Matthew Saal

Digital Finance Specialist IFC

Matthew Saal is a Digital Finance Specialist in the IFC’s Financial Institutions Group. Matthew joined IFC in 2016, and covers digital financial services advisory work, partnerships, and investments in innovative financial services providers. During 2018-2019 Matthew was a World Bank Presidential Fellow seconded to the Finance Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice, focused on fintech policy and fintech for inclusion.


Prior to joining IFC, Matthew was Associate Director in the Local Currency and Capital Markets Development initiative of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Prior to joining EBRD in 2010, Matthew worked in emerging markets finance, private equity, venture capital, strategy and business development, consulting, and international economics. He has had a longstanding focus on financial services and financial technology, including:

  • FIG strategy consulting, including technology strategy and payments infrastructure for global banks (1997-98)
  • Strategy and business development for a fintech startup and co-inventor of its patented business processes for invoice financing (2000-01)
  • Venture development at LabMorgan, JPMorgan’s e-financial services venture arm (2001-03)
  • Private equity investment fund focused on emerging markets banks (2003-06)
  • Mentor at Startup Bootcamp and Barclays Techstars Fintech accelerators in London (2014-16)


Earlier in his career, Matthew was an economist at the International Monetary Fund advising central banks on banking supervision and regulation and monetary policy instruments, an analyst at Morgan Stanley creating automated equity valuation and portfolio optimization systems, and an instructor at Dalian Institute of Technology and St. Catherine’s College (Oxford) Kobe Institute. Matthew holds an A.B. in Chemistry from Princeton University and an M.Phil. in Economics from Oxford University (Balliol College), where he studied as a Marshall Scholar. He co-authored Bank Soundness and Macroeconomic Policy (IMF, 1996) and has written on fintech-bank partnerships, banking, macroeconomic policy, financial systems structure, trade, and monetary policy instruments.