Dirk Brouwer is the founder and Managing Director of Sequoia, anindependent international corporate finance advisory and private equityfirm, as well as one of the founders and an Executive Director ofCatalyst Microfinance Investors, a microfinance private equity fund. Before founding Sequoia in 2002, Dirk worked for more than 15 years ininvestment banking at Merrill Lynch in London, where he was ManagingDirector and Head of Benelux Investment Banking, and prior to this atPaineWebber where he worked in mergers & acquisitions, leveragedbuyouts and private equity in London and New York. At Sequoia,Dirk has advised on various assignments with a combined transactionvalue of close to US$ 4 billion. Earlier this year, Dirk and Sequoia established in partnership with ASAof Bangladesh and K-Rep Group of Kenya, and their respective foundersand Managing Directors, Shafiqual Choudhury and Kimanthi Mutua,Catalyst Microfinance Investors, a private equity fund which dedicatesitself to equity or hybrid equity investments in promising, emergingmicrofinance institutions (“MFI”) throughout Asia and Africa. Catalyst distinguishes itself by leveraging off the wealth ofmicrofinance operating expertise of ASA and K-Rep Group in combinationwith the Anglo-Saxon corporate finance and private equity disciplinebrought by Sequoia. Dirk first got exposed to microfinance in 2003 during extensive travelswith his family through various parts of Latin America, Asia andAfrica. While investigating a possible investment in anArgentinian MFI start-up, he realized the similarities of microfinancewith the retail financial services industry in the West, thescalability of the microfinance business model, and how Anglo-Saxonfinance skills could be helpful in developing the investment side ofthe MFI sector and thereby accelerating its growth. Dirk holds a Masters Degree in Economics from the Erasmus University ofRotterdam and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from StanfordUniversity, California.