From Arthur Guinness to Johnnie Walker, our business was founded on people of outstanding character, and in 250 years, nothing has changed. We’re the world’s leading premium alcohol company! Our brands are industry icons including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan’s whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness. Our success is thanks to the strength of our people, in every role. It’s why we trust them with our legacy and why we reward them with the career-defining opportunities that they deserve. Our ambition is to build the best performing, most trusted and respected Consumer Products Company in the world. To achieve these, we need the very best people!
At Diageo, our purpose is to celebrate life everywhere, every day. To do that, you will join an organization that is passionate about customers and consumers, and proud of what they do. Diageo teams constantly set high goals and then try hard to exceed them. We are also an incredibly diverse organization, and we value each and every one’s talent and personality.
You will play a meaningful role in the DIAGEO Global Business Development & Ventures (BDV) Team reporting into the VP of Global Ventures based in New York, NY. The role will help drive DIAGEO’s Ventures agenda, with focus on the North America market.
BDV drives Diageo’s inorganic growth ambition and crafting shareholder value by identifying, pursuing, and completing M&A opportunities. This includes Diageo’s industry-leading venturing arm, Distill Ventures.
Distill Ventures (“DV”) is the drinks industry’s first accelerator for new and growing brands. It exists to provide Diageo with a pipeline of access to the best founder led brands in the world, providing funding and acceleration support to entrepreneurs to help build global spirits brands of the future. Since its founding in 2013, DV has invested in 35+ brands in a wide range of drinks categories, including New World whiskey, premium gin, and non-alcoholic spirits. Through a combination of cash investment, mentoring support and access to a network of authorities, DV works with founders from all backgrounds and stages of growth to help brands go further, faster.
Through both its traditional investment pathway and its Pre-Accelerator, which launched in 2021 and focuses on recruiting diverse entrepreneurs into drinks, DV operates across both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink categories, and invests at all stages, from pre-launch through to those requiring significant growth and expansion capital. It is operated independently and backed by Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks company, providing investment funding, as well as resources and access through its global network of authorities.
Collaborate closely with DV and the VP of Global Ventures to be the primary day-to-day interface into Diageo for the Distill Ventures North America portfolio – leading on all operational matters, partnering the DV team and founders.
Own the execution of DV transactions advising on deal assessment, valuation, due diligence, transaction structure and negotiation of key contractual parameters through to transaction closure, through the investment approval process including building investment hypothesis and strategic rationales and writing approval papers.
Support on day-to-day Distill Ventures operations including strategic, financial, operational and governance related matters.
Delivery of quarterly Investment Board calendar
Support acceleration of DV brands including being a relationship partner and resource for the DV team and founders of our portfolio companies, including attending portfolio company board meetings and monthly business reviews and mentoring the businesses through their steps of acceleration
Conceive, lead and implement critical initiatives that support the scale up and / or further differentiation of DV (e.g. Pre Accelerator Program, DTC upweight, no & low agenda)
Lead the preparation of briefing and approval materials to Diageo Executives and other partners
This role will have significant ownership on the North American Ventures agenda working closely with key internal collaborators, the Distill Ventures team, and founders of our portfolio companies.
To be successful in the role requires:
Investment and analytical skills:
The desired candidate will be able to demonstrate strong investment judgment and ability to handle the investment process, including the following skills:
Ability to craft and defend an investment hypothesis/rationale
Understanding of financial accounts, financial metrics, and ability to construct financial models
Ability to structure and negotiate transactions and lead the approval process
Understanding of trends, key commercial critical metrics, strategic questions, and team assessment
Positive relationship building and network: proven track record of building relationships internally and externally with tangible examples of working alongside others and influencing senior partners.
Operational experience and understanding of the challenges faced by fast-growing start-ups that enable you to make valuable contributions when you are supporting portfolio companies and founders as they look to accelerate and scale.
Leadership and innovation: confirmed ability to drive traction and embed new thinking (and programs) within DIAGEO – can demonstrate understanding of how to use a network and work within the DIAGEO system, driving momentum behind your vision
Comfortable working in the unknown and ambiguous: groundbreaking new thinking and avenues for DIAGEO without feeling intimidated or lost. Clarity of thought and navigating ambiguity.
Passion for driving value-creating opportunities, entrepreneurship, and start-ups: The desired candidate will be a self-starter who feels empowered by space and freedom and helps drive innovation. They will demonstrate a strong passion for the start-up world including understanding of the key trends and happenings.
Qualifications and Experience Required
- Bachelor’s degree with strong academic record, MBA preferred
- Previous experience within the Beverage Alcohol industry or CPG-focused venture capital, private equity or corporate development a plus
- Desirable to have experience working with early-stage businesses/entrepreneurs
- Strong commercial, marketing, and financial competence, and critical thinking capabilities
- Excellent project management skills working with cross-functional teams and proven experience of establishing credibility, influence and working at senior management levels
- Self-starter, high energy, delivers against goals with minimal direct supervision
- Clear and succinct communicator, both culturally aware and adaptable
- Passionate about the Spirits Industry and the Venture Capital space
Celebrating our inclusive and diverse culture is core to Diageo’s purpose of “celebrating life every day everywhere”. This purpose is, in itself, inclusive in nature, as it values everybody irrespective of background, disability, religion, gender identity, sexuality or ethnicity.