Accion International

Vice President of Product Innovation, Global Advisory Solutions

Posted Date 1 month ago(12/20/2022 3:56 PM)
Job ID
Accion Washington, DC


About Accion

Accion is a global nonprofit committed to creating a financially inclusive world, with a trailblazing legacy in microfinance and fintech impact investing. We catalyze financial service providers to deliver high-quality, affordable solutions at scale for the 1.8 billion people who are left out of, or poorly served by, the financial sector. For more than 60 years, Accion has helped tens of millions of people through our work with more than 200 partners in 63 countries. More at

About Global Advisory Solutions (GLAS)

We are a diverse and close-knit global team with one common social purpose: building a financially inclusive world for small businesses and low-income households. We are passionate about what we do – working with a wide range of financial service providers and other partners across the world to create to build sustainable businesses to achieve financial inclusion. We enjoy solving problems, being exposed to new ideas, sharing information, and asking, “what if?”. 


Position Summary 

The Accion Global Advisory Solutions team is seeking a VP, Product Innovation who is passionate about re-imagining the delivery of financial products to underserved customers in today’s digital society. The successful candidate will be tasked with spearheading the creation of competitive, innovative, scalable, and fit-for-purpose financial products, driving execution excellence, and capturing synergies across practices and regions. The candidate should have experience working with and building financial products and a comprehensive understanding of integrating different practice areas and possible regulatory and compliance requirements. This position will lead the Practice Areas for GLAS and directly manage a team of Practice Leads. Current Practice Areas include: product development, credit and risk analytics, data management and analytics, operations and technology, capability building and people and culture.


Position Responsibilities

Working with the Managing Director of GLAS and core practice area leads, this position will be responsible for guiding and directing GLAS's technical outputs and activities, driving execution excellence, and capturing learnings and synergies across practices and regions. This position will ensure GLAS is driving innovation with  various digital-first financial services projects for the underserved around the world as well as ensuring outputs of practice areas adhere to standards of excellence. This will require working with financial service provider (FSP) leaderships teams, donors and Accion and GLAS leadership.  Core areas of responsibility include:


1.  Oversee the Practice Areas to execute a delivery standard that is best in class: Own and optimize the GLAS execution model, applying standards to its operations to achieve efficiency and quality of output.

  • Explore new areas and/or trends, being responsive to these trends and GLAS positioning in addressing them; implement strategy for filling gaps.
  • Define a framework/blueprint for delivery standards across GLAS, capturing synergies across the Practice Areas and Regions focusing on delivery, Quality Assurance, and the pre-building of missing assets.
  • Oversee the delivery of new products and/or services to ensure speed, efficiency, and profitability; define standardized processes based on best practices.
  • Define the intersection between each Practice Area and how it fits into the operating model to ensure cohesion across the different areas.
  • Provide guidance and standardization across Practice Areas and Regions; oversee QA of the Practice Areas.
  • Identify external trends, needs and gaps within the solutions space and oversee the creation of workable solutions.
  • In coordination with the Regional Program Managers, prioritize the identified solutions based on project work, Business Development needs, and market trends.
  • Define the performance standards across the Practice Areas, based on the roadmaps, expectations, and outputs, identify the key success criteria and how it will be measured.

2.  Directly manage and oversee the development of cutting-edge product solutions. Key activities to include: 

  • Providing guidance in defining key products and services for digitally enabled financial services, including but not limited to: Customer Insights and Experimentation, Customer Engagement, Product Development, and Group/Digital Lending.
  • Overseeing the development of innovative solutions, including the following components:
    • Integrated product definition - from user experience through to reporting and compliance and lead the consulting team's work with our partners' product development teams.
    • Go-to-market strategy for the product, working with key subject matter experts, including but not limited to Risk Models and Scorecards and Credit Methodology.
    • Definition of product features and associated business requirements, using iterative product development techniques.
    • Scalable product design, both operationally and technologically.
    • Impact of the product design and its functionality on the banking platforms and supporting infrastructure.
    • Product business cases and models, determining the feasibility of product ideas, including key performance indicators and other objective metrics.
  • Guiding projects that leverage data for strategic decision making at partner organizations.
  • Provide insights on the impact of developed key products and services to business lines, operations, and technical infrastructure.
  • Influencing stakeholders through ongoing communication and advocacy to build cross-functional buy-in and commitment to a shared product vision.
  • Driving the new products and services through GLAS, championing the solutions.

3.  Work with Resource Development and GLAS management team, to develop business development pitches to both donors and commercial entities that can use GLAS services; and

  • Develop proposals for agreed projects for donors, investee-portfolio clients and non-investee clients.
  • Represent Accion Global Advisory Solutions team at events through speaking engagements, in line with GLAS Industry Engagement strategy to ensure business development opportunities are being identified and followed through.

4.  Manage the GLAS Practice Areas

  • Set objectives for the Practice Areas in line with overall GLAS team objectives.
  • Monitor performance and provide feedback on progress against objectives.
  • Identify development needs of the Practice Area Leads and develop the team’s capacity where needed.
  • In collaboration with the GLAS PMO, develop a forward-thinking workforce strategy based on current GLAS skillsets and market trends; build a deep roster of Practice Area consultants to complement the Practice Area’s and GLAS Strategic Initiatives.


Position Qualifications

  • Demonstrated ability to build transformation strategies, and hands-on operating experience in challenging contexts.
  • Must have excellent knowledge of and expertise in digital lending for MSMEs as well as hands-on knowledge of one or more of the following: mobile money, digital payments, mobile banking, electronic payments (issuance and acceptance), agent banking.
  • Candidates must have very strong analytical skills across strategy, finance, consumer adoption and especially new channels and technology, but must also have experience planning and implementing.
  • Previous work experience related to supply chain finance, digital banking, digital financial services, digital platforms involving payments, or a fintech in a senior leadership role.
  • Demonstrated success working on B2C and B2B products.
  • Passion towards social sector and keenness towards technology-enabled business models.
  • Inspire trust within (project teams and business groups) and outside (vendors and consultants) the organization and demonstrates personal integrity and trustworthiness.
  • Strong analytical, business, project management, and organizational skills 
  • Entrepreneurial and commercially minded, highly creative, and able to innovate quickly 
  • Take a persuasive stand on difficult issues and on behalf of projects’ stakeholders.
  • Demonstrably strong business development and negotiation skills.
  • Have an innovative mind-set and fresh perspective to the design and development of new and existing business models to support clients in achieving break-through results.
  • Excellent multi-tasking skills with a positive, can-do attitude and an approach of “no job is too small or big”.
  • Ability to structure and scope complex problems and apply a range of analytical tools to develop solutions. 
  • Ability to study and quickly understand business processes, team dynamics and customer needs.
  • Team player and ability to work in semi/un-structured environment
  • Willingness to learn the developments in fintech and financial inclusion domain
  • Willingness to travel nationally and internationally (30-40%)
  • Ability to create visually appealing presentations.
  • Excellent project and people skills, especially in multi-cultural environments.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Qualified candidates typically have 15-20 years’ relevant experience through a combination of consulting/advisory services in financial services, especially through digital models.
  • MBA or equivalent master’s level degree preferred

Travel Requirements

  • Willingness to travel nationally and internationally (30-40%)

Direct Reports

  • Practice Area Leads (5) and their direct reports
  • Consultants and project team members, as required


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