The most important business partners of LFS are our clients and AccessHolding:
LFS works for a growing range of reputable clients from a variety of backgrounds. Our main clients are the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the German KfW Development Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). We have also carried out projects for the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), as well as local banks and microfinance institutions. Also, an increasing number of private commercial banks and investment funds are clients of LFS.
Access Microfinance Holding AG (AccessHolding) is a commercial MSME finance holding company, managed by LFS. Its mission is to become a leading strategic investor in a global network of MSME banks and a recognised promoter of the commercialisation of the MSME finance industry. The company is based in Berlin, Germany. It shares premises with LFS Financial Systems.
Founders and investors of AccessHolding
Access Holding was created by LFS and its employee investment company MicroAssets GbR. A number of reputable like-minded investors such as the European Investment Bank (EIB), the German KfW Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Dutch Development Bank (FMO), the Omidyar-Tufts Microfinance Fund, and the UK-based emerging markets fund CDC Group have joined AccessHolding as shareholders.
The owners of AccessHolding share the conviction that the MSME finance industry needs to increase its professionalism and commercial orientation. Only by doing so, will the industry be able to reach scale. This is required to provide the poor and SME clients with broad access to adequate financial services. At the core of this process is the need to strengthen retail structures. Earlier waves of stand-alone microfinance institutions, whether newly created or “upgraded” from credit projects, have rarely been able to exploit the high potential for standardisation, synergies and economies of scale that is inherent in modern MSME finance.
The network concept
The AccessHolding network takes advantage of standardization, synergies and economies of scale: central services are provided at holding level and strategic cooperation between network banks leads to efficiency gains.
AccessHolding’s network concept acknowledges the potential for standardisation, synergies and economies of scale, and capitalises on this potential. Its network banks share a common “AccessBank” brand identity. Moreover, they are built upon a uniform set of systems, policies and technologies which are defined at the holding level. The holding company also provides central services and support in crucial headquarter activities, such as product development, marketing or risk management.
Strategic cooperation among network banks – especially within regional clusters – lead to additional efficiency gains: cooperation helps to train staff and implement new technologies at a greater pace and lower cost compared to a stand-alone institution.
Finally, integration into the AccessBank network greatly facilitates the mobilisation of human and financial resources. This is necessary to sustain massive growth in the long term.
The role of LFS
LFS is the manager of AccessHolding. LFS has the responsibility to continually review and develop best-practice operating standards. Also, LFS coordinates shared efforts within the network. Finally, it ensures the growth and profitability of the holding company and its network banks.
LFS also has an equity stake in AccessHolding and remuneration is based on performance. Therefore, LFS participates directly in the commercial success of the network. It thus underlines its firm belief in the viability of the business model.
For further information on AccessHolding, please consult the company’s website at