Obviam was spun-out of the Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets (SIFEM), the Development Finance Institution (DFI) of the Swiss Confederation, in 2010, with an objective of creating a fully independent investment advisor capable of offering a broad range of investors access to impact investing in emerging and frontier markets. 

As an independent investment advisor, Obviam invests on behalf of public, institutional, and private investors. Obviam's team has been together since 1999, having invested over USD 800m in more than 70 funds, and 800 underlying Small and Medium Enterprises in emerging and frontier markets.


1995 - 1998

The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) makes its first emerging markets investment in Profund, a microfinance private equity fund in Latin America, and develops its emerging market investment portfolio

1999 - 2005

SECO develops a portfolio of private equity fund participations and direct financial institution investments in more than 30 developing and transition economies

June 2005

Obviam's CEO establishes the Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets (SIFEM) as a privately-held management company mandated to oversee SECO's investment portfolio and advise on new investment opportunities

December 2005

The SIFEM team wins two additional mandates to represent the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) on the Board of Directors of the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE)

September 2007

The SIFEM team co-advises with responsAbility on Base of the Pyramid Investments S.C.A. SICAR

August 2011

SIFEM becomes a wholly government-owned Development Finance Institution. The investment portfolio is transferred from SECO to SIFEM. The management team is transferred into newly founded Obviam, which manages SIFEM.