Company Details

The Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries - BIO is a development finance institution owned by the Belgian government that seeks to support the private sector in developing countries by investing in local enterprises, either directly or indirectly (e.g. through financial institutions or investment funds).

Location

Brussels

Your role

The function is based in the Development and Sustainability (D&S) Unit, which is responsible for the analysis and monitoring of the positive Development effects and the Environmental & Social (E&S) risks of BIO's investment projects. The Unit also manages the Business Development Support Fund - BDSF, a facility which provides grants to BIO’s prospective and portfolio companies to finance feasibility studies and technical assistance programmes.

As E&S Officer, you will focus on the E&S assessment of BIO's investment sectors: SMEs and companies, infrastructure, financial institutions, and private equity funds. You will work with the two other (Senior) E&S Officers. Each E&S officer is in charge of a portfolio of projects together with the other departments at BIO. As a small team, the E&S team is agile and works closely on transversal projects. We will expect you to work on all types of transactions and sectors. You will be trained and mentored by your colleagues, and you will also have the possibility to take specific trainings related to DFI E&S activities.

E&S assessment:

  • You will assess the environmental, social and human rights effects and risks of BIO’s investments in enterprises or companies (mostly agribusiness and manufacturing SMEs) and infrastructure transactions (mostly renewable energy projects) against IFC E&S Performance Standards, World Bank EHS standards and national legislation;
  • You will assess the E&S capacity, risks and impact of private equity funds and financial institutions, and their management system to deal with their investees' E&S risks (based on IFC E&S Performance Standards, EDFI Standards for Financial Institutions and for Private Equity Funds, and on the Client Protection Principles);
  • You will develop corrective Environmental and Social Action Plans (ESAP) that are commensurate with the risks, building from client systems and capacities, and identify opportunities to improve and create value for the company and its stakeholders;
  • You will negotiate remediation actions with clients on complex issues in difficult project contexts and regions (e.g., LDCs, fragile contexts);
  • You will review contracts and legal documentation to ensure E&S requirements and due diligence recommendations are adequately reflected therein;
  • You will monitor clients against their E&S commitments as agreed during evaluation and defined in the investment’s legal contracts;
  • You will provide support to clients in developing their E&S management systems, methodologies, tools; and
  • You will contribute through knowledge transfer and training.

As an E&S Officer, you will:

  • take part in strategic reflection and implementation of E&S and development related topics, i.e. human rights, decent work, gender, climate change, biodiversity;
  • participate in transversal programs and projects within the E&S team and the D&S Unit as well as with other European Development Finance Institutions in the field of E&S risks and impact management;
  • represent BIO at external meetings, industry events and fora on environmental, social and human rights topics;
  • train investment and portfolio colleagues on E&S related topics, and ensure E&S compliance and progress ESAPs are fully embedded as part of BIO’s commercial approach.

Profile

  • You have a Master’s degree in either sustainability, social or environmental sciences. International Development Cooperation studies are a plus
  • You have 3 to 5 years of professional experience in environmental and social assessments related to the private sector business activities, in at least one of BIO's investment sectors (SME, infrastructure, Private Equity Funds, Financial Institutions)
  • You have experience defining or implementing E&S risk management measures
  • Experience in a top-tier E&S consultancy firm or another DFI in an E&S role is a very strong asset
  • Knowledge of and experience with IFC Performance Standards and other standards as described in the BIO E&S Policy (https://www.bio-invest.be/en/environmental-social-management)
  • You are able to support E&S compliance and progress within a commercial approach, support clients to identify opportunities to improve their E&S performances, and create positive development impact
  • You have knowledge of and interest in BIO’s mission, private sector development and impact investing
  • Experience in working in frontier markets is a plus
  • Specific expertise in human rights based approach in emerging countries is an asset
  • Spoken and written fluency in English is required. French and Spanish are very strong assets
  • You have project & process management skills (delivering results within project scope and close cooperation with other deal team members and partners)
  • You are willing to travel (+-15%), meet and discuss with clients
  • You are able to manage multiple projects simultaneously and interact with different sets of stakeholders
  • You take the initiative, learn quickly and strive for results
  • You have a good knowledge of MS Office

Soft skills:

  • You are autonomous and accountable for progress and challenges
  • You are a team player and are collaborative – you will share expertise and work with your E&S and D&S unit colleagues as well as with investment, legal & portfolio departments. As a small Unit, E&S, BDSF and development colleagues work together a lot
  • You have good interpersonal and communication skills – you communicate ideas clearly to clients and colleagues and you can be persuasive

Offer

We offer a rich professional experience, with motivated colleagues, an attractive package, and a good work-life balance.

Recruiter

Thomas Destrebecqz