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Creation Investment Social Ventures Fund I Announces a Final Fund Closing of $32 million in Committed Capital

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Creation Investment Social Ventures Fund I Announces a Final Fund Closing of $32 million in Committed Capital

CHICAGO, IL – January 14, 2010 – Creation Investments Social Ventures Fund I, a global Microfinance private equity fund, completed its final closing on December 15, 2010 with total committed capital of $31.8 million USD. The Fund’s investor base is composed of 74 US and European institutional investors along with many family offices and high net worth individuals. The Fund is governed by an independent Board of Directors and managed by Creation Investments Capital Management, LLC, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

To date, the Fund has deployed over half of its committed capital, making equity investments in five Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) and Small-and-Medium Enterprise Lenders in Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe. Specifically, portfolio holdings include: Aspire, S.A.P.I. de C.V. SOFOM E.N.R. (Mexico); MicroCred Mexico, S.A.P.I. de C.V. SOFOM E.N.R. (Mexico); Opportunity Albania (Albania); Inicjatywa Mikro (Poland); and Forus Bank (Russia). The Fund Manager co-led the establishment of CEE Microfinance Holdings, N.V. which manages the Fund’s three holdings in Central and Eastern Europe.

Each of these institutions is committed to providing financial services to under-banked individuals and businesses in its respective geography, helping to facilitate economic development and poverty alleviation. Beyond enterprise lending, several of the Fund’s portfolio companies offer micro-insurance, micro-savings, and other remittance services. As of November 30, 2010, the total aggregate loan portfolio is $95 million USD with over 30,000 active borrowers.

Creation Investment Social Ventures Fund I targets growth equity investments in early stage, high potential MFIs, as well as buyout equity investments in more mature MFIs transitioning out of NGO ownership. The Fund Manager seeks to add value and achieve greater scale through active management, in-market consolidation, and expansion of the financial product offering. The Fund aims to hold significant equity investments in three major geographic regions – Latin America, Asia, and Eastern Europe – resulting in a diverse, global portfolio in core emerging markets.

The Creation Investment’s team, led by Patrick Fisher and Ken Vander Weele, has proven their ability to originate unique impact investment transactions, recruit seasoned management for portfolio companies, access debt capital to fund growth, deliver technical assistance and technology to enhance systems, maintain a focus on client protection principles as a Smart Campaign member, and add value through active involvement in all levels of the business.

“We are excited to have brought sophisticated, private sector investors to a new asset class providing them with the opportunity to maximize their financial and social returns through robust impact investments” said Patrick Fisher, CEO and Co-Founder of the Fund Manager.

About Creation Investments Capital Management, LLC:
Creation Investments is an alternative investment management company committed to fighting global poverty through direct, for-profit investments in businesses which promote economic development. Creation Investments Capital Management, LLC manages and sponsors impact investment funds and one-off investments in social ventures, seeking to maximize financial and social returns on investment. For more information, go to:

dfe Partners and Creation Investments Establish CEE Microfinance Holdings, as a Regional Holding Company and Complete 3 Acquisitions

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Combined Talent from Financial Services and Microfinance Join to Expand Microfinance Services Throughout Central and Eastern Europe

DATELINE, September 23rd, 2010 – CEE Microfinance Holdings, N.V., a new, private equity backed, Dutch holding company owned by the Balkan Financial Sector Equity Fund, managed by the Swiss based dfe partners, and Creation Investments Social Ventures Fund I, managed by US based Creation Investments Capital Management, announced today it purchased three microfinance institutions located in Central and Eastern Europe. CEE Microfinance Holdings has a newly recruited management team which combines talent from the financial services industry both inside and outside the microfinance sector.

The three microfinance institutions involved in the transaction are located in Albania, Poland, and Russia and purchased from, U.S. based Opportunity Transformation Investments Inc., UK based Opportunity Microfinance Investments Ltd and FORA Fund (Russia).    The first institution, Opportunity Albania is a non-bank financial institution currently serving more than 16,000 clients from its 23 branches, with its headquarters in Tirana, Albania.  The second, Inicjatywa Mikro is a non-bank financial institution currently serving more than 2,000 customers, with its headquarters in Krakow, Poland. The third, FORUS is a registered bank in Russia currently serving more than 10,000 customers, with its headquarters in Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia and a 42 branch network.

“The successful completion of this transaction opens a new chapter for our customers, our employees, our businesses, and our investors and lenders.” said Pieter van Groos, the chief executive officer of the newly established CEE Microfinance.  “We are convinced that these businesses have tremendous potential to expand accessible and affordable financial services to both current and new customers that are underserved by traditional commercial banks and finance institutions. These acquisitions also provide a starting point for further acquisitions and create scale in the region.” Pieter van Groos was previously CEO of GE Money Bank in the Czech & Slovak Republics, and prior to this worked for McKinsey and Exxon. In addition, Koen Wasmus joins as COO of CEE Microfinance. Wasmus was previously CEO of ProCredit in Kosovo and held other management positions within ProCredit. Further appointments to the CEE Microfinance team will be announced.

Clive Moody, Managing Partner of dfe partners, who negotiated and led the transaction said, “The challenges for success in the maturing microfinance sector in Central and Eastern Europe have and will continue to change. What we see as critical to the future of CEE Microfinance is fresh vision combining the capabilities of experienced management with active shareholders who promote strong corporate governance and provide much needed access to capital. We believe there is much to be gained through developing a common business model across the three institutions that will then serve as a template for further country acquisitions.”

“The formation of CEE Microfinance with presence across three territories, including the banking license in Russia, allowed us to recruit a level of expertise to manage these operations that combines the best practices not only from the microfinance world, but also from the wider financial services environment,” said Patrick Fisher, CEO of Creation Investments. “Pieter and Koen individually have extensive experience, that combined provides a management strength that is the essential ingredient of a successful microfinance business in Central and Eastern Europe for the next decade”.

About CEE Microfinance Holdings, N.V.

CEE Microfinance Holdings, N.V. is a Dutch public limited liability company.  CEE Microfinance is involved in the business of owning microfinance and small and medium enterprise lending institutions in unbanked and underbanked markets and client segments in Central and Eastern Europe.  CEE Microfinance is owned by a Dutch Coöperatief formed by the Balkan Financial Sector Equity Fund CV and Creation Investments Social Ventures Fund I.  The Balkan Fund is a Netherlands investment fund, managed by Development Finance Equity Partners AG, Switzerland.  The Creation Social Ventures Fund is a U.S. investment fund, managed by Creation Investments Capital Management, LLC.

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Or contact:

Clive Moody, Managing Partner, dfe partners AG
Phone:   +44 1962 850736
Mobile:  +44 7866 565588

Patrick Fisher, Chief Executive Officer, Creation Investments Capital Management, LLC

Phone: +1.312.784.3980
Mobile: +1.773.960.8520