Executive Director

Financial Sector Deepening Uganda (FSDU)


Position: Executive Director

Company: Financial Sector Deepening Uganda (FSDU)

Location: Kampala, Uganda

Deadline for submission of Cover Letter and CV: 17th February 2022

Background / Role motivation

FSDU is part of the FSD Network on the African continent. The FSD Network is a family of nine independent financial sector deepening organizations bound by the common vision of inclusive, competitive financial markets that work for the poor.

FSDU is a Ugandan company and the country’s premier ‘think and do’ tank in the digital financial services space. Its pioneering work has positively impacted over 600,000 Ugandans and enabled crucial policies in the financial sector. FSDU was incorporated in 2015 as a company limited by guarantee. It is an independent, not-for-profit company with the aim of improving the livelihoods of Uganda's low-income households through an inclusive financial sector. The organization uses a “making markets work for the poor” (M4P) development approach, which seeks to change market systems, so they work more effectively for the poor.

Through experimental grants and technical assistance, FSDU supports gender inclusive financial innovations1 in the private sector, next generation policy and regulatory reform, innovative models around shared financial market infrastructure, and continuous research to ensure evidence-based decision making.

It is currently funded by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The European Union, and The Mastercard Foundation. FCDO (UKAid) was the founder donor of FSDU (and the FSD Network).

Position summary

The Executive Director (ED) will set the vision and be responsible for the overall delivery of FSDU’s programmatic and corporate strategy. She/He is responsible for the development of FSDU's vision, mission, and strategy and oversees its delivery, ensuring that the organization is fully accountable to the Board, funders, and key stakeholders.

Across payments, savings, credit, insurance, remittances, informal sector pensions, and long-term savings via capital markets.

The incumbent will work credibly with the FSDU Board and staff, donors, government agencies, partners, and other stakeholders and to operationalize FSDU’s vision of delivering sustainable improvements in the livelihoods of lower income households across Uganda, through gender-inclusive finance. The ED will be a results-oriented strategic leader with a track record of developing and managing a high performing team. The ED will demonstrate understanding of the financial sector broadly and a strong understanding of digital financial services in an emerging market context.

The ED has overall responsibility for leading FSDU to achieve its goal of generating sustainable improvements in the livelihoods of lower-income households through reduced vulnerability to shocks, increased incomes, and employment. The ED is responsible for ensuring that FSDU’s investments through direct and returnable grants, and technical assistance address systemic issues, have the potential for viability and scale and significantly impact FSDU’s core beneficiaries- women, youth, small holder farmers, refugees, and small businesses.

Reporting to the Board, the ED oversees the organization’s operations and ensures appropriate fiduciary oversight is maintained. The ED is responsible for ensuring that FSDU is structured, organized, managed, and controlled in such a way as to enable achievement of its vision and delivery against set targets.

Externally, ED liaises, harmonizes, and builds strong strategic relationships with national policymakers, regulators, industry bodies, private sector, and donors. The ED is also responsible for fund-raising for FSDU from both anchor donors as well as thematic donors and should have credible experience raising funds from bilateral / multi-lateral funders.

Overall, the ED is an experienced results-oriented strategic leader who is able to initiate and deepen external and internal relationships, as well as craft and deliver a compelling strategy and business plans that transforms the financial sector in Uganda. The ED will have global expertise as well as the ability to tap into international best practice to ensure that FSDU’s strategy is advancing the financial sector in step with neighboring countries and other leaders in financial inclusion and in line with the aspirations of key stakeholders. The ED will also have experience in the financial inclusion space, which underlies much of the leap forward in financial inclusion in recent years.

Key responsibilities

Strategic Direction

• Lead the implementation of FSDU’s strategies; clearly articulating FSDU’s objectives, measures of success and strategies for achieving its vision

• Analyze and keep up to date with developments and changes in the financial services sector to ensure the relevance and impact of FSDU as it builds a financial services market for the poor

• Through key staff deliver on the organization’s theory of change, and results framework

• Proactively engage with key stakeholders, including Board, team members, major donors, and senior government policy makers to incorporate their perspectives and priorities in FSDU activities

• Lead and provide technical support to key staff in the development of FSD’s annual operations and business planning process, ensuring all activities are planned, budgeted, and align with strategy

• Ensure that investments are chosen to maximize progress towards the achievement of FSDU’s mission and maximize value for money for donors


Organizational Leadership

• Ensure the development of an HR strategy aimed at providing the organisation with a sufficient number of highly skilled experts to deliver against FSDU’s strategic plan

• Provide inspirational leadership and direction to all employees, and ensure the continued development and management of a highly professional and efficient organisation

• Ensure that staff have the resources and tools they need, as well as a clear understanding of what is expected of them and the impact of their roles on organizational success

• Formulate and execute comprehensive communication and development strategies that will ensure consistency throughout the organisation

• Support staff enabling them to give their best, i.e. by encouraging and praising good performance, coaching, and assisting staff to prevent or resolve problems

• Monitor and review performance, holding staff accountable for meeting standards of excellence and delivering any improvement goals which have been identified, and taking decisive action in the case of poor performance

Thought Leadership & Stakeholder Engagement

• Engage with international financial services community of practice to bring global best practices and key Financial Inclusion innovations back to FSDU’s strategy, partners, and stakeholders

• Personally contribute to establishing FSDU as a well-respected thought leader in financial

inclusion particularly as it pertains to influencing the direction of the financial sector in Uganda

• Build strong relationships with government, market players, and other stakeholders to accurately

• Gather insights/feedback and drive a proactive financial inclusion agenda across the market

• Lead the process of domestic, regional, and international stakeholder analysis to determine

critical and important players to facilitate the implementation of FSDU programmes

• Establish a robust research agenda that builds a relevant fact-base to influence behaviour within

government agencies, market leaders (public and private), and other key stakeholders

• Support key staff in the development and implementation of a comprehensive influencing and communications strategy results in high levels of impact in the sector 


• Support effective governance by developing and implementing a framework for reporting and facilitating Board decision making to enable the Board to fulfil its governance functions

• Lead the development, implementation and monitoring of FSDU policies to ensure alignment with best practice, along with relevance and responsiveness to the market and key external stakeholders

• Take the lead in developing and progressing the risk maturity of the organisation including the various phases of a risk programme including risk governance, identification, assessment, mitigation, reporting and monitoring and advising the Board on changes in risk profile and suggesting changes to the risk appetite of the organisation

• Ensure that systems and procedures that are aligned with Board policy are developed and consistently followed by team members

Results Measurement

• Ensure that a results or monitoring and evaluation framework is in place and effective for measuring both achievement of strategic goals and the impact made by FSDU’s interventions

• Continuously engage with stakeholders – particularly government agencies, donors, and market players – to determine their level of satisfaction with FSDU’s performance, impact, and contribution

• Regularly review the achievement of results with team members and support the development and implementation of strategies designed to ensure effective delivery

• Monitor and review results measurement reports ensuring they are evidence based, accurate and reflect the true status of the FSDU implementation plan

• Ensure lessons learned from research, global best practice, grant results, market activity, and the monitoring/evaluation process are feed back into the design of future strategic and project plans 

Fundraising and Financial Management

• Guide the development of FSDU’s funding base, ensuring that there is a wide variety of donor funding and building strong relationships of mutual trust

• Monitor the financial performance of FSDU ensuring that planned strategic and operational activities are implemented in a timely manner and that all funds are fully accounted for

• Ensure that FSDU’s financial management complies with national and international financial regulations; and that financial record keeping will support effective auditing and timely reporting to both the funders and the Board

• Take ownership of all reporting to stakeholders

Skills and experience

• Master’s Degree in a relevant discipline (Business Administration, Economics, International Development, Public Policy, Information Technology)

• Professional experience, with at least 5 years in an organizational leadership or executive role with P&L responsibility

• Experience working credibly with a board of directors

• In-depth understanding of the financial sector, especially digital financial services, some exposure to payment systems, and emerging technology trends in the sector

• Significant experience in fundraising and managing multiple donor relations

• Experience facilitating change at policy or systems level, including excellent coalition building skills with ability to work effectively with a wide variety of internal and external stakeholders

• Proven record of implementing projects and managing teams to successful outcomes

• Demonstrated understanding of risk management within a not-for-profit context

• Understanding of M4P approach to financial inclusion and government relations experience

• Experience in both non-profit and for-profit sectors, a strong plus, with some experience in the international development context

• Experience working in Africa is a strong plus

Personal attributes

• A lateral thinker with an entrepreneurial spirit

• Financially savvy and political astuteness with the ability to set clear priorities and delegate

• Keen analytical, organizational, and problem-solving skills that support and enable sound decision-making

• Strong commitment to the professional development of staff

• Successful track record of recruiting and retaining a diverse team

• Strategic communications skills

• Fluency in English, both written and oral, required


 Please submit your latest CV and a cover letter detailing why you are the best candidate for this role. Applications will be accepted until 17 February 2022 and should be addressed to:

Natashya Pillay

Principal: Executive Search, Jack Hammer


+27 83 261 5135

linkedin.com/in/natashya-kristanna-pillay/ https://jhammerglobal.com/