The agribusiness sector has proven to be one of the main pillars of the Ukrainian economy, even when it is in crisis mode. It is the only sector that increased exports (MY 2014/15 7% higher compared to the previous year) and registered growth in 2014, contributing to 16% of the country’s GDP. This growth can continue, but is subject to an improved business environment and increased investment for the further development of the sector. There are immediate needs to scale up international financing, as the crisis in Ukraine has had a profound impact on the availability of finance for the corporate sector.
In this context, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the “EBRD”, the “Bank”) is well placed, additional, and able to provide access to financing to corporates facing ongoing difficulties. In 2014 the Bank invested €251 million through 14 new projects in the agribusiness sector alone (record year), which was more than 20% of the EBRD’s total investment in Ukraine. In addition, over the past 5 years EBRD financing attracted an additional €100 million from commercial lenders. In 2015, the Bank continued to invest strongly and aims to achieve a business plan with a similar level of investment. The EBRD’s active portfolio in Ukraine’s agribusiness sector amounts to €700 million and includes operations in food production, crop farming and commodity trading.
The EBRD, with the support of the Japan Technical Cooperation Fund, is dedicating technical cooperation (TC) resources to assist on-going and future EBRD agribusiness operations, and help pave the way for new investments in the country. The pre-investment due diligence costs for the EBRD’s projects are a significant financial burden to companies, particularly to small- and medium-sized enterprises, who cannot afford this additional cost and therefore face a significant barrier in accessing EBRD finance. For larger companies, with more complicated corporate structures, the legal restructuring implies higher additional costs before they can approach the Bank for financing. Meeting these costs became particularly difficult for the private sector in the context of the ongoing crisis.
To this end, the EBRD has appointed environmental consultants, and intends to appoint law firms under framework agreements (the “Framework Agreements”) to provide Project Preparation Support for Agribusiness Projects in Ukraine (the “Programme”) over a three-year period. The Bank now wishes to engage a Programme Manager (the “Programme Manager”, the “Consultant”) to manage the Framework Agreements and coordinate all activities under the Programme (the “Assignment”).
The primary responsibility of the Programme Manager will be to manage the Programme’s day-to-day activities, as follows:
• Coordinating the implementation of all Programme activities, including monitoring the work of international consultants hired for each due diligence;
• Administrating each project under the Programme and liaising regularly with each EBRD Operation Leader (OL) of the banking operation;
• Reporting on all outcomes of the Programme;
• Carrying out all planned visibility and communications activities for the Programme;
• Capturing and disseminating all lessons learned and achievements.
The selected Consultant is expected to provide the following services:
Programme execution and monitoring
• Assist the Agribusiness department in identifying and screening potential investment operations;
• Review the background and profile of the prospective clients to determine the suitability for the Bank’s subsequent financing;
• Identify assistance needs/objectives of potential clients for due diligence and defining the initial scope for the proposed project, in close collaboration with the Agribusiness department bankers;
• Manage due diligence project flow through all stages, including identification, implementation, monitoring and evaluation according to the EBRD’s banking procedures and in line with the project cycles;
• Establish and manage the individual projects budget, including careful tracking of committed and disbursed funds per project and the programme as a whole, ensuring cost-share is paid by each participating company;
• Ensure a coordinated approach between the client, consultants, and EBRD Agribusiness department bankers both in London and in Kiev.
Monitoring of consultants
• Assist the Agribusiness banking department in selecting international consultants hired for each due diligence, in accordance with the individual banking operation’s needs;
• Monitor the framework consultants’ performance to ensure appropriate level of service is provided throughout the project;
• Process, review and distribute visit reports/minutes prepared by the framework consultants, as well as the final due diligence reports submitted to the banking department;
• Ensure that the projects are carried out in a timely manner and that the required data, inputs and analysis have been delivered.
Programme administration, visibility and communication
• Liaise between the client companies, the donor and Agribusiness bankers as required;
• Provide regular associated reporting to the donors;
• Organize all visibility activities and communication planned under the Programme including 2 events in Kiev and 2 videos about the Programme (TBC);
• Receive, review and forward consultants’ invoices;
• Organize necessary logistical arrangements for visiting consultants, including travel arrangements and on-the-ground logistical support; and
• Carry out other tasks related to the implementation of the Programme, as requested.
Status of Selection Process: Interested individual experts are hereby invited to submit expressions of interest.
Assignment Start Date and Duration: The Assignment is expected to start in February 2017 and has an estimated overall duration of up to 36 months.
Cost Estimate for the Assignment: GBP 131,749 over three years (exclusive of VAT). Additional budget for travel as required by the Assignment will be provided. No extension is envisaged to this Assignment.
The Consultant must determine whether any VAT would be chargeable on the services and the basis for that determination, without taking into consideration the special status of the Bank as an IFI and state this to the Bank in their response to the Invitation for Expressions of Interest. To the extent that a Consultant incurs input VAT on goods and services purchased in connection with the provision of services (e.g. VAT on airline ticket) which is not otherwise recoverable by the consultant from the local tax authority, the gross cost to the consultant of such expenses shall be treated as a reimbursable expense.
Funding Source: This Programme is expected to be funded by the Japan Technical Co-operation Fund (JPN). Please note that selection and contracting will be subject to the availability of funding.
Eligibility: No eligibility criteria apply.
Consultant Profile: Individual services are required. The Consultant shall be an expert preferably with three years of previous professional experience in:
1. Project management and administration, including budgetary administration, of programmes and projects in international development;
2. Management and hiring of consultants and sub-contractors, including monitoring deadlines and work schedules;
3. Dealing with private sector companies and/or government bodies, including international development and donor agencies;
Fluency in written and spoken English are essential. Knowledge of Japanese would be an advantage for stakeholder relations.
Previous working experience and knowledge of the banking sector as well as basic understanding of project finance will be considered an advantage. Working experience and the knowledge of the agriculture/agribusiness sector will be also considered an advantage.
In order to determine the capability and experience of experts seeking to be selected for this Assignment, the information submitted should include the following:
1. Cover letter (maximum 2 pages) summarising why the expert believes they satisfy the requirements as defined in the Consultant Profile;
2. CV (maximum 4 pages) which should include full descriptions of responsibilities carried out, not just a job title, including information on contracting entity/client, project location/country, duration (mm/yy to mm/yy), expert months provided (if different from duration), main activities, objectives;
3. Completed Consultant Declaration Form and Contact Sheet, the template for which is available from the following web-link:
Expressions of Interest should be submitted in English electronically through e-Selection, to reach the Bank not later than the closing date. The complete expression of interest (including cover letter, CV, declaration and contact sheet etc.) shall be one file (pdf) to be uploaded to eSelection. The EBRD reserves the right to reject applications of experts submitting more than one file. Only if the permissible file size (4 MB) is exceeded, the Consultant may split the expression of interest into further files.
Bank Contact Person:
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
One Exchange Square
London EC2A 2JN
Tel: + 44 20 7338 7750
e-mail: VasiliaG@ebrd.com (submissions should be sent through eSelection and NOT to this email address)
1. The selection will normally be made from responses to this notification only. Consultants will not be asked to submit a proposal. Expressions of interest will be evaluated by the Evaluation Committee and a shortlist of candidates will be established.
2. The Evaluation Committee intends to interview the shortlisted candidates as part of the selection process. It is expected that interviews will be held in January 2017 at the Bank’s HQ in London, or via video-conference / Skype. Invitations will be issued to interviewees at least five (5) working days beforehand. Candidates not selected for interview will not be considered further.
3. Candidates selected for interview will also be asked to complete a short written test to establish their proficiency in written English.
4. The highest-ranked Consultant after interview will be invited to negotiate the consultancy contract, subject to availability of funding.
5. The selected Consultant will be based in the Bank’s London HQ on a full-time basis for up to three years.
6. The shortlist criteria are:
• Preferably three years’ project management experience in a banking, consultancy or international development environment – 50%
• A degree from a leading university preferably in international relations, international development, economics and/or finance – 15%
• Interview and completed written test, assessing the candidate’s proficiency in English and suitability for the role – 35%