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.


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.


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. 


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.


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.


Chris Statham
Business Line Manager, Digital Finance

For the last 12 years, Chris worked in Sub-Sahara Africa and the MENA region, mostly as a freelance consultant across multiple sectors – finance, agriculture, public health and FMCG, on projects ranging from strategy and business analyst to implementation, partnerships and product development.  His previous range of clients included a Payment Service Provider, a Mobile Network Operator (MNO) and a USAID access to finance project in Jordan. Prior to starting his career in development consultancy, Chris gathered 6 years of commercial experience in- UK and Ireland, Recently he was one of the first 5 graduates to become a Certified Digital Finance Practitioner, this complimenting his post-degree certificate in microfinance and degree in Marketing.

Marco de Natale
Senior Advisor

Marco has close to 20 years of work experience in investment banking and Impact finance in different geographies. Before joining LFS, Marco was based in Moscow as the CEO & Co-Founder of a private investment firm focused on the CIS region, and previously served in CEO and CFO positions of leading microfinance institutions in Azerbaijan and Russia. Earlier career stages included working with Barclays Capital, Credit Suisse & Merrill Lynch in London, as well as with Blue Orchard in Geneva. Marco holds a Master from Stanford University and is a graduate of the Stonier ABA School of Banking (University of Pennsylvania/Wharton) & Oxford University Fintech Programme. He speaks English, French, Spanish, Italian & intermediate Russian.

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.


Raphaelle Smyth
Business Analyst | Digital Finance & Technology

Raphaelle is LFS’ in-house specialist for IT consulting and other technology issues requiring deep IT expertise. She has achieved a Bachelor of Science in Computer Applications, Software and Engineering from Dublin City University. Prior to joining LFS, she developed websites, a financial application for corporate actions and designed and developed a heat mapping automation tool for risk management. At LFS, she is involved in projects in Kyrgyzstan, Egypt and Yemen. Raphaelle is fluent in English and has a high level of French and Gaelic.

Konstantin Schroeter
Junior Business Analyst, Project Assistant

Konstantin recently joined LFS after graduating with an M.Sc. in Economics from FU Berlin and a B.Sc. in Economics from HU Berlin. He has meanwhile gained work experience in Business Consulting with TWS Partners in Munich and in the development sector with the Sparkassenstiftung fuer internationale Kooperation in Mexico City. Konstantin is fluent in German, English and Spanish and possesses intermediate proficiency in Russian.