Trillions or billions? The Future of European Institutional Investment in Emerging Markets and Developing Economies’

Trillions or billions? The Future of European Institutional Investment in Emerging Markets and Developing Economies’

Organized by the Private Sector Development Research Network

Hosted by ODI, the global affairs think tank

Moderated by Matt Robinson, Head of Private Capital Mobilization, BII

Friday, 28 June 2024, from 9-10am EDT / 2-3pm BST



The world faces an annual $4 trillion investment gap to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially in emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs). Meanwhile, European institutional investors like insurance companies and pension funds collectively manage over $17.5 trillion in assets. Shifting even a small portion of this capital could make a significant contribution to sustainable finance needs.

However, since the SDGs were established in 2015, little additional institutional capital has flowed towards EMDEs from Europe. This seminar will discuss ODI’s most recent working paper, which provides an updated, granular analysis of the potential for mobilizing investment from the largest European institutional investors in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the UK towards EMDEs.

The analysis examines three key dimensions: 1) Shifting stakeholder expectations around sustainable investment; 2) Changes in financial conditions, performance, and costs; and 3) Legal and regulatory reforms impacting institutional investment.

By anchoring realistic expectations, the seminar aims to inform better policymaking to unlock institutional capital for critical investments supporting people and the planet in emerging markets. Discussion will explore concrete strategies to accelerate this capital mobilization over the coming years.

The working paper can also be found here.


Matt Robinson

Head of Private Capital Mobilization, BII

Matt heads British International Investments’ efforts to mobilise private capital into, alongside or following BII’s own investments.

Matt joined BII in 2016 and has held roles including Investment Director in the Intermediated Equity team, Chief of Staff to the CEO, and Head of Group Strategy and Development, where he oversaw the development of BII’s current 2022-26 strategy. Prior to BII, Matt was Head of Strategy at Big Society Capital, the UK’s social investment bank, where he helped secure new initiatives like a social investment tax relief and the Access foundation for blended capital. He approved over £250 million across 40 deals in the first four years.

Matt’s earlier career includes stints as Deputy Director in the Cabinet Office, leading the social investment team and working in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit. He also spent six years as a development economist across Asia and Africa.

Matt holds an MA in Economics from Cambridge University and an MSc in Development Economics. He is a non-executive director of the National Forest Company and has previously served on the board of two social investment bond companies.

For more details about Matt’s work, please see here.

Samantha Attridge 

Senior Research Fellow, ODI

Samantha is a Senior Research Fellow and development finance specialist with a particular interest in innovative and blended finance, Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and National Development Banks (NDBs). She is leading ODI’s research in these areas and has extensive technical understanding and knowledge in the use of development funds to de-risk private investment to mobilise private finance; as well as the operations of DFIs, NDBs and the impact of their investment.

Before joining ODI, she headed up the Commonwealth’s Financing for Development (FFD) policy research, development and advocacy work and has written extensively on these issues for the Commonwealth. She also had policy and managerial responsibility for meetings of Commonwealth Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers and the Commonwealth’s engagement with the G20. Prior to this she was Deputy Director of Sovereign Debt Management and Capital Market Development consultancy at Crown Agents delivering technical assistance in sovereign debt, capital market development, economic and public financial management. Samantha has a Masters in Development Economics and is a qualified Chartered Accountant (ACA) with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and qualified with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

For more details about Samantha’s work, please see here.

Bianca Getzel 

Research Officer, ODI 

Bianca is a Research Officer in the Development and Public Finance Program at ODI. Her research and advisory work focuses on how multilateral development banks and development finance institutions are adapting to an ever-changing world economy. Specifically, her work analyses how private investments can be de-risked and mobilized to support the 2030 Agenda, and how reforms of the international financial architecture can unlock more resources for today’s global challenges.

Prior to joining ODI, Bianca worked at the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank on Gender and Economic Inclusion programs in Bangladesh and Indonesia. She previously worked with ministries of finance and justice at the International Development Law Organization. Bianca also has experience at the Asian Development Bank, the US Agency for International Development, and the UN Office for South-South Cooperation.

Bianca holds a Master’s degree in Development Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a BSocSc in International Relations from the University of Manchester. An Italian national, Bianca is fluent in Italian, English and French.

For more details about Bianca’s work, please see here.

Neil Gregory 

Senior Research Associate, ODI 

Neil Gregory is an internationally recognized expert on development finance, private capital mobilization and impact investing. He is a Senior Research Associate at ODI, and a Senior Advisor to West Potomac Capital and NetPurpose, and he teaches sustainable finance and impact investing at Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies. He has consulted for a range of MDBs, DFIs, international institutions and impact investing organizations.

Neil previously held senior research, strategy and operational roles at IFC and the World Bank, most recently as Chief Thought Leadership Officer. He led multi-stakeholder processes resulting in the creation of the ‘Operating Principles for Impact Management’, the global standard for impact management and measurement, and the joint MDB-DFI methodology for reporting private capital mobilization. He established the Private Sector Development Network to bring together researchers from thinktanks, academic institutions and MDBs/DFIs around the world.

Neil has authored a wide range of books, reports, articles in peer-reviewed journals, opinion pieces and blogs. He has degrees in Economics from Cambridge and Oxford Universities, and an MBA from Georgetown University.

For more details about Neil’s work, please see here.


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