Since January 2015, Simon Bell has taken over the role of Global Lead for SME Finance in the Finance and Markets Global Practice where he is coordinating the financing support provided through F&M with colleagues dealing with SME issues in the Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, the Financial Institutions Group of the IFC, the Advisory Services units of the IFC and the World Bank, and the SME Finance Forum. Simon also leads the SME Finance Community of Practice which includes over 50 staff from F&M – as well as other associated staff from the IFC and other Global Practices, the IFC and World Bank Treasuries, and MIGA. Simon has a Masters Degree in Development Economics from the University of New England, New South Wales, Australia. Simon has supervised large volumes of World Bank lending in the Africa, South Asia and Middle East regions over the past two decades – covering operational issues such as central bank restructuring, banking sector reform, SME and micro finance, infrastructure finance, housing finance, early stage innovation finance, finance for jobs, private sector development, tourism projects, development policy lending, etc. He is keenly interested in innovation – and particularly the very rapid growth of finTech industries in Crowd Funding, Peer to Peer lending, Social/Development Impact Bonds, psychometric testing and big data, etc – which have all emerged over the past decade.