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The support we have provided over the last





the SME owners who would benefit from our facility. The project demonstrated the importance of effective partnerships in fulfilling our mandate. It was rewarding to get this deal over the line and support both the banking sector and SMEs in Sri Lanka.


What do you enjoy most about your job? We cover a broad range of geographies and sectors, and no two projects are the same, even when it comes to repeat business. Changing market conditions and other dynamics make sure of that. Communicating effectively, understanding differing and evolving partner requirements, building relationships that last and then delivering sustainable development impact – this is what I enjoy.


Development ambition: Our flexible and prompt response to the COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the important role DFIs such as the OPEC Fund play in times like these. The support we have provided over the last year, across all our operational windows, shows what can be achieved through effective cooperation and playing a countercyclical role.


What’s special about working for the OPEC Fund? The diversity of our stakeholders – be it colleagues, clients, partners or end-beneficiaries. In the morning, we can be meeting with Central Bank officials and bank CEOs, and in the afternoon with rural SME owners. It’s a diverse and extremely rewarding environment to work in. At the end of the day, our job is about people.


16


year, across all our operational windows,


shows what can be achieved through effective


cooperation and playing a


countercyclical role.


Cynara Salmans Investment Manager


Before joining the OPEC Fund: I studied in the UK and began my career with Société Générale. Before joining the OPEC Fund, I also worked for EFG Eurobank and finally Barclays. I worked in trade finance and then primarily managed international corporate clients, high- net worth individuals and professional service firms.


Most memorable project: Relationships stand out for me more than specific projects. I am currently working closely with a private sector enterprise that has extensive experience of developing and managing power plants in Bangladesh. They have excellent understanding of country specifics as well as local regulators and stakeholders, and are great people to work with. This is the third project we have worked on with them. I value this relationship highly, and always look forward to project visits when we meet in person.


What do you enjoy most about your job?


I especially enjoy performing due diligence and taking part in monitoring missions and project visits. And I


and project visits. And I find being involved with sustainable


an


with sustainable energy projects very r


monitoring


mission to Jor to


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very rewarding. In 2019, I conducted a m


ojects ding


2019, I conduc a monitoring


mission to Jordan to three of ourthree of ou solar PV projects and met with


and met with project manag engineers an


project managers, engineers and the lend ech


e


recent yea years,


the lenders’ technical advi advisor. Over e


I’ve begun to develop a specialism in the energy sector, and I take any opportunity to talk with experts in the field to further my knowledge.


Development ambition: All our projects have clear developmental objectives and contribute to the United Nations Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development. If a particular project is challenging, or it’s been a long day in the office or in the field, knowing that we’re playing our part in helping countries to meet the Sustainable Development Goals makes it worthwhile. Knowing our work helps generate jobs for local people, for example, and that youth are professionally trained to be part of the operation and maintenance of our energy projects, is very satisfying.


What’s special about working for the OPEC Fund? That our development impact is prioritized as part of ensuring our business is strong and healthy. And that our size and global remit means we are able to move quickly to respond to the changing needs of our partners. We’ve been focusing on innovation, during COVID-19 in particular, to ensure our finance reaches those who need it most, quickly and effectively. We are also a growing organization, and I’m excited to be part of this journey. Before joining the OPEC Fund: I worked with DEG in Cologne, Germany and with FMO’s energy team in The Hague.


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