Mandate in Japan with SBI Securities

DWM advises on SBI's microfinance bond program† in Japan which is funding microfinance. DWM originates and services fixed income exposures to microfinance institutions in Asia. The first SBI Microfinance Bond, under this program, was issued in August, 2016.

2016 — Receives Major Impact Debt Mandate as an Advisor to Invest in Visions (IIV)

DWM becomes an advisor to Invest in Visions GmbH for the IIV Mikrofinanzfonds†, a German open-ended public investment fund. IIV Mikrofinanzfonds provides debt financing to microfinance institutions throughout the developing world and is the largest microfinance fund in Germany. Launched in 2011, the fund had a net asset value of approx. $387 million as of September 30, 2016.

  • *This fund is closed to investors
  • †Not available to US investors