Principal, Economic Justice
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Acumen America is seeking a Principal to join our San Francisco-based, venture investing team, and to focus on our workforce and financial inclusion portfolios. The Principal will be joining a team catalyzing the power of entrepreneurs to drive meaningful change on problems of poverty in America. In particular, the Principal will focus on building a portfolio of game-changing companies in the themes of work and wealth. We’re seeking a team member with 12+ years of experience in investing or related fields and a commitment to tackling poverty. The right candidate is a leader – entrepreneurial, bold, creative, and can excel in a fast-paced, startup environment.
Acumen America is the leading early-stage investor backing innovative solutions to poverty. Its mission is to change the way the world tackles poverty by investing in underestimated entrepreneurs building breakthrough companies with the potential to shift systems of poverty in the United States.
Acumen America sees opportunities where others don’t, invests early in game-changing businesses, and supports underestimated entrepreneurs advancing health and economic justice. As one of the nation’s only philanthropically capitalized venture investors, since 2015, Acumen America has invested in 39 companies reaching over 85M low-income Americans.
We believe in the power of a diverse portfolio, and 56% of our companies have a founder of color and 44% have a female founder. The team is responsible for finding, vetting, structuring and managing investments in companies that serve low-income Americans in our three portfolio sectors: financial inclusion, workforce development, and health.
Reporting to the Acumen America Partners, the Principal will play a leadership role on the investing team at Acumen America, with a focus on the workforce and financial inclusion sectors. This will involve setting goals, honing process, refining strategy, and assessing portfolio performance. The Principal will source new investments, lead due diligence processes, structure deal terms, and drive new investments to closing. In this role, the Principal will also manage certain relationships post-closing, including sitting on a small number of Boards, both as an Observer and a Director over time. The Principal will also manage certain other Acumen America team members.
The Principal will play a leading role in setting portfolio strategy, support fundraising and strategic partnership initiatives, and oversee portfolio operations. The Principal will contribute to actively building and cultivating Acumen America’s networks in the venture and impact investing communities, and will develop insight and communications pieces for external audiences.
The individual in this role must be comfortable working in a fast-paced, changing environment, executing quickly on a range of transactional responsibilities, as well as thinking critically to add value and solve problems. This role will report to the team’s Partners. More specifically, you will be responsible for:
Early-Stage Venture Investing
- Identify, cultivate, and review a pipeline of early-stage investment opportunities providing critical services to low-income Americans
- Conduct thorough due diligence and investment analysis, including financial modeling, valuation review and structuring
- Prepare and present detailed and compelling investment documentation for Acumen America’s Investment Committee
- Own relationships with certain portfolio companies, tracking performance and providing active support
- Assess portfolio company needs related to post investment support; design and implement post-investment management interventions
- Design and evaluate key metrics to measure the social and financial returns on investments
- Develop long-term relationships with external stakeholders including funders, advisors, thought leaders, sector and functional experts to provide support across the portfolio
- Play a key role in portfolio company governance, including serving as a Board Observer and Board Director for select investees
- Manage select portfolio team members as direct reports
- Lead strategic initiatives to improve investment thesis and portfolio operations
- Oversee portfolio operations, include data collection and management, impact measurement, and portfolio reviews
- Work with the Acumen America team to analyze and document data-driven rationales for portfolio decisions; to extract and document investment-specific and general insights; to analyze metrics data to identify patterns; and to channel that data to outputs for marketing and fundraising efforts
- Produce discrete knowledge and research materials based on lessons from Acumen’s portfolio
Qualifications & Characteristics
- 12+ years of experience in venture capital, private equity, investment banking, investment management, or relevant non-finance fields, including experience with financial and operational due diligence of early-stage businesses
- Superior financial and business analysis skills, as demonstrated by prior experience
- Excellent written and oral communication skills; ability to present arguments and analysis in a clear and succinct manner to Acumen management, partners and investees
- Strong ability to take initiative with research and analysis and produce valuable results in conditions of uncertainty
- Solid operational skills including problem solving and project management skills, including ability to work and deliver projects independently, proactively and under pressure
- Familiarity with the social enterprise and impact investing sectors; demonstrated commitment to tackling challenges of poverty is preferred
- An ability to establish relationships with CEO and add value to their endeavor
- Bachelor's Degree is required
- Self-reflective and aligned with Acumen values
- Must be permanently authorized to work in the U.S.
For this position, the base salary range is $160,000 to $200,000 plus an annual bonus. Internal equity considerations and the salary of peers with similar accountabilities will be reviewed before making a final offer.