The Board of Directors
Bjarne serves as Verdane’s Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer. In 2003, he launched what later became Verdane, by leading a spin-out from Verdane’s predecessor firm Four Seasons Venture.
At Verdane, he has been instrumental in building companies such as Banqsoft, Chipcon, ResLab, Resman, Reslink and Wireless Maingate. He currently serves on the boards of EasyPark and Polytech.
Bjarne had joined Four Seasons Venture’s Oslo office in 2001 from PaperX, a venture-backed B2B marketplace of which he was co-founder and COO. Bjarne also has entrepreneurial experience from the oil & gas sector with Fountain Oil. He was formerly a consultant at McKinsey & Company in London and a research associate at the European University Institute in Florence.
In addition to his role at the helm of Verdane, Bjarne is the Chairman of the Nordic Microfinance Initiative and a Board member of the Norwegian Venture Capital Association.
Education: Bjarne holds an MBA with high distinction as a Baker Scholar from Harvard Business School (USA) and an MA in European Integration from the University of Oslo (Norway)/European University Institute Florence (Italy).
Johan H. Andresen is the Chairman of the Board of Ferd, a Norwegian industrial and financial group which is fully owned by him and his family. Ferd is one of the largest privately-owned industrial and financial groups in Norway. In addition to his appointment at Ferd and NMI, he serves on the boards of several organizations: Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (SEB) and Junior Achievement Young Enterprise, Europe. He is also the Chair for the Council on Ethics for the Government Pension Fund Global. He holds an MBA from Erasmus in Rotterdam and a BA from Dartmouth College.
Heidi Finskas is Vice President for Corporate Responsibility in KLP, and a member of the CFO's management group. Previously, she worked as advisor for responsible investments in KLP Kapitalforvaltning. Ms. Finskas is a co-founder and previous Chair of the Board of Norsif. She holds a Master's Degree in Political Science from the University of Oslo, a Diploma for Graduate Finance from London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Bachelor of Social Science in Journalism and International Relations from University of Helsinki. Currently, Finskas is a Member of the Board of NorFinance.
Torben Huss is the CEO of the Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU). Torben has been part of IFU’s executive management group since 2009. Prior to that he was head of IFU’s investment department from 2002-2009 and was responsible for all new investments in IFU and the IØ Fund. Mr. Huss holds a MA in Public Administration from the University of Copenhagen and a PhD from Copenhagen Business School. He is a member of the board for the Danish Pension Fund for Lawyers and Economists (JØP).
Erik Sandersen is Executive Vice President of Financial Institutions at Norfund, where his focus is on implementing and managing Norfund's investments in banks and microfinance institutions in Africa, Asia and Central America. He joined Norfund as Investment Director in 2014 and is part of the company's management team. Prior to joining Norfund, he was co-founder and partner of the venture capital company Incitia Ventures for 10 years. In addition, Mr. Sandersen has had several senior roles in the IT industry as well as being a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group in London and Oslo. He sits and has been on several boards in Europe and Africa. Mr. Sandersen has an MBA from Stanford and an M.Sc. From NTNU.
Prior to joining NMI, Mr. Sletteberg held the position of Executive VP responsible for financial investments at Ferd AS. During his career he has served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Investment Officer at Oslo Pensjonsforsikring, Investment Director at Storebrand Asset Management, Deputy Head of Treasury at DNB and Consultant at the Norwegian Central Bank. Mr. Sletteberg serves on the board of directors at Arctic Securities AS. Mr. Sletteberg holds a MSc BA in Business Administration (“siviløkonom”) from the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH), and a Master’s in International Economic Policy Research from Institut für Weltwirtschaft in Germany.
Mr. Sandsbraaten has extensive experience from various companies in the area of financial analysis, auditing and accounting. Earlier appointments include leading his own financial consulting services firm, Auditor at PWC, CFO at IKANO Finans AS, and Finance Director at Majortrans Flytteservice AS. Mr. Sandsbraaten holds a Master of Science (MSc) in Economics and Business Administration from Norwegian Business School (BI) and advanced studies in Accounting and Auditing at Norwegian School of Economics (NHH).
Ms. Chandra runs NMI’s Indian office. Prior to joining NMI, she was a co-founder of a boutique Investment Banking outfit – First League Ventures – based out of New Delhi, India for 3 years, focused on supporting start-up companies in M&A and raising seed to Series A venture capital funds across technology and consumer sectors. Previously, Ms. Chandra also worked at EY for 10 years where she served clients in multiple sectors with a focus on transaction advisory services, including investment banking (M&A and private equity fund raising), financial due diligence and bid advisory services. She has also worked with KPMG in their transfer pricing division. Ms. Chandra is a qualified Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and a Commerce graduate from Bangalore University.
Prior to joining NMI, Mr. Klungsøyr was Investment Director at Alliance Microfinance and Chairman of Banco D-Miro in Ecuador. In addition, he has over 10 years of banking experience within M&A, credit and risk assessments, and the management of a turn-around of under-performing banks in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. He holds an MSc BA in Finance from the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) as well as an master’s from CEMS with leadership as a concentration.
Christian B. Ramm
Mr. Ramm’s previous experience includes Finance Manager at Ferd Social Entrepreneurs, Country Director and Finance Manager at the NGO Norwegian People’s Aid in Angola, Finance Manager at Telenor-owned Canal Digital Norway, Managing Director at the publishing house Schibsted Förlagen (Sweden) and MD at Schibsted International Books. He has also worked as a journalist for Finansavisen (a major financial newspaper in Norway), and he currently coordinates the communication work in NMI. Mr. Ramm holds a MSc BA (siviløkonom) from Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) in Bergen and Universität Mannheim in Germany, and has completed studies in psychology at the University of Bergen (UiB).
Prior to joining NMI, Mrs. Klawitter was an Investment Analyst with Kempen Capital Management in Edinburgh, Scotland, covering European small-cap equities. Mrs. Klawitter holds a MSc BA (“siviløkonom”) from the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) and an MSc in Economics (Finance) from the University of Edinburgh. She is also a CFA Charterholder.
Mr. Kaindoh runs NMI’s Kenyan office and oversees its Sub--Saharan Africa investments. Previously, he was the lead consultant and Chief Investment Officer at Unclaimed Financial Assets Trust Fund. Prior to that, he was a Senior Investment Analyst at ICDC, a state owned DFI in Kenya, where he sourced, led and closed multiple transactions in diverse sectors in Kenya. Mr. Kaindoh started his career at the National Treasury - Kenya, where he doubled as an accountant and efficiency-monitoring officer (Economics & Finance). He holds a Master of Science degree in Financial Economics and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management (Finance and Banking). He is also a Certified Public Accountant (Kenya).
In addition to the role as Investment Manager, Ms. Søndergaard oversees NMI’s social performance activities and runs NMI’s Danish office. Prior to joining NMI, she was program- and project manager at Danske Bank, working with operational excellence, process optimization and lean leadership. She started her career at MYC4, where she was responsible for establishing partnerships with African microfinance institutions. Thereafter, she worked as a consultant for Fusion Investments – a British start-up investment firm, focused on East Africa. Concurrently, she fulfilled several assignments for Danish Forum for Microfinance and taught microfinance at Copenhagen University. Lone holds a Master’s Degree in International Business from Copenhagen Business School.
With over 3 years of experience in PE, M&A and Strategic Consulting projects, Ms. Bhandari has worked across transaction origination, execution and relationship management. Prior to joining NMI, Ms. Bhandari was a part of the Investment Banking team at ValPro with a focus on PE and M&A transactions across sectors. She also managed their private investment portfolio of early stage start-ups. Previously, she worked with TresVista, Mumbai. Ms. Bhandari holds a MBA degree (finance major) from NMIMS, Mumbai and B.Tech in Information Technology. She also holds a certification in Social Impact Analysis from Acumen.
Prior to joining NMI, Mr. Zeng was a management consultant at PwC Deals with focus on strategy projects related to M&A transaction. Before PwC, he worked with data analytics at BearingPoint. Mr. Zeng holds a MSc (“siviløkonom”) in finance from Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) and the CEMS Master in International Management (MIM) degree from Stockholm School of Economics (SSE). He holds a BA in Health Economics from the University of Oslo.
Elin Ersdal is Program Director for NMI’s Climate Smart Microfinance Fund in Indonesia. She joined NMI after 13 years at Norfund. While at Norfund, she spent 8 years as Head of Industrial Partnerships and SME-Funds with 17 investment professionals and an investment portfolio of MUSD 330 of which approximately MUSD 100 was in food and agri-related investments in Africa. Prior to joining Norfund, Ersdal worked for five years for an investment fund targeting Russia and the Baltic countries. She was engaged with development of Aquaculture in Innovation Norway for many years and has worked for FAO based in Zimbabwe. Ersdal holds a Master of Science in agricultural economics from the Norwegian University of Life Science and a Master of Management in finance, investment and strategy from the Norwegian School of Management (BI).
Previously, Mr. Smit was the Global Coordinator of the large international development organisation SNV’s work in Deforestation Free Supply Chains, Tracking & Tracing, and he has managed a portfolio of projects on palm oil. Before joining SNV, he worked in the private sector (Unilever) and for an NGO (WWF). In his capacity at those organisations he has also worked with sustainable production and sourcing of agro-commodities in Asia, South/Central America and Africa since 2008. Mr. Smit holds a Master in Natural Resource Management from the University of Utrecht. He is based in Jakarta.
Ms. Streeval has been with NMI since its startup in 2008. Before joining NMI she worked for McKinsey & Company where she held various positions. Prior to joining McKinsey & Company, she worked at Indiana University. Ms. Streeval holds an MBA from Instituto de Empresa in Madrid and a B.A. from Indiana University.
Chairperson, Board of NMI GP IV AS and Nordic Microfinance Initiative Fund III Investment Committee Member, NMI Frontier Fund Investment Committee and NMI Global Fund Investment Committee
Christian Halvorsen is Head of Risk Allocation at Ferd AS – a family-owned Norwegian investment company committed to value-creating ownership of businesses and investments in financial assets. Previously he was Portfolio Manager for Global Media at NBIM (the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund), working out of Oslo (5 years), London (2 years) and New York (5 years). Christian holds a M.Sc. from Norwegian Business School (NHH).
Bjørn Holter Eriksen
Chairperson, NMI Technical Assistance Steering Committee, Member, Nordic Microfinance Initiative Fund III Investment Committee, NMI Frontier Fund Investment Committee and NMI Global Fund Investment Committee
Bjørn Holter-Eriksen works in the Section for Private Sector Development, Department for Economic Development, Gender and Governance in Norad. He has previously held positions as Head of Office, Information Office for Private Sector Development in Developing Countries (Joint Norad/Norfund Service Office), a Director in the Department for Private Sector Development and Environment in Norad, a Director of the Norwegian-Swedish Chamber of Commerce and a Director of External Affairs at The Coca-Cola Company Nordic & Northern Eurasia Division. He has also had various positions within the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Norwegian Parliament and the Export Council of Norway. He is a member of the Investment Committee of The Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund (GEEREF). He holds a Master of Law from the University of Oslo.
Chairperson, NMI Frontier Fund Investment Committee, Member, Board of NMI GP IV AS, Nordic Microfinance Initiative Fund III Investment Committee and NMI Global Fund Investment Committee
Marianne Halvorsen is a Senior Investment Manager at Norfund, where she has worked since 2001. Before Norfund, she worked 5 years for The Norwegian Guarantee Institute for Export Credit, GIEK and one year as a broker in Christiania Fonds AS. In addition, Ms. Halvorsen serves on the boards of three different financial institutions in the Balkans and is a member of the credit committee of Kolibri Kapital AS in Norway. She graduated from NHH Norwegian School of Economics in 1993.
Deepa Hingorani is Vice President for South Asia at IFU, The Danish Investment Fund for developing countries, based in Singapore. She joined IFU in 1995 and today heads a team managing IFU’s activities in South and South-East Asia. She has represented IFU on the Board of various companies within the Energy, Food & Agri, Manufacturing sectors in addition to Microfinance. She also sits on the board of a Foundation and a Public listed company in her private capacity. Ms. Hingorani holds a master’s in finance from University of Delhi and an Executive MBA from SIMI Copenhagen.
Member, NMI Technical Assistance Steering Committee, Member, Board of NMI GP IV AS, Member, Nordic Microfinance Initiative Fund III Investment Committee, NMI Frontier Fund Investment Committee and NMI Global Fund Investment Committee
Andreas Roti is Portfolio Manager at DNB Livsforsikring AS. Prior to joining DNB Livsforsikring, Mr. Roti was working as an analyst at DNB Bank, covering clients within shipping and offshore. He holds a M.Sc. in Finance from Aarhus University, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Bergen.
Chairperson, NMI Global Fund Investment Committee, Member, Nordic Microfinance Initiative Fund III Investment Committee, NMI Frontier Fund Investment Committee
Erik Syrstad works in KLP asset management as an advisor to KLP, and with external managers. He also works with KLP's development investments in financial institutions in collaboration with Norfund, and with KLP's other investments in renewable energy. He has broad experience in various areas within asset management. He is a graduate of the Norwegian School of Management with specialization in economics and is a Financial Risk Manager (FRM).
See The Board of Directors
Technical Assistance (TA) Steering Committee
Kain Thorsson has worked as an Environmental, Social, Governance Advisor responsible for investments on financial institutions and SME-funds at Norfund since 2016. She has +10 years working experience from development finance through various roles and has obtained extensive experience in identifying and managing environmental, social and governance risks throughout the investment process as well as technical assistance management. Karin also sits on Norfund’s Investment Committee. She holds a Master of Science in International Economics and a master’s in political science both from Lund University in Sweden.