Enabling better futures: Abler Nordic new name for NMI

January 26, 2023

Abler Nordic is the new name of Nordic Microfinance Initiative, established in Oslo in 2008 as a public-private partnership investing in companies in Africa and Asia supporting low-income households with financial services.

Photo: Abler Nordic

At Abler Nordic, public investment capital between the respective Norwegian and Danish governmental funds for developing countries, Norfund and IFU, is blended with commercial capital from private investors, including Ferd, DNB, KLP and PBU Since 2008, public investment has been used catalytically to mobilize USD 140 million from private Nordic investors who see finance as a tool to enable positive and sustainable change in society.

As the financial inclusion field has developed over the past 15 years, Abler Nordic has evolved along with it. A focus on traditional microfinance matured into a broader approach of holistically including low-income households in the financial system through a range of services that enable people to strengthen their overall financial health and build resilience.

“Poverty has risen for the first time in 20 years and low-income people in developing countries are hardest hit by climate threats that they have contributed very little to. Well-designed financial services such as savings, leasing, agricultural financing, and affordable housing finance help people adapt and strengthen their ability to manage economic and climate shocks,” says Arthur Sletteberg, Managing Director of Abler Nordic.

“Our diverse investments in recent years and active engagement in the companies we are invested in is in line with the wider concept of financial inclusion, and it was time for our name to reflect this. Abler Nordic plays on the terms enable and sustainable and emphasizes our Nordic roots and values.”

Norfund CEO Tellef Thorleifsson spoke on a panel at the name launch, January 25.

Abler Nordic targets both strong social and sustainable financial results, and is a committed, responsible owner playing an active role in the development of 19 companies it is currently directly invested in.

As the same time as the new name is introduced, Anders Misund, partner in EQT, has been announced as the new Chair of Abler Nordic. He succeeds Bjarne Kveim Lie, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Verdane, who has stepped down after 10 years of service.

“The UN says 5-7 trillion USD invested annually is needed to reach the SDGs, and mobilising private capital is critical to achieving this. Abler Nordic’s public-private partnership is more relevant than ever, and it is an honour to take the baton from Bjarne and support the company’s continued growth,” said Anders Misund, commenting on his appointment.

Abler Nordic (formerly Nordic Microfinance Initiative) was established in Oslo in 2008 as a public-private partnership and invests in companies in Africa and Asia that offer financial services to low-income households. The objective is to combine strong social and sustainable financial results.
 Abler Nordic currently manages five funds, with total commitments of USD 344 million. In addition to original investors, new investors from both Norway and Denmark have joined with each new fund launch. In Abler Nordic’s last fund, with total commitments of USD 140 million, 60 percent of the capital came from private investors. Since 2008, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Norad have contributed funds for currency hedging and technical assistance. Abler Nordic has offices in Nairobi, New Delhi, Jakarta, Copenhagen, and Oslo, with a total of 22 employees.