Associate Director, Advice for Small Businesses (ASB), Central Asia, Almaty, Kazakhstan At European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

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Purpose of Job

Under the supervision of Regional Head/Director Regional Network SME Finance and Development (SME F&D), the Associate Director, Advice for Small Businesses, (AD ASB) is responsible for managing all ASB activities in the respective region. The AD ASB is responsible for the overall delivery of the ASB activities in their respective region, including (i) developing and delivering annual business plans; (ii) supervising and approving pipeline development activities, conception, implementation, completion and evaluation of ASB projects and market development activities, as well as managing the project portfolio, (iii) promoting and driving synergies with banking, (iv) promoting and fostering innovation (v) managing the finance and administration of ASB activities at a regional level, (vii) fund-raising from public and private donors (viii) ensuring high visibility of the SME work of the Bank in the region The AD ASB is responsible for creating productive and stimulating working envir]onment in order to promote and generate innovation and creative ideas and products addressing the Bank’s evolving strategic priorities (e.g. digital, green, inclusion), consistent with best practices in the industry. Importantly, the AD ASB will personally champion and role model the Bank’s ethics culture by ensuring the highest standards of integrity and ethical conduct in the team’s performance. All of these to achieve full integration of ASB activities in the Bank’s activities and have the ASB team an integral part of the Bank.

The AD ASB is responsible for the delivery of the local team ensuring that ASB operation is conducted in accordance with highest quality standards and ASB internal control framework. The AD ASB works under the direction and supervision of the Regional Head/RN Director, to deliver ASB operational plans in the respective region. The AD ASB has responsibility and accountability for overseeing and managing the ASB operations in accordance with ASB operational policies and procedures, as well as EBRD integrity and ethical conduct and standards. The AD ASB is responsible for maintaining working relations with the Country Director/Head of RO, MDs, sector teams, and with all key stakeholders in the Bank and the region.

The AD ASB participates in policy dialogue, when appropriate, with the authorities. The AD ASB is the hiring manager for people in the respective region, and assists with appraisals of selected team members who report to the Principal Managers.

Accountabilities & Responsibilities

Under the supervision of RH/RN Director, accountable for the successful implementation of the ASB operations in the region ensuring alignment with the strategic priorities of the Bank/SME F&D.

  •  Ensures close coordination with respective teams in HQ and the ROs management, local bankers and teams across the Bank.
  •  Accountable for the development and implementation of innovative ASB Annual Operational Plans for the respective region.
  •  Driving and overseeing business activities in order to increase the outreach to high-potential clients, ensuring stronger synergies and integration with banking and co-operation with respective SME F&D and Sector bankers (e.g. FI in the context of integrated products, ICA in the context of RSF and Supply Chain Financing advisory work), including but not limited to pipeline development, nourishing clients for investment readiness, providing pre- and post-investment support to clients
  •  Supervise conception, structuring, negotiation, implementation, and disbursement of all ASB instruments in the region (e.g. tailored made advisory project, of market/sector development or visibility activities). Be accountable for the approval of all ASB instruments ensuring quality of the approval functions throughout the project lifecycle, covering the regional portfolio. Develop and implement processes to ensure that consistent standards of quality are applied in project implementation across the countries of operations in the respective region.
  •  Responsible and accountable for the ASB teams’ in the region delivery in full alignment with the Bank’s policies, donor requirements, internally set quality, internal controls and compliance standards, as well as highest standards of integrity and ethical conduct working with credible and respectable counterparties and mitigating financial or reputational risks to the Bank or donor
  •  Promote and ensure scaling up of the ASB activates focusing on larger outreach and callable platforms/partnerships.
  •  Responsible for promoting and driving innovation and following market trends, development, and roll out of new products and programmes under the Bank’s special initiatives and integrated products across the region working closely with other relevant teams in the Bank.
  •  Line management of all (Regional) Principal Managers, and as relevant Associates, Analysts, etc. in the region including responsibility for recruitment, performance management, coaching and development of the entire ASB team in the respective region in accordance with EBRD Behavioural competences and best practice in order to ensure healthy, respectful and stimulating working environment for the team.
  •  In co-operation with the Donor Partnership team, SME F&D Grants HQ team and Heads of ROs/CT MDs develop and manage relationships with locally present donors and stakeholders in order to secure their support and funding. Be responsible for donors’ proposals in the region ensuring quality, consistency and coordination and be accountable for the effective management of their funds, including through regular reporting, audits and evaluations. Accountable for the prudent use of the public funding, for the intended purpose and in compliance with the Operational Manuals.

Knowledge, Skills, Experience & Qualifications

Education/Professional qualifications

  •  BA/MA from an internationally-recognised programme in international development, economics or business and/or equivalent work experience.


  •  Strong people management (recruitment, mentoring, coaching) skills.
  •  Diplomatic skills to develop and maintain strong relationships with donors and other external partners; strong presentation skills to represent EBRD in international fora, and with interlocutors at ministerial level; strong leadership skills, with significant experience in leading at a senior level, interpreting and delivering strategies and programmes.
  •  Effective communication, presentation and negotiation skills and ability to manage relations with a diverse group of, including clients and consultants and local stakeholders.
  •  Ability to convincingly articulate strategy and resource needs to EBRD senior management and donors;
  •  Ability to innovate and adapt to the new challenges (e.g. start-up space; Non-financial products and work closer with PFIs in the context of the Bank’s integrated products and industrial aggregators in the context of supply chain advisory work, crisis response);
  •  Strong business planning skills; strong problem-solving skills and ability to think creatively. Ability to multi-task and react quickly.
  •  Skills to work both on advisory and finance (e.g. Blue Ribbon, Sustainable Supply Chain Financing, Risk Sharing, SIG – Green Cities).
  •  Fluency in English and local language(s), both written and verbal. Strong writing skills in English and local language(s).


  •  Deep knowledge of the structure, systems, and processes underpinning the Bank’s work.
  •  Deep conceptual understanding of the global business and economic environment with an ability to interpret the implications of global events for the business of the Bank.
  •  Knowledge/experience in the SCF priorities of the Bank, particularly green and digital skills (e.g. relevant in the context of the future ASB activates which will focus on larger outreach and callable platforms/partnerships).


  •  Relevant professional experience, preferably from commercial management consultancy, corporates or bank, donor organisation, or international financial institution, or support programme.
  •  Knowledge of local/regional business environment, SME and consultancy market.
  •  Extensive people management (recruitment, mentoring, coaching) experience. Experience in managing big and geographically dispersed teams.
  •  Extensive experience with and deep understanding of small businesses – their development challenges, financing needs, strengths and weaknesses, as well as market trends
  •  Demonstrated track-record in international development, donor fund-raising, awareness of current and emerging issues, and knowledge of key players and their approaches.
  •  Knowledge of donor funded work, donor organisations is desirable, with experience in managing programme and project budgets.


  •  Ability to work in multi-cultural environment.
  •  Ability to travel regularly within the region as well as beyond.
  •  Strong presentation skills to represent EBRD in public fora, and with interlocutors at ministerial level.
  •  Strong leadership skills, with experience in leading at a senior level, interpreting and delivering strategies and programmes.
  •  Solution-oriented and able to bridge bridges and secure consensus in order to move things forward.

What is it like to work at the EBRD?

Our agile and innovative approach is what makes life at the EBRD a unique experience! You will be part of a pioneering and diverse international organisation, and use your talents to make a real difference to people’s lives and help shape the future of the regions we invest in.

The EBRD environment provides you with:

  •  Varied, stimulating and engaging work that gives you an opportunity to interact with a wide range of experts in the financial, political, public and private sectors across the regions we invest in;
  •  A working culture that embraces inclusion and celebrates diversity;
  •  An environment that places sustainability, equality and digital transformation at the heart of what we do.

Diversity is one of the Bank’s core values which are at the heart of everything it does. A diverse workforce with the right knowledge and skills enables connection with our clients, brings pioneering ideas, energy and innovation. The EBRD staff is characterised by its rich diversity of nationalities, cultures and opinions and we aim to sustain and build on this strength. As such, the EBRD seeks to ensure that everyone is treated with respect and given equal opportunities and works in an inclusive environment. The EBRD encourages all qualified candidates who are nationals of the EBRD member countries to apply regardless of their racial, ethnic, religious and cultural background, gender, sexual orientation or disabilities. As an inclusive employer, we promote flexible working and expecting our employee to attend the office 50% of their working time.



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September 2023