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Investment Adviser Attorney



New York, NY, USA
Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2024

Acumen is looking for a mission-driven lawyer to join our team, based in New York or London. We’re seeking someone with a minimum of 15 years of experience practicing funds formation and/or transactional law and managing legal projects across various stakeholders, with a proven commitment to tackling poverty or social causes. The right candidate is skilled, creative, kind, pragmatic, respectful and can excel in a fast-paced environment. Acumen has a hybrid work model, with 3 days in the office.

About Acumen
We’re investors. A different kind of investor. We invest in people and companies working to solve problems for people living in poverty, investing in essential products and services that bring more opportunities, more choices to millions. To date, Acumen has positively impacted 501 million lives by investing $154M of patient capital in 167 innovative, early-stage companies in Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and the United States. Through Acumen Capital Partners, we are responsible for nearly $243 million in assets under management via our returnable pooled investment funds which have impacted 32 million people and offset 18 million tons of carbon. But investing clearly isn’t just about capital. It’s about investing in people. We’ve been investing in people for years through Acumen Academy. Connecting with over 1,600 emerging leaders in their own countries and engaging them in extended collective dialogue on what constitutes a “good society”, moral inquiry and skill building.

About the Role
The Legal Counsel at Acumen will provide a wide range of support to the program, fundraising and operations teams. Reporting to the General Counsel, the Legal Counsel will function primarily as a fund formation specialist with accountability for particular investors, as well as a corporate and commercial generalist to effect our programs efficiently and manage overall risk to the organization. A successful candidate will be expected to provide and coordinate timely and efficient legal involvement in our transactions, to manage the activities of outside counsel, and to support and maintain cohesion across our global investment and support teams.

Principal areas of accountability are:

  • Fund Marketing, Formation and Oversight. The role will engage in legal support throughout the life cycle of our pooled investment vehicles, from development, marketing, investor diligence, formation, negotiation, implementation, reporting and through to liquidation. The role requires understanding of our returnable fund documentation across our fund products, liaising with various teams (such as investment, fundraising, finance, ESG and compliance) and outside counsel for our existing and new pooled investment vehicles, negotiation of new fund offerings, review of marketing and reporting materials, and compliance with applicable regulatory frameworks; the role also requires the ability to communicate complex issues and implications with various team members to support decision-making. The role should understand the requirements of various funders and be able to negotiate for consistency and good sense in new initiatives, and support in managing those relationships. This role balances the fund manager’s needs for integrity, consistency and coherence across products, as well as the specific fund team’s needs for a saleable, effective fund product.

  • Deal Diligence and Documentation, and Contract Review: The Legal Counsel will confirm returnable fund investments meet funder requirements, which may include creating investee side letters passing on certain obligations, review of term sheets and diligence summaries to identify conditions to the investment, and review of final documentation in coordination with outside counsel. In such role, knowledge of venture capital and emerging markets investing is a plus. Additionally, such role will handle contractual needs for our returnable fund teams, including grants, vendors, technical assistance and nondisclosure agreements.

  • Collaboration with Legal Team Needs. As a hands on, 8 person internal legal team consisting of Legal (programmatic, governance), Compliance and ESG accountabilities, additional activities outside the pooled vehicle work may be requested. As needed, such individual may be asked to 1) support our early stage pioneer investing team members in structuring and developing term sheets and documentation for Acumen’s venture capital debt and equity investments, and driving investments to efficient closing, 2) draft and review contracts for our various functional teams and 3) engage in various other initiatives to promote operational sustainability, among other activities.

Skills and Qualifications

  • Minimum of 15 years of experience practicing funds and transactional law and managing legal projects across various stakeholders; experience with governmental funders, including the Green Climate Fund or development finance institutions is a plus, as is experience working with an impact or charitably oriented organization
  • Strong organizational and diplomacy skills and the ability to work and deliver various, simultaneous projects independently, proactively and under pressure
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Commitment to accuracy, attention to detail and follow-through
  • Commitment to, and enthusiasm for, Acumen’s mission and business model, a sense of the sector’s inherent challenge
  • Aptitude for and comfort navigating ambiguity, and striving to create clarity, with a constant emphasis on integrity and ethical behavior
  • Ability to remain cool-headed in unexpected or emotionally charged situations, use education and pragmatism to stay the course on Acumen’s goals and withstand the tests of a rapidly changing environment with resilience, resolve, empathy, humor and kindness
  • Amenability to working across different time zones in an efficient manner
  • Self reflective and aligned with Acumen values
  • Must be authorized to work in the US or UK

Apply as early as possible as applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until June 30, 2024

The salary range for this role in New York is $140,000 to $180,000 USD plus a performance-based bonus. This range represents the present low and high end of pay range for this role. Actual compensation will vary based on various factors including but not limited to experience. Acumen has equal pay, so pay is determined through comparison to a cohort of employees in the market at the same level of accountability.