Christian Novak joined ISID last November as a Professor of Practice. He possesses combined experience in investment banking and economic and social development, having worked for renowned international banks and for a leading regional development financial institution. As Managing Partner of FMA - Frontier Markets Advisors, Christian’s consulting services have included projects in the spaces of financial inclusion, development finance, and impact investing, with focus on microfinance (namely reaching uniquely underserved communities, like women, smallholder farmers, displaced and refugee populations), SME finance, sustainable agriculture, and innovative investment structures. His core clients have included development financial institutions and agencies, NGOs focused on development, and investment funds. FMA is a proud member of CAFIID - The Canada Forum for Impact Investment and Development.
Christian played a fundamental role in the creation of the first leading microfinance institution in Argentina, and he co-founded two foundations respectively aimed at fostering education and basic infrastructure. As an early player in the “impact investing” space, Christian’s innovative approach resulted in being involved in transactions that were awarded by recognized organizations, including Ashoka (“Most Creative Ideas of the Year”) and the Financial Times (“Sustainable Deal of the Year”). Expanding on Christian’s past leadership, Christian co-founded an “impact investing” team within an investment bank, and he was a member of the Senior Management Team of a regional development financial institution during its relaunching/restructuring process.
Christian has a multi-lens view of development financing, gained through his experience as having co-started development organizations on the ground, covering all developing regions both in relation to development and mainstream investments, and having worked with the private sector, public sector, and NGOs. Christian has proactively shared his knowledge and views through his leadership roles, public papers, training programs, presentations, and webinars, including: “Microfinance - On the Road to Capital Markets” (paper), “Capital Structuring and Equity Valuation of Microfinance Institutions” (training program), “Low Income Entrepreneurs and their Access to Financing in Canada, Especially in the Province of Quebec/City of Montreal” (paper), “Social Impact Bonds - Benefits and Promises” (paper), “Social Impact Bonds: Beyond the Hype” (webinar), “Financial Literacy Toolbox for Sustainable Agricultural Organisations in Sub-Saharan Africa” (training program), “In Preparation to the Process to Finance your Company - a Guidance to SMEs” (training program, MOOC).
He graduated as a Public Accountant and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the Catholic University of Argentina. Christian is proficient in English, Spanish and French, with basic level of Portuguese.