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Senior Investment Associate, East Africa

Website Acumen

Asset Manager

Acumen seeks a committed and enthusiastic Senior Investment Associate with 5-8 years of experienceto help grow and enhance our world-class investment portfolio of game-changing enterprises that impact the poor across East Africa.

About Acumen

Acumen is changing the way the world tackles poverty by investing in companies, leaders and ideas. We invest patient capital in businesses whose products and services are enabling the poor to transform their lives. To date, Acumen has positively impacted 309 million lives by investing $137M in 139 innovative, early-stage companies in Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and the United States. But investment isn’t only about capital, we’ve been investing in innovators for years, connecting with emerging leaders around the world and engaging them in collective dialogue, moral inquiry, and skill building.

About East Africa

Acumen’s commitment to East Africa began in 2004. Core to our success is the ability to identify, resource, and build a world class portfolio of investments that demonstrates the power of patient capital to solve the problems of poverty in East Africa and the world more broadly. Equally important is to leverage our experience into insights that compel this ecosystem of funders, operators, and policy makers to catalyze a broader paradigm shift in the battle against poverty.  Over the years, Acumen East Africa has made investments across several sectors: healthcare, energy, water & sanitation, agricultural and education. Our key focus now is Agriculture, Education and Renewable Energy. Acumen constantly evaluates the potential to expand into other sectors. We support entrepreneurs and business which are revolutionizing their sectors and pioneering new development paradigms that deliver impact to the power on a sustainable basis. The office is staffed with a full-time team of professionals from diverse backgrounds.

In addition to its local focus on investing, Acumen East Africa serves as a hub of global Acumen activity, a location where we often bring together partners, investees, team members and Fellows for a variety of events.

About the Role

As an East Africa Senior Investment Associate, you will play a key role in sourcing investments and enabling the companies to make a discernable impact for the poor on a sustainable basis. As part of your core function, you will enhance and grow our portfolio by identifying quality investment opportunities from the large pipeline of companies seeking capital in Sub-Saharan Africa.

You would assist the Associate Director for Investment and East Africa Director to formulate overall portfolio construction strategy including analysis of key industries to focus on with detailed analysis of the players in the entire vertical. You would work with appropriate Acumen professionals developing fundraising presentations and meeting with potential and existing funding sources.  The East Africa Senior Investment Associate reports to the Associate Director for Investment/Investment Manager.

More specifically, you will:

Source and identify exceptional investment opportunities providing critical services to the poor

  • Evaluate and identify quality investment opportunities from a large deal pipeline utilizing your analytical and critical thinking skills to find unique business models. Articulate your understanding of the value proposition, risks, competition, industry, and impact to your peers in a collaborative investment evaluating culture.
  • Prepare and present compelling investment memos for Acumen’s Investment Committee.
  • Perform thorough due diligence and structure transactions reflecting appropriate risk/return factors. Work closely with legal counsel to document and close investments.
  • Deliver operational insight to the entrepreneurs and leadership team post-investment to enable the companies to achieve economic sustainability. Support the development and evaluate key metrics to measure the social and financial returns on investments.
  • Periodically update the Investment Committee (and sometimes Acumen funders) with portfolio presentations demonstrating the successful performance delivery of impact to the poor.
  • Build and enhance your existing network with external stakeholders including funders, advisors, thought leaders, sector and functional experts to enhance the investment opportunities pipeline for evaluation by attending industry conferences, events, and one-on-one meetings.
  • Develop, teach, and mentor Investment Associates working on investments you source and lead. Assist the Investment Associates grow their abilities to identify business model attributes to migrate to Senior Investment Associates.

Qualifications & Characteristics

  • Bachelor’s degree; finance, business, or related field preferred
  • 5-8 years of principal investing experience, including financial and operational due diligence of private companies. Understanding of early-stage businesses and entrepreneurs is a plus
  • Strong understanding of financial statements and an ability to analyze historical results and model future periods including running sensitivities of key input assumptions
  • Ability to present your investment track record of both good and bad historical investments
  • Curious – always questioning, always probing, and never blindly accepting
  • Solid professional skills including ability to work and deliver projects independently, proactively and under pressure
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills; ability to present arguments and analysis to Acumen management, partners, and investees.
  • Effectively collaborate with and across teams, seeks and provides constructive feedback
  • Ideally be familiar with the social enterprise sector with a significant commitment, desire, or experience serving the poor
  • Ability to thrive when there is ambiguity, remain cool-headed when there are curve balls, and withstand the tests of a rapidly changing environment with resilience and resolve
  • Self -reflective and aligned with Acumen values.
  • Must have authorization to work in Kenya on a permanent basis