BIO announces new CEO
The Board of Directors of the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO) is pleased to announce the appointment of Joris Totté as the new Chief Executive Officer of the organization, effective as of March 1st, 2024. This appointment marks an exciting new chapter for BIO as it continues its mission of fostering sustainable development and economic growth in emerging markets.
After a competitive selection procedure, with the assistance of independent recruitment agencies Odgers Berndtson and Hudson, Mr Totté was selected as the best candidate for the position and accepted by the Board. He will succeed Mr Zonneveld, who will retire this coming March after eleven years in the CEO position.
Mr Totté brings with him a wealth of experience in both the financial and developmental sectors. With his deep understanding of global economic dynamics, Mr Totté is well-positioned to lead BIO in identifying and creating impactful investment opportunities in developing nations.
I am honoured to join BIO and lead its efforts in fostering economic development and prosperity in some of the world's most challenging markets
Mr Totté holds an international MBA degree, a master in political sciences, and a bachelor in communications. He has been advisor of Economic Affairs at the Belgian ministry of Foreign Affairs until August 2021. He has been active as an impact investor through co-founding Airborn, a cooperative investment fund for climate-positive start-ups in 2022. Since 2020, he is also a member of the investment committee at Trividend. He currently works as an advisor to the minister of Development Cooperation.
Joris Totté’s international experience encompasses diplomatic assignments as policy advisor on the Middle East at the Belgian embassy in Washington, deputy head of mission at the Belgian embassy in Jordan, member of the advisory boards of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Pooled Funds for Jordan and Syria, and as representative of Belgium in the Kimberley Process, the UN’s certification scheme to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the market. His approach to inclusive and responsible investment aligns seamlessly with BIO’s core values.
"We are thrilled to welcome Mr Totté as the new CEO of BIO," said Ms Géraldine Georges, Chairperson of the Board of Directors. "His extensive experience and dedication to sustainable development make him the ideal leader to guide BIO through its next phase of growth and impact."
As CEO, Joris Totté will work closely with the Board of Directors and BIO’s team to advance the organization's mission of supporting projects that create jobs, empower communities, and drive economic progress in developing countries. This appointment underscores BIO’s commitment to promoting responsible investment that generates both financial returns and positive social outcomes.
"I am honoured to join BIO and lead its efforts in fostering economic development and prosperity in some of the world's most challenging markets," said Mr Totté. "I look forward to collaborating with the talented team at BIO and its partners to create sustainable, inclusive, and transformative impact."
BIO expresses its sincere gratitude to Luuk Zonneveld for his dedication and achievements during his tenure as CEO. Under his leadership, BIO doubled its investing activity and enhanced its focus on development impact, improving the livelihoods of millions of people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. BIO looks forward to continue working with Mr Zonneveld in his role as Chairman of EDFI, the association of European Development Finance Institutions.
BIO, the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries, and EDFI AgriFI, the EU-funded Agriculture Financing Initiative, have proudly announced their co-investment of a total of EUR 6 million in gebana Faso (GFA), a pivotal step towards enhancing integrated and sustainable food supply chains in the region.
BIO sincerely congratulates its colleagues at Kampani with its 500K investment, sourced by BIO, in Soprocopiv, a coffee cooperative in Butembe (North Kivu, DRC), .