Senior Advisor Capital Markets for Development

Minimum starting annual salary: US$128,707
28 Sep 2021
08 Oct 2021
Contract Type
Contract / Interim

Job Title:  Senior Advisor Capital Markets for Development 

Grade Level: D-1 

Department:  UNCDF Directorate 

Duty Station:  New York, USA 

Type of Assignment: Fixed Term Appointment (FTA) 

Duration:  One year with possibility of extension 

Closing Date:  8 October 2021 (midnight New York, USA)


II. Job Purpose and Organizational Context 

The UN Capital Development Fund makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 46 least developed countries (LDCs). UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development. UNCDF’s financing models work through three channels: (1) inclusive digital economies, which connects individuals, households, and small businesses with financial eco-systems that catalyze participation in the local economy, and provide tools to climb out of poverty and manage financial lives; (2) local development finance, which drives structural transformation of localities through policy and regulatory reform, fiscal decentralization, innovative municipal finance, and project finance to unlock capital flows to the local level, combined local economic expansion and sustainable development; and (3) investment finance, which provides catalytic financial structuring, de-risking, and capital deployment to drive SDG impact and domestic resource mobilization. 

Based on its capital mandate to help Least Developed Countries (LDC) pursue inclusive growth, UNCDF focuses on the expansion and blending of its capital investment instruments, and promotes innovative finance instruments to further explore how public finance can be used to unlock additional public and private finance from international and domestic sources to reach the last mile. Targeting the last mile implies adapting solutions to the underserved, where benefits from growth tend to leave people excluded, where development needs are greatest and where resources are scarcest.  

With its existing portfolio of blended finance programmes, UNCDF uses a combination of grants, reimbursable grants, loans, guarantees and blended finance funds to make innovative finance work for the poor. Through its programmes UNDCF promotes financing models invest in SMEs in the frontier economies, derisks investments and projects by providing guarantees and supports market and ecosystem development, particularly in the digital and municipal infrastructure arenas. It aims at inclusive digital economies to transform lives via technology and telecommunications solutions leapfrogging stages of development. It develops a pipeline of transformational sub-sovereign, municipal infrastructure projects through structured project finance, innovations in fiscal decentralization, and through a municipal finance blended finance fund.  

The need for UNCDF to catalyze more investments for the varied and evolving requirements of LDCs calls for the steady investment of Official Development Assistance (ODA) but also tapping the private sector capital managed by institutional investors such as asset managers, pension funds, insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds, corporate treasuries and impact investment funds to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA). For UNCDF to remain relevant and competitive in this changing global environment, it needs to maximize the right conditions for capital raising and structuring to flourish in a new development finance landscape. Hence, considering the untapped potential of investment in the impact space in LDCs, UNCDF is adapting its business model to 1) push the boundaries of capital markets innovations to raise private capital for the LDCs, 2) further explore how public finance – such as ODA and climate finance - can be used to unlock additional private finance from international and domestic sources, primarily for the LDCs, and 3) structuring capital investment instruments such as Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs), bonds, first loss, risk mitigation and listing of new instruments on public exchanges. 

In this context, UNCDF is creating a Capital Markets for Development  D1 Advisor position to identify, and leverage new sources of funding and and innovative finance opportunities, and is now inviting applications from suitably qualified candidates. 

This will be a newly-established fixed-term position financed on UNCDF Core-resources and is based at UNCDF New York Headquarters. 

The role reports directly to the UNCDF Executive Secretary/Director D2, New York, USA. 


III. Functions / Key Results Expected 

The Senior Advisor, Capital Markets for Development will work under the Directorate’s guidance and supervision, and working closely with the Executive Secretary, and in close collaboration with the technical teams.  The incumbent will have a managerial and entrepreneurial role in identifying and developing new private sector funding and capital markets structures for UNCDF with the purpose to attracting and encouraging large private sector institutional investors and asset managers to invest in development while meeting their returns and risk perspectives. 

The following deliverables are expected to be executed during the initial twelve months of the assignment entering into force. The position will be extended upon satisfactory performance during the first year, and additional outputs will be added over the course of Fixed-Term (FT) assignment.  

  • An innovative financing and capital markets innovation strategy produced, one that crowds in additional public and private capital for UNCDF to deliver on its mandate of investing for development impact in LDC economies. 
  • Development of a financing model that will ensure that UNCDF can support its investment plans to scale with a diverse and stable financial grounding. 
  • Design, appraisal, and implementation of UNCDF’s next generation of capital markets approaches and instruments aiming at leveraging additional public and private financing for development. 
  • Contribute to the mobilization of new and significant sources of financing from new private and other non-traditional entities to the tune of a minimum of $10 million per year. 


Main Tasks and Responsibilities

1. Lead and Conduct Capital Raising and Structuring Innovation: 

  • Identify and develop new donors, investors and capital markets structures with the purpose of orienting capital towards investing in new frontier areas via UNCDF investments or financial advisory. 
  • Identify and develop specific opportunities to raising and leveraging donor capital with new institutional investor solutions to improve the amount, efficiency, and predictability of funding for UNCDF programmes.
  • Undertake donor outreach and consultation (private and public) to help secure additional funding. In this regard, the incumbent will lead partnerships with major financial institutions like investment banks, insurance companies, pension funds and asset owners and with philanthropies and foundations. 
  • Contribute to the development of an innovative finance business case for approaching investors and  donors. 
  • Identify and carry out potential partnerships intelligence, conduct risk assessment, and cost-benefit analysis on potential partnership models. 
  • Provide suggested contact information and make personal introductions where possible. 
  • Proactively position UNCDF as an incubator of capital markets structures and solutions for development and innovative financing solutions for frontier economies in key global platforms. 
  • Analyze external environment, partners and stakeholders to identify key analytical insights and financing information.

2. Provide proactive strategic advice

  • Based on an agreed approach, provide expertise and advice to UNCDF and partner governments to support strategies to unlock additional public and private finance from international and domestic sources. 
  • Lead and facilitate foresight, insight, ideation in funding innovation and perspectives of both public and private capital with a target of building bridges between them. 
  • Secure relevant people, funding and time. 
  • Communicate funding innovation needs and success stories to engage relevant stakeholders. 
  • Collaboration and knowledge sharing in internal and external funding innovation networks.

3. Drive a culture change around financial innovation, private sector funding and capital markets : 

  • Lead and facilitate idea generation sessions with internal and external participation. 
  • Create awareness of what is capital markets innovation and why it is important. 
  • Lead activities to strengthen capabilities and contact to approach to private sector institutional investors, boost creativity and accelerate implementation. 
  • Communicate financial innovation strategy and innovation success stories. 
  • Coach and support other staff to develop ideas/opportunities. 
  • Use tools and methods to identify opportunity value and estimate effort.


IV. Competencies

Description of Competency at Level Required

Core Competencies


Ability to make new and useful ideas work 

Level 7: Promotes stakeholder-centered design and appropriate risk-taking approaches for office / programme / division 


Ability to persuade others to follow 

Level 7: Positions the organization as a center of expertise and influence Inspires others to reach new heights  

People Management 

Ability to improve performance and satisfaction 

Level 7: Empowers team managers to act independently and takes people management decisions 


Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform 

Level 7: Reconciles contrasting positions and ambiguous circumstances by communicating a clear path for resolution and progress 


Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement 

Level 7: Sets strategic goals and builds the means to achieve optimal service delivery and organizational excellence 

Knowledge Management 

Ability to efficiently handle and share information and knowledge  

Level 6: Integrate & Empower: Leads integral work of teams utilizing expertise, vision, problem-solving capability, and collaborative energy in professional area of expertise 

Creating Visibility  

Ensuring that UNCDF has the visibility and corporate image it requires as the key development actor.  

Level 7: Navigate & Guide: Charts a course for a systems approach to continuous learning, adaptation, and excellence, creating institutional imperatives to realize progress within across the relevant profession 


Technical/Functional Competencies 

Technical Knowledge  Knowledge and expertise in Investment & Public finance concepts, principles and policies and the ability to apply in strategic and/or practical situations  

Level 7: Navigate & Guide: Charts a course for a systems approach to continuous learning, adaptation, and excellence, creating institutional imperatives to realize progress within across the relevant profession 

Building Strategic Partners 

Establishing, maintaining and utilizing a broad network of contacts.  Building partnerships and strategic alliances. 

Level 6: Integrate & Empower: Leads integral work of teams utilizing expertise, vision, problem-solving capability, and collaborative energy in professional area of expertise 

Results Based Programme Development and Management  

Effectively managing core and non-core resources to achieve organizational results.  Moving from basic research to programme/project management, to programme design and conceptual leadership 

Level 6: Integrate & Empower: Leads integral work of teams utilizing expertise, vision, problem-solving capability, and collaborative energy in professional area of expertise 


Proven ability to fundraise for development purposes, building strong relationships with funders 

Level 7:Navigate & Guide: Charts a course for a systems approach to continuous learning, adaptation, and excellence, creating institutional imperatives to realize progress within across the relevant profession 

Innovation and Marketing New Approaches  

Developing original and innovative ideas and approaches.  Influencing others within UNDP and outside, to adopt new approaches.  Creating a culture of innovation and change. 

Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise 


V. Recruitment Qualifications


An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in Economics or its university equivalent in Business, Finance or Economics, or another related field.

Qualifications and Experience: 

  • A minimum of 15 years professional experience in the financial services industry, preferably with a focus on resource mobilization, in an investment bank, corporate bank, multilateral development bank (MDB), bilateral development finance institution (DFI), private equity fund, venture capital, impact investment fund or other such. 
  • Deep knowledge and long-term experience in financing structuring, capital markets, impact investing, venture capital, private equity, and other types of financial innovation in both the private sector for the international development arena. 
  • Candidate with a proven track record for capital raising and structuring capital markets instruments for development will have a distinctive advantage. 
  • Proven knowledge of policy and technical implementation issues related to impact investment, impact measurement and the SDGs. 
  • Expertise in policy, legal or regulatory issues related to investment management and facilitation for sustainable development. 
  • Proven track record in the successful mobilization of resources and partners, and extensive network of contacts across the financial and investment sectors. 
  • Expert knowledge in topics related to investment banking, venture capital, private equity, impact investment, and related fields, as well as Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and Bilateral Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), with a focus on emerging and frontier markets. 
  • Leadership experience working with high-level Government officials and decision-makers in the global investment area. 
  • Experience working with development finance institutions and other renowned private entities operating in the development finance investment space is an advantage.
  • Working experience in emerging markets will be an asset.


  • Fluency in English is required. 
  • Proficiency in other UN languages especially French is considered a distinct advantage but not required.