Our Core Team

Dan Balke
Managing Director & Partner

Dan Balke is Managing Director and Partner of LFS, with a multifaceted record of senior management positions in financial institutions as project manager in the area of Digital Finance and Digitization Projects, Small Business Finance, Housing, and Impact Finance Projects. Mr. Balke holds an MBA in Finance from the Manchester Business School and an M.Sc. in Economics. For several years he has been responsible for pushing forward the digital and technological agenda with AccessHolding. Dan has managed projects to success in major emerging markets worldwide.


Patrick Schoeneborn
Managing Director

Patrick Schoeneborn has been working for LFS since 2004. Prior to his appointment as a Managing Director, Patrick served as Head of Investments of AccessHolding from 2012-2017 and as Credit Manager and Chief Executive Officer of AccessBank Tanzania (2008-2011). Over the last years, Patrick has conducted a wide spectrum of assignments in the fields of MSME and agricultural finance, financial and funding strategy, governance, M&A, feasibility studies, and due diligence. Patrick holds an M.Sc. in Industrial Strategy from the University of Manchester.


Roland Coulon
Senior Manager, Digital Financial Services

Roland Coulon is LFS’s principal specialist and manager for projects related to Digital Financial Services. Roland’s last executive assignment was Chief Executive Officer of AccessBank Tanzania with a special focus on micro and SME finance. Under his 5-year leadership, the bank quadrupled its assets and more than quadrupled its loan portfolio, while engaging into a long term process of digitizing the bank’s products and services. Prior to joining LFS, Roland worked for 3 years with MicroCred group and 4 years with Arthur D. Little. He is an engineer by degree.


Jov O'Brien
Manager, Advisory Services

Jov O’Brien is an accomplished microfinance banker with over 18 years of diverse global experience. He has over 10 years’ experience as CEO and COO of regulated and non-regulated financial institutions. Jov excelled in developing, strengthening and expanding SME lending units. His regional experience includes Latin America, Central Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa. Jov has managed projects of the United States’ Department of Agriculture (USDA), USAID, and EBRD. He holds a Masters of International Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Finance. Besides his native English, Jov speaks Russian and Spanish.


Dr. Mattias Grammling
Manager, Advisory Services

Mattias Grammling has a PhD. and an M.Sc. in Economics. He has been working for LFS since 2010. He works as Manager in Advisory Services with regional responsibility for Asia and Africa. Dr. Grammling served as CEO of AB Microfinance Bank Nigeria from 2012-2014, and in various other senior management roles (such as Credit Manager) in the same bank from 2010-2012. Prior to joining LFS, he worked 7 years as Freelance MSME Finance Consultant in Latin America, Asia and Africa. Mattias speaks German, English and Spanish. 


Bertolt Hertzfeldt
Manager, Advisory Services

Bertolt Hertzfeldt LFS Advisory’s Regional Manager for Central and East Asia. With more than 19 years of expertise in MSME Finance, Bertolt has a vast array of experience as bank executive, project manager and senior consultant in numerous assignments across the Eastern hemisphere. Bertolt’s outstanding track record in various areas of MSME finance, agriculture finance and banking (including C-level management positions) equips him for a number of senior roles in projects and backstopping capacities.


Divya Balakrishnan
Business Line Manager, Green Finance

Joining LFS in 2018, Divya focuses on strengthening the technology perspective in projects related to the Green finance sector. With over 8 years experience across the mechanical engineering and renewable energy sectors, she has worked in a variety of roles including business consulting, sustainability consulting, team management, client management, market and technology research. In 2017, Divya led the innovation team of Mobisol from Tanzania and managed strategic projects with a customer and product management focus. Divya has achieved a double diploma MSc in “Energy technologies” and “Energy engineering and management” including a bachelor’s degree in “Mechanical engineering” and can communicate in 6 languages.


Marius Siebert
Business Analyst

Marius joined LFS in 2017. He holds a Master in Governance and Development from the Institute of Development Studies in Brighton. Marius gained hands-on DFS experience by supporting AccessBank Tanzania in developing products, services and use cases for alternative delivery channels, in particular an own digital transactional account/wallet. Marius has also been supporting various other DFS project activities of LFS, most recently the design of a loan officer field app solution for a client in Yemen, the development of the cornerstones for a digital transformation strategy for a leading commercial bank in Palestine and the business planning for future wallet release implementation projects of AccessHolding.


Christian Weigert
Advisor Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Finance

Christian Weigert joined LFS in 2017 and focuses on micro, small, and medium enterprise finance. Currently he supports Egypt’s newest microfinance lending institution in enhancing its credit risk and financial management. Prior to this he developed and implemented a simplified Syariah-compliant microcredit workflow and tool in a newly founded SME bank in Southeast Asia and enhanced the new-credit and operational processes, workflows and procedures of a microfinance institution in Brazil. Christian’s professional background is in corporate banking where he worked more than five years in Frankfurt for Germany’s third-largest bank. He holds a Master’s Degree in Economics and a CEMS Master in International Management from the Stockholm School of Economics. Besides his native tongue German, Christian speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Raphaelle Smyth
Junior Business Analyst

With over 3 years’ experience in computer programming, web design and development, Raphaelle has recently joined the LFS consultancy team overseeing the technologies of the company and providing IT consulting services for our clients. She has achieved a Bachelor of Science in Computer Applications, Science and Engineering from Dublin City University. Working for GSServices web development company, she has created and maintained many websites. She has worked on a financial application harnessing information on corporate actions for investments for IHS Markit Information Mosaic in Dublin. Ms Smyth has also designed and developed an automation tool for Fragile to Agile in Adelaide while gaining experience in enterprise architecture. Raphaelle is fluent in English and has a high level of French and Gaelic.