World Bank president Robert Zoellick has
told the Financial Times that the bank plans to solicit private sector contributions to the
International Development Association. This is the tip of the strategic iceberg, the first of what will likely be several important moves by Mr. Zoellick to encourage and increase private sector investment in international development generally. Mr. Zoellick
has made references to financial innovation and capital markets strategies as a crucial part of Bank strategy going forward. Toward this end, the Bank
merged its Finance and Private Sector development research units, a move which "reflects the centrality of finance to private sector development and vice versa."
A renewed World Bank commitment to capital markets-based development solutions will generate a marked increase in development-related dealflow. In particular, we expect opportunities in
financial technology to increase dramatically as access to financial services will depend on highly
mobile technologies to reach the many remote communities in Latin America, Asia, and
Africa. Moreover, we expect that the next 3 to 5 years will see a solidification of microfinance as a legitimate
asset class as the trend toward "greener" investing increasingly includes development finance.