Chief Operations Officer

  • Full Time
  • Lusaka, Zambia
  • Applications have closed

VisionFund Zambia

VisionFund Zambia Limited is part of a network of microfinance institutions within the VisionFund International network. We empower low-income entrepreneurs with access to integrated financial services that unlock their potential. We are part of World Vision, the largest global Christian humanitarian organization. In order to support our growth aspirations, we seek to recruit a qualified candidate who is self-motivated and results-oriented to fill the following position: 


Location:  Lusaka



The Chief Operations Officer (COO) is responsible for ensuring proper implementation and execution of operational plans, including market development and product disbursement plan, creation of budget and cash flow projections for all branch offices, as well as internal controls, policies and procedures in all branches in support of reducing Vision Fund Zambia’s risk exposures, especially operational and credit risks. The COO reviews credit methodology and new product development, motivates branch teams, helps support social impact and social performance plans and alignment with World Vision Zambia in the field and ensures proper and timely execution of the strategy in Branches. He/she also reviews Branch profitability and is responsible for opening/closing/merging Branches as appropriate.

Key Responsibilities:


  • With Regional Managers, Branch Managers, defines specific operating targets and objectives (individual branch / office/ LO plans) for all products and services, feeding into the monthly, quarterly and annual operating plans.
  • Uses branch information (as per above) to contribute to annual operating plan, in coordination with the CEO, CFO, P&C, Risk Head r and IT/MIS. Determines key business, social, growth and staffing objectives, efficiency and productivity standards/targets and ensures operating costs are in line with acceptable budget ratios at both branch and overall institutional level. 
  • Prepares annual work targets/schedules/budgets and assigns duties to HO/Region operations personnel to ensure efficient and effective operations department for approval to CEO.
  • Active member of the strategy working group.
  • Takes lead in developing Vision Fund Zambia’s long-term operations strategy in line with Vision Fund International’s strategy.
  • Continually gathers information and analyses the strategic position of Vision Fund Zambia (VFZ) as compared to the industry.

     Branch and network monitoring and problem solving: 

  • Closely monitors implementation of approved plan, ensuring all departments and branch offices are achieving set goals and targets.
  • Closely monitors execution of SG linkage strategy with World Vision.
  • Implements performance improvement plan and interventions to help Underperforming staff and branch offices.
  • Ensures implementation of new strategy, including appropriate staff recruitment, motivation, appraisal and retention in coordination with P&C Manager.
  • Sets targets to monitor field visits, verification visits, and meetings with Branch office staff and clients.
  • As needed, provides Head of Finance with needed information to ensure proper liquidity management at Branch level and regarding savings transaction, and to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Quickly identifies and then puts in place plans to resolve problems, particularly related to portfolio quality, staffing and product performance as they relate to specific Branches.
  • Takes an active and swift leadership role with branches that are underperforming or are not compliant with any policy or regulation, etc., ensuring that appropriate measures are taken to bring the Branch performance or compliance back to required standards.
  • Consults with the IT department on any issues related to monitoring or reporting, and ensures IT resolves issues as soon as possible.

Risk Management and Control:

  • Oversees the implementation of the internal control systems, ensuring the smooth running of the business and safeguarding the institution’s assets; Follows-up with the relevant manager(s) to ensure any actions related to audit findings are implements by branches and/or departments.
  • Actively works with the risk manager and all departments to identify and measure all risks, and actively develops mitigation strategies through sharing information between departments and around the branch network.
  • Ensures compliance with all existing MFI and VFI policies; with local regulations; and with all VFI/Lender covenants.
  • Ensures that policies and procedures are applied consistently and uniformly across all branches.
  • Plans and ensures the implementation of an adequate and timely branch reporting system.
  • Supports Branches in analyzing results of their Branch in risk terms and by various groupings such as benchmarking volume and quality of business, portfolio quality, write off, product mix, methodology, vintage, etc. in order to know how to take actions for improvements- organize plans with the Branches.
  • Helps prepare the network for all audits and ensures audit findings are closed appropriately and in a timely fashion.
  • Facilitates portfolio reviews and ensures findings are incorporated in the processes.

Marketing and Branding:

  • Works within Branch network, CEO, Marketing team and the Region to develop new products as appropriate, using field data and competitor analysis.
  • Works with CEO and other colleagues to create branding and promotional plans for products and services offered by the MFI (e.g. newsletter, radio advertising, posters, school competitions, press releases, etc.).
  • Coordinates as needed regular customer satisfaction surveys and market research.
  • Interacts with World Vision, with the local community, business organizations, and industry networks to promote goodwill and generates new business (integration opportunities).

Staffing, Performance Management and Capacity Building:

  • Participates in the interview, selection and hiring of new operations department employees.
  • Ensures the annual appraisal Cycle (agreeing annual and learning and development objectives, mid-term reviews and end of year reviews) is implemented and evaluates job performance of operations department Regional managers and branch managers.
  • Coordinate with P nC on performance-based salary and/or merit increases.
  • Coordinate with PnC on regularly conducting needs assessment for Branch Managers and team leaders, analyzing gaps and developing plans for capacity building.
  • Guides the development of succession plans for department managers and branch management.
  • Monitors and evaluates the progress of capacity building and revises plans as necessary.
  • Ensures all high-performing staff have a development plan in place.
  • Implements restructuring plans as approved by VFI and board, as appropriate.
  • Coordinate with PnC on to ensure all under-performing staff are closely managed so that performance improves or separation is managed according to local regulations.
  • Spends at least 60% of the time in branches, as per VFI policy and planned branch visits and reporting.

Social Performance and Integration:

  • Ensures that the MFI reaches its target clients (poor, women with dependent children, AP areas), making necessary adjustments to do so (changes in geographical location,  introduction of new products, linkages with WV Savings Groups, product processes related to delivery methods, education, etc.) while balancing the need for institutional sustainability.
  • Ensures that clients and their children are protected and treated with respect in th provision of financial services through implementation of the client protection policies. This includes not over-indebting clients, appropriate debt collection practices, and active mechanisms for client complaint.
  • Ensure that Regional Managers, Branch Managers and staff are trained in and apply strong social performance practices (per points above).
  • Contribute to the design and execution of a robust impact framework for the delivery of a quality strategy in collaboration with WVZ.


  • Minimum Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, Banking and Finance, Accounting, Business Administration or any other relevant field.
  • Master’s Degree in a related field is an added advantage.
  • Must be a member of a professional body.
  • At least 8 years’ experience in managing microfinance operations in an MFI or Bank setting under regulated environment.
  • Determined personality with initiative, perseverance and the ability to motivate and manage a team.
  • Capability and willingness to take responsibility and highly developed sense of rectitude.
  • Ready to comply and live up to and in accordance with the organization Ideals and Core Values.
  • Be a good trainer, facilitator, mentor, and coach.
  • Very good communication and marketing skills.
  • Good knowledge in economic and financial topics.
  • Good analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Must be a committed Christian, able to stand above denominational diversities.
  • Attend and lead daily devotions.

Working Environment/Travel:

  • Office environment: typical office based and frequent travel to fields (40% traveling and 60% office based).
  • Travel: 90% Domestic 10% international travel is desired.
  • On call: Yes, in the after normal working hours.
  • Must get a work Permit if not a local staff from within the Country.

Applications should be sent to:-

Head of People & Culture

Plot 6810, Chiwalamabwe road Olympia,

P.O. Box 33911

Lusaka, Zambia


Email: [email protected]

VisionFund Zambia is an equal opportunity employer. Females are encouraged to apply.

VisionFund Zambia observes Child and Adult Safeguarding protocols. Kindly note that VisionFund Zambia Limited does not solicit for fees at any stage of recruitment process, any such attempts should be treated as fraudulent and report immediately.

Deadline for submissions is Friday, 25th November, 2022

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