Clay O’Brien is a strategic advisor to Ayani. He was previously Ayani’s Managing Director and Head of Asia Region (2017-2019), including providing technical expertise and project backstopping as Project Director for many Ayani projects. Now working as a consultant in Myanmar, Clay has over 28 years of professional and industry experience as a banker and microfinance executive. Clay has worked in financial inclusion and international development for over 16 years, completing projects in more than 30 countries. He has conducted a dozen financial sector and investment opportunity assessments; carried out many project and institutional evaluations; advised on commercial and quasi-commercial microfinance investment funds; and designed and/or managed numerous technical assistance projects in the sector.
From 2015 to 2017, Clay was Team Leader for Strengthening Agricultural Finance in Rural Areas (SAFIRA), a project supported by the Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Rural Economic Development. From 2013 to 2015, Clay was the Senior Sector Specialist for Financial Inclusion at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. From mid-2012, Clay spent a year in Myanmar with the UN, managing the Access to Finance and Markets grants at the multi-donor Livelihoods and Food Security Trust. He has also held other senior roles at AYANI (2007 to 2012) and the global microfinance network, Opportunity International (2002 to 2012). During more than a decade at ING Barings, he was a specialist in the financial sector and the area of private sector investments, including fund management, project management and completing transactions for governments, financial institutions and corporations.