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The General Meeting for the declaration of independence of the re-structured SIFEM PLC and the election of the board was held Wednesday, August 17th, in the presence of Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, Secretary of State for the Economy. The process approved by the Federal Council to establish a Swiss development finance institution - following similar European models - which will be monitored and funded by the Confederation has thus been concluded.
Former Secretary of State Jean-Daniel Gerber has been elected chairman of the board of directors. Michel Juvet, director of the Geneva based private bank Bordier & Cie, will be the board's vice-president. Following members have also been elected: Hugo Fasel, director of Caritas Switzerland; Jean-Luc Bernasconi, deputy head of Economic Cooperation and Development, State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO; as well as Susanne Grossmann, Julia Balandina Jaquier and Iain Tulloch, who all were already members of the previous organisation's investment committee. SIFEM PLC's board of directors therefore brings a vast knowhow in investment, finances and development cooperation together.
SIFEM PLC invests - usually jointly with other European development finance institutions - mostly in funds aimed at SME in developing and emerging countries via shares or loans. It thus facilitates the companies' access to long-term funding, contributing towards their sustainable growth and the creation of jobs. SIFEM PLC is an initiative of the Economic Development Cooperation of the SECO.