The entire FSVC global family mourns the loss of Paul A. Volcker, our Honorary Chairman, who passed away at age 92. Paul’s extraordinary public career was marked by towering public policy achievement, the highest integrity and commitment to the greater good. The example he set for leadership is timeless. At FSVC, which helps strengthen the financial sectors of emerging market countries, Paul assumed the Co-Chairmanship of the organization in 1998, succeeding Co-Founder Cyrus Vance in that position. Paul continued as Co-Chairman, serving in that capacity with Co-Founder John Whitehead, until 2005. Paul then served as FSVC’s Honorary Chairman until his death. Paul was a profound inspiration to FSVC’s work, and he travelled regularly on FSVC missions to Russia, China and Indonesia, among other places. His counsel was sought by heads of state and government and leaders of global institutions on economic and financial matters large and small.
An example of Paul’s contribution was his instrumental role in guiding FSVC’s work in Indonesia to rebuild the country’s financial sector following the financial crisis of 1998. Paul provided economic and financial policy advice to the Indonesian President at the time, Abdurrahman Wahid, and to the country’s economic and financial leadership during FSVC’s subsequent program to strengthen governance and capacity at the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency.
We have lost a dear friend and valued colleague. Paul’s rare combination of intellectual brilliance, humility and humanity will be missed greatly. His commitment to public service will live on in FSVC’s work.
In April 2018, FSVC received funding from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs/Assistance Coordination (NEA/AC) to implement a 24-month program to support the Algerian entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Many Algerian startups have adopted a communication plan as part of their customer acquisition strategy, but face challenges adapting to an evolving media landscape. To help startups enhance customer engagement, in November, two FSVC volunteer experts conducted a workshop on how best to use communication tools and channels to increase visibility, build a brand image and connect with potential customers.
This project will help Algerian startups approach communication strategy in a more flexible and adaptable manner to maximize customer engagement, and ultimately grow their client base.
Since September 2011, FSVC, with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has been providing technical assistance to improve the quality and consistency of regulation and supervision in the Albanian financial sector. A key component of the program has been to build the capacity of the Albanian Financial Supervisory Authority (AFSA) to strengthen its supervision of the insurance industry and capital and pension markets.
Due to demographic changes in Albania, including an aging population and emigration of the working age population, the public pension system has been placed under considerable strain. Further development of the pension funds market would relieve some of the pressure placed on the public social security system. To help create a more enabling environment for pension funds in Albania, in November, FSVC assisted the AFSA in evaluating the pension funds market and developing policies to promote its growth.
As a result of this project, the AFSA will be better able to oversee the diversification of the pension market and promote development of a second pillar in the pension system, which will help diversify pension options for the retiring population.
On November 10-11, FSVC Regional Country Director for the Middle East Danyelle Gerges took part in the 11 th ACAMS Annual Anti-Money Laundering & Financial Crime Conference in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The conference focused on training and technical assistance opportunities to strengthen compliance within financial institutions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region .
Ms. Gerges participated in a panel discussion on compliance challenges. She spoke about FSVC’s experience and significant efforts in the region, including in Dubai, Jordan and Tunisia, to develop strict yet balanced KYC and CDD procedures, enhance the quality and quantity of suspicious transactions reports, and promote data sharing and communication among financial institutions.
This conference provided an excellent platform for FSVC to highlight the work it has done in the MENA region, and gain insight on current financial and technology trends affecting the region.