Read our information sheet to learn more about Frontier Investments Group.
Our team draws from backgrounds in venture capital, investment banking, microfinance, and broader experiences of living and working in emerging markets worldwide.
Monica BrandManaging Director, Frontier Investments Groupmbrand@accion.org
Monica Brand is the founding managing director of Accion’s Frontier Investments Group. Monica has spent her career in the financial services and social enterprise sectors, expanding and enhancing the value offered to the majority. Prior to assuming this role, Monica launched and managed Accion’s Marketing and Product Development Unit, where she oversaw the creation of new financial services to move the industry beyond microcredit, and worked in Mexico with Compartamos Bank, the largest MFI in Latin America. Before joining Accion, Monica worked with Anthuri Ventures – an early stage equity fund based in Cape Town, South Africa – and founded Anthuri Catalysts to help prepare potential portfolio companies for investment. Monica also worked at Calvert Ventures, the early–stage equity arm of the Calvert Foundation. Monica began her career in financial services in California as a commercial loan officer of a green fund, and separately helped launch a $50 million multi-bank lending intermediary to finance small businesses and community facilities.
Monica holds an MBA and master's of education from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Williams College, where she graduated with honors. She currently serves as an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced and International Studies, teaching a graduate-level course on impact investing. Monica serves on numerous boards including GloboKasNet, Paralife, Shubham Housing co. and Mobile Transactions International (MTI- Zoona). Monica chairs the Investor Representative Committee of LeapFrog Investments, the first microinsurance fund. Monica is based in Washington, D.C., and travels often to her home country of Peru.
Jonathan WhittleManaging Director, Frontier Investments Groupjwhittle@accion.org
Jonathan Whittle serves as Managing Director of Accion's Frontier Investments Group. Jonathan is an experienced entrepreneur, having co-founded and scaled three technology start-ups, and venture capital investor with over nine years of experience managing a venture technology portfolio. Prior to joining Frontier in 2014, Jonathan was the co-founder and CEO of Axeso Payment Solutions a prepaid service provider focused on the under-banked population in Brazil. Before that, Jonathan served as a Principal at Darby Overseas Investments, Ltd in Washington D.C. where he managed Darby Technology Ventures, an early stage venture fund focused on Latin America. He joined Darby in 2002 after a decade of experience with venture capital backed telecommunications and information technology services start-ups in Latin America. Jonathan is a member of the founding management team of Optiglobe, a data center services operator in Agentina and Brazil (now Tivit), and of Diveo Broadband Networks, a wireless broadband and data center services operator throughout Latin America (acquired by UOL). He was the President of Optiglobe Argentina and he worked in various capacities at Diveo Broadband Networks, founding Diveo's Argentine subsidiary. Jonathan currently sits on the Board of Axeso Payment Solutions, and he was previously on the boards of Certisign (Brazil), Spring Wireless (Brazil/US), Jackbe (Mexico/US – acquired by Software AG), Ativi (Brazil – acquired by Euronet), EWI Prepaid (US – acquired by Blackhawk Networks), Exactus (Costa Rica – acquired by Softland), and Inova (Brazil – acquired by management). Jonathan is based in Washington D.C. and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. Jonathan received an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University and a B.A. in Political Science from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California.
Shantanu BhagwatAdvisor, Frontier Investments Groupsbhagwat@accion.org
Shantanu Bhagwat is an advisor to Frontier and divides his time between the UK and India. Before joining Accion, Shantanu was a partner at Amadeus Capital, a technology-focused venture capital firm based in London, and also worked at Monitor Co. Prior to that, Shantanu spent several years as a career diplomat with the Indian Foreign Service, working in New Delhi and Tokyo. Shantanu is a personal investor and advisor to several start-ups in India, including Myntra, Innoviti, and Elements Akademia.
A graduate in computer engineering, Shantanu holds an MBA from the London Business School, where he was a Chevening Scholar. He is a charter member of TiE, a global nonprofit network of entrepreneurs and professionals. He is also a frequent speaker and panelist at conferences on venture capital innovation in Asia, with a specific focus on India. Shantanu serves on the board of Vindhya.
Miguel HerreraSenior Investment Officer, Frontier Investments Groupmherrera@accion.org
Miguel Herrera is a senior investment officer, leading Frontier’s work in Latin America. Prior to joining Frontier, Miguel worked for Accion Investments in Microfinance SPC, a private equity fund dedicated to investing in microfinance institutions, where he sourced, executed, and managed investments in MFIs in Central and South America, serving on the boards of Banco Solidario (Ecuador), MiBanco (Peru) and BancoSol (Bolivia). Prior to joining Accion, Miguel was a vice president of Citi Group’s Fixed Income Capital Markets Division, where he provided currency and interest rate risk management advisory services to financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies. While at Citigroup, Miguel was formally introduced to microfinance through his role in the restructuring and turnaround of Accion Chicago as the board’s chair of operations. Miguel was born and raised in Peru, began his finance career at Banco Wiese’s Investment Banking Division, and has spent much of his life in Canada.
Miguel holds an MBA from Simon Fraser University and bachelor’s degree in economics from Queen’s University. Miguel serves on the boards of Tiaxa, a mobile financial services provider, and MFX Solutions, an industry initiative providing hedging services to MFIs.
Michael MuraiSenior Investment Officer, Frontier Investments Groupmmurai@accion.org
Michael Murai is a senior investment officer responsible for investment sourcing, structuring, and portfolio management in Africa. In addition to his Africa-focused work, Michael has also worked on investments in India and Latin America. Prior to joining Accion, Michael worked at Citigroup Global Markets’ Structuring and Origination Group, where he participated in over $12 billion in securitizations. Additionally, Michael has a number of years of experience in private equity and investment banking from his time at Zephyr Management and CIBC World Markets Investment Banking Group.
Michael holds a master’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Services, as well as a BSBA from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. Michael was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, and currently resides in Washington, DC. Michael serves on the board of Mobile Transactions Zambia (Zoona), and Africap. He has formerly served on the boards of MFX Solutions and Microbilt.
Pat WilsonInvestment Associate, Frontier Investments Grouppwilson@accion.org
Pat Wilson works on Frontier’s investment activities throughout the investment process and provides portfolio management support. His professional expertise spans the areas of equity investing, fund creation, pipeline development and transaction structuring and execution. His early career focused on middle-market leveraged buyouts where he worked as an investment banker and private equity investor at Citigroup, National City, and Brazos Private Equity Partners. Most recently, he served as a senior associate in the Private Equity Group of HBK Capital Management, a global hedge fund managing $14 billion in equity capital. Pat left HBK in 2008 to co-found Antelope Capital Partners, a double bottom-line real estate investment firm specializing in the acquisition, renovation and management of low-income housing. As Managing Partner of Antelope, he was responsible for rehabilitating and bringing to market over 1,000 affordable housing units throughout the southern United States.
Pat attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where he earned a bachelor of science in economics with concentrations in finance and entrepreneurship.
Jackson Scher Program Coordinator, Frontier Investments Groupjscher@accion.org
Jackson provides administrative and operational support to the Frontier Investments Group. He centralizes information and communications within Accion, and is responsible for day-to-day administrative operations that relate to the support of the Frontier Investments team.
He previously worked as a Quantitative Researcher for the Economic Policy Research Institute in Cape Town, South Africa, where he researched quantitative micro simulation and conducted a time-series analysis of social protection policies in South Africa. Prior to that, Jackson worked with Development Support Team, conducting an impact study of Self Help Group (SHG) Microfinance in Pune & Pimpri, India. Jackson was previously an Electricity Market Analyst at Joule Assets Inc.
Jackson recently graduated from Williams College, in Massachusetts, with a Bachelor’s degree in economics and a minor in environmental studies. He spent a semester studying in Pune, India and was the co-President of the Williams College Outing Club.