Development Finance Institute Canada (DFIC), the country’s new development finance institution (DFI), has appointed a managing director, Paul Lamontagne, and unveiled a new brand, FinDev Canada.

The new institution has been built progressively since May 2017, when the Canadian government announced its intention to create a DFI to be housed within Export Development Canada (EDC) and capitalised with US$300mn.

FinDev Canada is a wholly-owned subsidiary of EDC and, once fully operational, will be headquartered in Montreal.

It has a mandate to provide financial services to the private sector in developing countries with the aim of combating poverty through economic growth by focusing on three main themes: economic development through job creation, women’s economic empowerment, and climate change mitigation.

Lamontagne brings to the position extensive experience in banking, private equity, venture capital and impact investing in emerging markets. He was the founding CEO and long-time chair of Enablis Financial Corporation, an impact fund manager in Africa that supported over 150 SMEs. Most recently, he was responsible for managing a Canadian private equity fund that invests in renewable energy, infrastructure and telecommunications in Africa.

Among his immediate priorities, Lamontagne will be responsible for refining FinDev Canada’s strategy, growing the team, and engaging with key stakeholders in Canada and abroad.

“Welcoming Paul Lamontagne to the team is a significant milestone, which marks the beginning of the operational phase of Canada’s development finance institution,” says board chair Benoit Daignault. “With Paul’s deep knowledge of impact investing in emerging markets, his guidance will help accelerate the building of the team, the organisation, and the launch of activities to help deliver on its mandate.”

“While I am very excited about this new role, I am also acutely aware of the responsibility that comes with launching a new institution that will be the first of its kind for Canada. The world will definitely be watching,” says Lamontagne.

Upcoming milestones for FinDev Canada include the launch of the website, the announcement of its first transaction, the appointment of an advisory council, and the opening of its office in Montreal.