Omtrix specializes in spotting regional needs unattended by the industry and structuring initiatives that address those needs. It is active in the financial inclusion area through financial and/or technical support for regional financial institutions, and also through direct support by means of consulting services. OMTRIX has structured and/or managed the following funds:
The Higher Education Finance Fund (HEFF) aimed at mobilizing educational loans for the low- income population segments of Latin America. The Fund offered and delivered technical support to microfinancial institutions and other financial intermediaries serving the most vulnerable population segments so that these institutions can use the financing from HEFF to finance their educational loan portfolio. HEFF was managed from Costa Rica by Omtrix Inc.
HEFF was the first Microfinance Fund entirely devised to venture in the educational credit market with the mission of showing that educational loans can be a viable financial product with an impact perceivable both from a financial and social. By using an innovative approach to the educational credit methodology and by working through OMTYRIX´s contact network of MFIs throughout Latin America, HEFF was able to support students lacking the resources to pay for their education but who do have the ambition and motivation to become professionals. HEFF was able to show that the financing of students does contribute to the economic growth of the countries participating in the Program.
Calmeadow was a Canadian Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), managed by Omtrix, which has supported innovating ideas in microfinances for over 30 years. The initiatives supported by Calmeadow helped promote greater efficiency and outreach through the provision of commercial financial services to low-income borrowers and small and microenterprises. Founded by a Canadian philanthropist family, Calmeadow has generated a great impact in the global microfinance industry.
Over time the role of Calmeadow evolved in sync with the great development of the microfinance industry. Calmeadow was restructured by downsizing and by refocusing on interventions that specifically targets the elimination of barriers affecting the financial inclusion sector – a constantly changing one. Calmeadow supported initiatives that promoted the generation of better and more efficient financial services for low-income people and their businesses by strengthening the commercial financial institutions that provide them with such services.
Since its inception, Calmeadow has invested in several institutions in Latin America, Africa and other regions of the world, in debt and technical assistance vehicles, in addition to coordinating and financing more than thirty studies on barriers, bottlenecks and trends in impact finance.
ProFund provided capital and quasi-capital resources to eligible financial institutions striving to grow and improve their operations through the achievement of a larger and sustainable scale.
Profund invested in twelve institutions in ten countries of Latin America and the Caribbean; it also provided them support in corporate governance allowing them to operate in a high growth but unstable environment. The portfolios of the institutions that benefited from an investment from Profund experimented expansions ranging from US$ 86 million to over US$ 800 million. Over 900,000 microenterprises were serviced by those institutions. As a fixed term close-ended capital Fund, ProFund was successfully liquidated after ten years. This surprised many at the time, given that all investments and the Fund itself were liquidated according to the pre-defined plan, generating a final yield of 7% which exceeded the expectations of investors.
EMERGENCY LIQUIDITY FUND
The Emergency Liquidity Fund (ELF) was created in August 2013 as an alternate option for MFIs facing temporary liquidity problems caused by an external factor such as a natural disaster or a systemic financial crisis. Omtrix was responsible for structuring and managing the Facility during its 11 years of operations.
ELF acted as a debt financing source of last resort for over 51 MFIs in Latin America and the Caribbean that were pre-qualified in order to be eligible for swift financing. At the closing of the Fund in August 2015, ELF had attended 8 emergencies for a total disbursement US$41.2 million, through 34 loans to MFIs of 7 countries in the Region. All the loans were collected according to the terms and conditions agreed upon at the time of their disbursement.
ELF TECHNICAL SUPPORT FACILITY (TSF)
TSF was a Facility for technical assistance that managed a funding of US$780,000 that was invested to support 51 MFIs in 13 countries affiliated to ELF. The program included an evaluation and a diagnosis of the degree of institutional preparedness of the MFIs in the event of an emergency caused by external factors. Omtrix was responsible for managing the Facility, as well as for the structuring a qualified team to support and the MFIs.
The Program had a second stage that was financed with US$280,000. It was used for supporting 15 MFIs in the implementation of their contingency plans.
CARIBBEAN TECHNICAL SUPPORT FACILITY
The Caribbean Technical Support Facility (CTSF) was conceived and structured because many of the MFIs in the Caribbean did not comply with the requirements of ELF. Thus, it was established to provide technical assistance for the prevention and management of natural disaster risks to Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) in the Caribbean. The Facility, managed by Omtrix, was funded with non-reimbursable contributions of US$ 630,000. By the closing of the CTSF in March 2012, the Program had benefited 21 MFIs.
HAITIAN EMERGENCY LIQUIDITY PROGRAM (HELP)
HELP was structured and managed by Omtrix as a response to the emergency caused by the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The Program sought to support low income micro entrepreneurs and loan recipients that were struck by the earthquake, via the backing of the MFIs that serviced them. HELP allowed the temporary purchase of the loan portfolios of eligible MFIs. The objective of this was to allow the MFIs to restore their operations, to refinance/ restructure the portfolio affected by the earthquake and thus to improve their equity position and to reinstate their access to financing sources to allow them to keep operating.
Antares Equity Participation Fund
Antares EPF was created in 2004 with Gray Ghost Microfinance Fund's contribution of US$ 5 million. It had the goal of contributing to generate greater liquidity to MFI’s equity shares. The Fund was structured and managed by Omtrix Inc. By the closing of the Fund’s operations in December 2011, Antares EPF had made investments in 8 MFIs of Latin America and the Caribbean for an amount of US$8 million and generated an overall yield of 10,9% for its investors.
AFRICAP MICROVENTURES, LTD
In 2000, Omtrix signed a consultancy agreement with AfriCap Microventures Ltd. in order to provide technical assistance for the structuring and implementation of an Investment Fund focused on promoting the growth of the regulated Financial Institutions in Africa that specialized in the provision of financial services to small and micro enterprises. Omtrix was responsible for:
- Advising on the selection and hiring of an Investment Manager based in South Africa.
- Supporting in the establishment of the organization of the government structure of AfriCap Microfinance Fund (AfriCap).
- Contributing to the preparation of the Investment Policies and Guidelines of AfriCap.
- Collaborating in obtaining funding of US$13.3 million for AfriCap.
- Delivering administrative and treasury services to AfriCap.
RISK MANAGEMENT FACILITY (RMF)
RMF was a technical assistance Facility for MFIs in Latin America and the Caribbean for comprehensive risk management. The Facility received non-reimbursable donations of US$2.2 million. The funding was provided by highly regarded funders including The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of Switzerland, Calmeadow, Appui au Dévelopment Autonome (ADA), DOEN Foundation and Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO).
Omtrix was responsible for developing the concept, and the structuring and management of the Facility. It developed a series of tools and manuals specially designed for MFIs. The program was implemented in 14 countries and 33 MFIs in the Region.