ASA International Group announces Guy Dawson as next Chairman of the Board of Directors

– NETHERLANDS, Amsterdam –  ASA International Group plc, (LON: ASAI), one of the world’s largest international microfinance institutions, today announced the appointment of Guy Dawson as Chairman of the Board as of 1 January 2021, succeeding Shafiq Choudhury, co-founder and Board Chairman who has decided to resign effective on 31 December 2020.

Mr Dawson will continue to chair the Nomination Committee and the Independent Directors Committee.

Mr Choudhury initially planned to resign at the Company’s AGM in June 2020 but was requested by the Board to stay on until the end of 2020 and assist in navigating the Company through the COVID-19 crisis. At the request of the Board, Mr Choudhury will be assigned the role of President of the Company following his resignation as Director and Chairman. This will enable the Company to continue benefitting from Mr Choudhury’s valuable guidance and counsel.

CEO and co-founder, Dirk Brouwer, said: “I am grateful for having worked in such close partnership with Shafiq in building ASA International. Shafiq dedicated his life to improve the livelihoods of low-income women in Bangladesh and throughout the world. He is a true legend who revolutionized microfinance by designing the world’s most cost-efficient and client-friendly operating model, which has benefitted many millions of female micro-entrepreneurs. Besides his leadership and enormous contribution to ASA Bangladesh and ASA International, Shafiq helped many fledgeling microfinance institutions across the world to become the most successful operators in their respective countries. Fortunately, Shafiq has agreed to stay on as President so that we can continue to benefit from his unique expertise and experience, hopefully for many more years to come.”

Mrs Hanny Kemna, Non-Executive Director of the Company since 2018, will take over Mr Dawson’s responsibilities as Senior Independent Director.

About Guy Dawson

Mr Dawson has been a Non-Executive Director of ASA International since 2013. Mr Dawson has extensive experience as a Non- Executive Director and previously served in that capacity on the Boards of The BOC Group plc and Alliance Boots plc. He is currently a Non-Executive Director of Egerton Capital, Citywire Holdings and Ridgeway Partners. He was a founding partner of the independent corporate advisory firm Tricorn Partners, and before that held senior investment banking positions in London at Nomura, Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank.

Having originally joined the Board of ASA International in 2013, Mr Dawson might normally be expected to retire in 2022, nine years after his original appointment. However, as the bulk of his service to date has been before the Company’s listing in July 2018, the Board deems it appropriate for him to serve as Chairman beyond 2022 so that the Company can continue to benefit from the knowledge and expertise that he has accumulated both before and since the listing. This matter will be kept under review by the Board in the light of its broader succession and diversity planning, as well as the Chairman’s performance in the role.

Guy Dawson said: “I am honoured to become the Chairman of ASA International and would like to pay my own tribute to the inspirational leadership of Shafiq Choudhury. I look forward to working closely with the Board and the management team as we continue to deal with the consequences of COVID-19 while planning for the Group’s long-term development and growth.”

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