25 November 2021

Enlarged remit announced for the UK’s development finance institution to deliver jobs and clean growth

The UK Foreign Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, Rt Hon Liz Truss MP made a speech today (25 November) at the London Stock Exchange, where she announced a number of upcoming changes at CDC Group, including a new name, a new strategy and the appointment of a new Chair.

CDC is the UK Government’s development finance institution and a central part of the UK’s offer to help developing and emerging countries meet their significant financing needs for infrastructure and enterprise.

CDC to become British International Investment

CDC is changing its name to British International Investment. The new name signifies the increased breadth of what the organisation already does and highlights its role as part of the UK Government’s international financing offer, working to bring not just capital, but the highest levels of ethics, standards and transparency to its investments.

CDC will formally become British International Investment plc on 4 April 2022.

Entering a new five-year strategy period

CDC operates in five-year strategy periods, which are agreed and ratified by its shareholder, the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office. Its next strategy period begins on 1 January 2022 and runs until the end of 2026. The aim is to invest £1.5 – £2 billion per annum over the period.

The new strategy builds on the mandate that has been at the heart of the CDC’s work for nearly 75 years, and its successful track record over the last decade, and will permit the company to go even further:

  • It recognises the vital importance of infrastructure in bringing large scale impact to enable enterprise and benefit millions of people.
    • An increased focus on climate finance, including in green infrastructure
    • New investment in digital transformation, from large scale digital infrastructure to early stage venture capital earlier-stage, disruptive businesses that offer radical solutions to the problems facing developing economies.
  • An expanded geographical remit to include the Indo-Pacific and Caribbean. In the Indo Pacific region, specifically in the larger economies of Philippines, Indonesia and the Mekong region (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos), the focus will be on climate investment, particularly the renewables sector.
  • It also highlights the company’s ability to build partnerships with like-minded organisations. That includes using its proximity to the City of London to mobilise commercial investors to cement the UK as a development finance hub.
  • The strategy is underpinned by three strategic development objectives to invest in support of Productivity, Sustainability and Inclusivity which will lead to investments to meet global opportunities and address challenges, including the need for jobs and the twin crises of climate change and natural resource depletion.

This more geographically diverse approach complements the organisation’s existing strong profile in Africa and South Asia. In the past five years CDC has invested close to £7 billion and mobilised a further £2.5 billion – and in doing it has backed businesses that employ over 900,000 people and which have paid in excess of £10 billion in taxes.

A summary of the new strategy can be found here. An event on 14 December 2021 will provide further detail.

Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive of CDC, said: “Building on CDC’s legacy, British International Investment will make investments that support the aspirations of entrepreneurs and businesses in a responsible and transparent manner.

“We will be a trusted partner to some of the least developed economies in the world that want to create sustainable and prosperous futures for their people. We will deliver on the UK’s promise to support emerging economies to combat the climate emergency and track the impact of each investment to ensure every penny is used productively.”

New Chair

Ms Truss also announced the appointment of Diana Layfield, as its new Chair. She will succeed Sir Graham Wrigley who was appointed in 2013 and will be stepping down, as previously announced, early in 2022 after a transitional period.

Ms Layfield joins the organisation with an outstanding international business career and considerable experience of emerging markets. She is currently Google President, EMEA Partnerships and a Non-executive Director at AstraZeneca. She was formerly the Chief Executive of Standard Chartered, Africa.

Ms Layfield, who will be CDC’s first female chair in its 73-year history, was appointed following a competitive process. She takes up her role as Chair on 1 January 2022. Full details of the appointment can be found here.

Further reading

  • Read our 2022 – 2026 Investment Policy here
  • Read our 2022 – 2026 Strategy Summary here

CDC is becoming British International Investment