Global Microfinance Equity Fund
Launched in 2008, GMEF was designed as a follow-on fund to Gray Ghost: a globally diversified fund of funds promoting local management teams dedicated to specific regions. After committing roughly half its $120mm of capital to initiatives including IFIF, Catalyst and Prospero, the fund and its investors were challenged in 2010 by the global financial crisis, microfinance setbacks in India and Nicaragua, and a key person event. New investment was halted, GMEF management was spun off and Grassroots and Caspian continued management of much of the regional portfolio. The GMEF experience was a turning point for Grassroots, illuminating the need for more precise and explicit differentiation among impact investors and investments.