Citi Group’s Michael Schlein to head ACCION International

Microfinance Focus, Sept. 11, 2009: ACCION International, a global leader in microfinance, has named Michael Schlein as its new President and CEO. Schlein, President of International Franchise Management at Citigroup, will succeed María Otero, who was recently appointed U.S. Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, said a statement.
Mr. Schlein brings 25 years of experience in international banking and management to ACCION, which provides micro-loans, financial services and business training to the world’s entrepreneurial poor. ACCION currently works with partner microfinance institutions in 23 countries, and last year reached over 3.7 million poor clients with small working-capital loans, savings accounts and other financial products.

As President of Citigroup’s International Franchise Management unit, Mr. Schlein helped manage the bank’s network of 100 Chief Country Officers. Prior to it, Mr. Schlein was in-charge of Citi’s Human Resources and Global Corporate Affairs. A member of Citigroup’s Operating Committee, he also served as Executive Director of Citi’s Business Practices Committee, and as a Director of Citibank, N.A., Poland’s Bank Handlowy and Citibank Korea, Inc.

Prior to his Citi posts, Mr. Schlein served as Chief of Staff at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as Chief of Staff for the New York City Deputy Mayor for Finance and Economic Development. He began his career in public finance investment banking at Smith Barney.

Mr. Schlein has been involved with microfinance through the Citi Foundation, which has a long history of funding microfinance initiatives. More recently he was in the Executive Committee of ACCION International. Mr. Schlein is on the boards of nonprofit organizations Wildcat Service Corporation and New York Cares. He is a corporate member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the Business Council of the Asia Society.

Mr. Schlein holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, from which he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1984.

“ACCION is enormously fortunate to have Michael take the helm,” said Diana Taylor, ACCION Board Chair. “Not only does he bring the depth and breadth of financial and management expertise that will be instrumental in our global expansion, but he already has an extensive knowledge of the organization.”

© 2009, Microfinance News. All rights reserved. 2008-09

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