UN Special Advocate Queen Máxima Announced as the 2021 Financial Health Visionary Award Recipient

Financial Health Network today announced that H.M. Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA), will be the recipient of the 2021 Financial Health Visionary Award during the EMERGE Financial Health on 9 June 2021.

The Visionary Award is given to individuals who have shown unparalleled leadership in building a more accessible and inclusive financial system, and who seek to continue to inspire and encourage the next generation of leaders to innovate new solutions for the financially underserved.

Queen Máxima was selected for this honor for her work as the UNSGSA promoting inclusive financial systems and raising awareness for the responsible development and usage of financial services—notably among underserved groups such as the poor, women, MSMEs, and smallholder farmers. The Special Advocate has always highlighted the importance of financial health in her work.

In December 2020, the UNSGSA launched a cross-industry working group examining how to scale up financial health efforts globally. The working group is establishing a shared vision and direction for developing financial health to ensure people are able to meet day-to-day needs, be resilient against shocks, make plans for the future and feel confident about their finances.

“It is an honor to present the Visionary Award to Her Majesty Queen Máxima to recognize her global leadership around advancing financial and economic inclusion to encourage more full participation in the financial system,” said Jennifer Tescher, president and CEO of Financial Health Network. “The impact, reach and advocacy of Queen Máxima’s platforms and programs to improve access on a global scale will unlock development opportunities, economic inclusion and improved financial health for millions around the world.”

Queen Máxima has served as the UNSGSA since 2009, and is a leading global voice on advancing universal access to and responsible usage of affordable, effective and safe financial services. She is also Honorary Patron of the G20’s Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion and a Global Agenda Trustee for the World Economic Forum’s Global Challenge Initiative on the Future of the Global Ecosystem, and convened the CEO Partnership for Economic Inclusion. In the Netherlands, she is a member of the Dutch Committee for Entrepreneurship and Honorary Chair of the Dutch Money Wise Platform.

PayPal President and CEO Dan Schulman was the recipient of the inaugural award in 2018 for his commitment to transforming financial services to making life easier for people around the world via the PayPal platform and network. Tescher will present the award to Queen Máxima and then host a fireside Q&A with Queen Máxima and Schulman.

The 2021 Visionary Award will be presented during an immersive virtual EMERGE Financial Health event presented by the Financial Health Network on June 8-10 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. (EST). The programming will feature leaders and experts discussing trends, learnings and ideas to inspire better financial health for all:

  • June 8:  Day 1 will connect macro trends in financial health to innovation and the structural trends in policy, social, and technological shifts seen over the past year, and the implications of those shifts on the financial services industry.
  • June 9:  On day 2, the focus will be on the disproportionate impact the pandemic and subsequent economic downturn has had on people in the U.S. -- particularly women. There will be dialogue from industry leaders who are focused on advancing financial health for their customers, employees, and communities against this shifting landscape, and will conclude with the presentation of the 2021 Visionary Award.
  • June 10: The pandemic was a catalyst for innovation -- Day 3 spotlights a few of the most promising and successful financial health partnerships, commitments, and solutions of the year.

Another bonus day of EMERGE programming, “MAP the FinHealth Future of Your Business,” will be held on June 23. To register for any of the sessions, visit: https://emerge.finhealthnetwork.org/emerge-financial-health-2021/

More information on the Financial Health Network Financial Visionary Award program and recipients is available here.