Dr. Daniel Schydlowsky of Peru Receives Edward W. Claugus Award for Financial Inclusion Leadership

CAMBRIDGE, MA, October 5, 2015 – Last week, Peru’s Superintendent of Banking, Insurance and Private Pension Fund Administrators, Dr. Daniel Schydlowsky, received the inaugural Edward W. Claugus Award at an event in New York City. The award, which recognizes financial inclusion leaders, was conferred by financial inclusion pioneer Accion and presented by the organization’s Board Chair, Diana Taylor. Dr. Schydlowsky’s wife, Professor Irene Shashar, and his son Andrew attended the event as well.

“We could not be more thrilled to bestow the inaugural Claugus Award on Dr. Schydlowsky,” said Diana Taylor. “Peru has represented the gold standard for leadership in financial inclusion and microfinance for at least seven years. Dr. Schydlowsky has played an essential part in this and the influence Peru has had on financial inclusion globally. By pursuing a range of full, meaningful financial services, Dr. Schydlowsky has helped to create a market that exemplifies how we can best engage stakeholders from across sectors to create an ecosystem of services and products that benefit, value, and help those living at the base of the pyramid.”

During the award presentation, Dr. Schydlowsky outlined the dual mandate that regulation can and should hold, saying: “We can perfectly well keep banking systems safe, and still do something for inclusion. Indeed, the more we include, the safer we’re making the banking system.”

Discussing the importance of cell phone banking and describing it as the greatest technological change since the creation of paper money, Dr. Schydlowsky discussed mobile phone’s ability to overcome vast distances in a matter of moments: “Cell phones will flatten the Andes. Roads can’t get [to isolated locations], but cell phones can.” 

Dr. Schydlowsky is an ideal first recipient of the Claugus Award. His policies have helped Peru develop a competitive, flourishing, and innovative financial inclusion sector that still ensures both quality and protection for its clients. Peru’s financial inclusion sector is a model for countries around the world: for seven years, the country has maintained its top ranking in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Microscope, which ranks how regulators and policymakers enable and empower financial inclusion. That success is due in no small part to Dr. Schydlowsky’s leadership.

Peru’s financial inclusion influence extends far beyond the country itself: its global leadership in the Alliance for Financial Inclusion – a global peer-learning network of 124 policymaking and regulatory institutions – helps nearly 100 developing and emerging countries work together to create and refine effective financial inclusion policy. Dr. Schydlowsky serves as the Chair of the AFI Steering Committee.

Accion has been deeply engaged in Peru’s financial inclusion sector for many years. The U.S.-based nonprofit was an early investor in, and close partner of, Mibanco, and recently invested  in Credinka, which provides financial services to Peru’s rural markets.

The Claugus Award is named in honor of Accion benefactor Edward Claugus, a skilled investor who was passionate about social change. Although he realized significant professional success, he could still personally connect to and related with the people who Accion serves around the world: the struggling farmers, women, and families who lack the financial tools and services that they need to build better lives.The Claugus Award represents one portion of Accion’s programs funded as a result of The Edward Wilson Claugus Fund, a $7.1 million bequest to Accion that represents the single largest gift to the organization in its 54-year history.

About Accion

Accion is a global nonprofit dedicated to building a financially inclusive world with economic opportunity for all, by giving people the financial tools they need to improve their lives.  We are building the next generation of top-tier microfinance institutions, and for over 50 years have helped build 64 such institutions in 32 countries on four continents that today reach millions of clients. Our impact investing initiatives are pushing beyond microfinance to catalyze more than 20 innovative start-ups dedicated to improving the efficiency, reach and scope of financial services for the poor.  And our Center for Financial Inclusion is helping to build a stronger industry with high standards and broad engagement. Currently, our work spans nearly two dozen countries, including the U.S., where we are the nation's largest nonprofit microfinance network. For further information, visit www.accion.org.