Posted on :
7 May, 2011
7 May, 2011
Acumen Fund is looking for a stand-out change-agent, with experience in both investment and social enterprises, to launch its social impact investment portfolio in West Africa, with an initial focus in Ghana and Nigeria. This job combines head and heart in a unique way using the tools of business to tackle poverty.
The West Africa Director will oversee investment portfolios focused on bringing affordable healthcare, housing, water, agricultural inputs and energy to the poor. S/he will also be responsible for leading a team (based in Accra) capable not only of managing and growing a world- class investment portfolio, but also of creating a large, active community of supporters, advisors and funders that transcend national boundaries.
She or he will work closely with a powerful team of investment and development professionals from around the world, and, over time, will be involved in supporting our global investments (currently in Kenya, Tanzania, India and Pakistan with plans to expand) and report to Acumen’s Fund Chief Investment Officer and Chief Management Officer.
In short, this is a role capable of igniting significant change in West Africa, and – by knowledge transfer – elsewhere in the world. It requires significant investment skills, but will not appeal to the mercenary, the cynical or the faint-hearted. The right Director is a visionary with excellent execution skills who is unafraid to challenge the status quo and determined to effect real change. The right Director is a seeker who enjoys being on a global, dynamic team and brings a sense of humor as well.
Acumen Fund uses the tools of investment and business to build companies that seek to bring affordable, basic services to the poor. We invest “patient capital”, taking significant risks on early stage innovations. We expect financial returns, but only after 5, 7 or even 10 years; and we measure our success not only in terms of sustainability, but most importantly, in terms of whether we are transforming industries like water and healthcare, and are creating scaled solutions to major issues of poverty.
The West Africa Director must bring a solid combination of analytical and investing skills, attention to detail, the ability to manage people, and a keen ability to listen and to integrate what we call “moral imagination” into decision-making. S/he must know how receive and give constructive feedback, have the ability to tell stories and motivate others and be skilled at collaborating across lines of difference, including sector, ideology, ethnicity and religion.
The Director will work with some of the wealthiest individuals in the world as well as some of the poorest; thus, s/he must be adept at working with a dramatically diverse stakeholder group, all of whom are critical for our vision of a more inclusive global economy that starts with a belief in human beings’ fundamental yearning for choice and for dignity. In short, we are looking for someone with serious experience who is passionate about seeking better solutions to the world’s problems.
Required Skills or Experience
Candidates for the West Africa Director role should have a passionate commitment to solving the toughest problems of poverty, a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and excellent financial, analytical and managerial skills. Strong candidates will have a blend of private sector and non-profit experience and particular strengths in diagnosing and resolving complex organizational and financial problems.
They will have excellent organizational skills and an ability to manage and deliver projects independently as well as manage the Acumen West Africa team. They will also have the entrepreneurial drive to take an idea and turn it into a high-quality finished product through assertive risk-taking and innovation. Additionally they will have the following attributes:
10-15 plus years experience in operations, finance, business development/strategy or related areas for private sector organizations. Individuals with background in private equity/venture capital are strongly encouraged to apply
Experience in building, managing and motivating teams
Very strong financial and business analysis skills as demonstrated by prior experience
Understanding of Ghanaian and Nigerian commercial and financial markets and regulatory environment is a plus
Excellent written and oral communication skills; ability to present arguments and analysis in a clear and succinct manner to Acumen Fund management, partners and investees
Excellent interpersonal skills; ability to manage relationships with investees as well as external bench of partners and advisors
Fluency in English
Commitment to accuracy, attention to detail and follow-through
Commitment to and enthusiasm for Acumen Fund’s mission and business model, and respect for the organization’s core values: respect and integrity; generosity; accountability; humility; audacity, listening;
An advanced degree is preferred, though experience and drive are most critical
Prepare and present detailed investment memoranda and investment documentation for Acumen
Fund senior management, an Investment Committee, and Acumen Fund’s Board
Help organizations that receive investments through a growth-oriented business planning process and provide ongoing support for further strategy development
Along with global portfolio managers, provide strategic and tactical advice and support intended to help investees achieve their business plan objectives
Work with the metrics team to measure the social and financial returns of investments
Work with the Knowledge and Communications teams to derive, analyze, report and share learnings from portfolio investment and management activities.
Identify and assist in fundraising for the country operations, both within the region and from the diaspora community
Build strategic alliances within the region to help meet Acumen Fund objectives
Ensure regular contact with Acumen Fund investors in the region on the performance of the organizations and portfolio; provide opportunities for their direct engagement and expand the partner network within the region
Manage the administrative, legal and human resources of the office, including hiring staff and interns (with approval from Acumen Fund New York), and building the technology and other capabilities of the office in line with the growth of the West Africa portfolio
Ensure legal and financial regulatory compliance of Acumen Fund’s operations in West Africa
Identify pro bono resources for Acumen Fund’s operations in West Africa
Ensure compliance with global financial policies and keep West Africa within annual expense budgets.
Acumen Fund offers a competitive compensation package, commensurate with experience.
Location & Start date
Accra, Ghana. Ideal start date Q3 or Q4 2011.
How To Apply
Resumes and cover letters are required. Please submit your application via our onlineapplicanttracking system. Questions regarding this position can be directed to Catherine Casey at [email protected]
Phone: 212.566.8821 | Fax: 212.566.8817 | www.acumenfund.org