Ms. Magnoni is the President of EA Consultants. An international development advisor with over 15 years of international finance and development experience, she has an extensive background in financial market financing and investments, having worked on Wall Street for seven years where she worked for Goldman, Sachs, Chase and BBVA as a fixed income research strategist, covering external and local financial and currency markets in Latin America. Since 2000 she has been working in economic development programs with a strong focus in Lain America. Much of Ms. Magnoni’s recent work has had a strong focus on understanding clients, their needs and their preferences and linking these into the development of products and programs to improve access to finance, markets and social protection for low income segments. She was lead analyst and trainer on a one year activity for Pro Mujer International that aimed to strengthen and centralize its current client information and feedback loop, the organization’s client culture, product development and credit risk management process through sophisticated quantitative and qualitative techniques. She also performed extensive analysis of the market and client needs in Nicaragua, where she worked closely with Banex, a former MSME financial institution. On this project, she performed data mining exercises, market segmentation work, and a study of client satisfaction and demand. She has designed microinsurance programs for a number of institutions, networks and government agencies including REDCAMIF (the Central American Microfinance Network); INISER (Nicaragua’s largest insurer) and most recently FOSIS (A Chilean government social protection program). In 2010, she co-authored an extensive study prepared for the IDB/FOMIN on the constraints to business growth for women microentrepreneurs. Ms. Magnoni holds a Masters degree from Columbia University in International Affairs. She is fluent in Spanish, English and Italian.
For the past 17 years, Mr. Alva has worked with numerous LatinAmerican financial institutions. Having participated in a litany of expansions, downsizing reforms, and other transformations of financial institutions, Mr. Alva is an industry insider. His previous projects include: implementing and organizing el Banco de Bogotá’s microfinance program; transforming the non-profit organization Hermandad de Honduras into a financial institution; restructuring Acción Comunitaria del Perú --a non-profit organization--into MIBANCO, a fully regulated private bank; and, strengthening the internal control of Cajas Municipales de Ahorro y Crédito del Perú. Much of his work involves creating productive commercial structures, risk evaluation systems, and delivery channels that incorporate strategic alliances. He has developed substantive knowledge of microfinance institutions, including their role in poverty reduction. His extensive experience is reflective of his ability to operate in diverse regions and effectively manage work teams.
Mr. Quirós, a Costa Rican economist, received a degree in Economics from the Universidad de Costa Rica and a Masters degree in Agricultural Economics from Ohio State University. For over 20 years he has conducted evaluations of and research on microfinance organizations and projects. Though Mr. Quirós has a specialty in microfinance, he also works on a broad range of issues in the field of economic development. While working throughout Latin America, he served as a consultant to a variety of international organizations, including the World Bank and the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization. In Bolivia, he was a development finance specialist and the Deputy Director of SEFIR, a financial services project funded by USAID and operated by DAI. Additionally, he makes research contributions and adds to the policy dialogue at the Academia de Centroamérica, a research institute in Costa Rica. Currently he is working with LOCFUND, a Latin American microfinance lending program.
Mr. Prado is a Bolivian economist with more than 30 years of experience, mainly in the field of public and private finance. He has particular expertise in new development finance and institutional strengthening of microfinance institutions. He was the Executive Director of the Association of Financial Entities Specialized in Microfinance (ASOFIN), a Bolivian network comprised of all of the private financial entities regulated by the Superintendence of Banks. Currently, he is the General Manager of Prospero Microfinanzas Fund, an equity investment fund that provides equity and institutional strengthening to tier 1 and tier 2 microfinance organizations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Thus, he has a firsthand understanding of the challenges that Latin American microfinance institutions face.
Ms. Thornton is an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan’s Department of Economics. She completed her Ph.D. in Political Economy and Government with a joint degree from Harvard University’s Economics Department and the John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2006. From 2006 to 2008, she was a National Institute on Aging post-doctoral fellow at the University of Michigan’s Population Studies Center. Ms. Thornton uses experimental research techniques to study health and education in developing countries. This research has involved a number of field-experiments in Africa, South Asia, and Latin America covering topics such as HIV prevention, women’s reproductive health, primary education, and health insurance.
Ms. Zausner is Senior Manager in Ernst and Young’s Financial Services Regulatory Advisory practice. Prior to this position, she worked at the Federal Reserve Bank in the United States for ten years, for which she ran examinations of financial institutions’controls and governance frameworks. Over the past decade, she has worked with systemically important institutions through various crises. Additionally, Ms. Zausner has taken part in several newsworthy regulatory events, such as stress testing and policy work around incentive compensation. Prior to joining this major regulatory agency, she worked in Russia on several foreign equity-backed projects. Ms. Zausner has a bachelor’s degree in Slavic Studies from New York University and has completed most of the coursework required for a Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Mr. Céspedes is a pioneer in Chile’s microfinance sector. In 1991 he began his career at Chile’s state-owned BancoEstado, the third largest bank in Chile. He is currently the Director of Projects at BancoEstado MicroEmpresas, the bank’s microfinance division. BancoEstado MicroEmpresas has over 200,000 clients and lends to over 40% of the bank-funded microenterprises in Chile. He has participated in the design, implementation and development of the MicroEmpresas program since its inception. Through his involvement in developing credit technologies, creating new products, and designing an internal auditing unit, he has helped the division gain in scale and become more efficient. Recently, Mr. Céspedes provided technical assistance to support the extension of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute’s health insurance program. He aided their expansion into Nicaragua’s informal sector by collaborating with the country’s microfinance institutions.