Principal, Strategic Investment Fund at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA
$2.5 billion strategic investment fund seeks Principal with buy-side investing experience and belief in the mission of helping all people lead healthy, productive lives.
In 2009, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation established a strategic investment fund with the mandate to use equity, debt and guarantee investment tools to further the philanthropic goals of the organization. The fund has become a leader in the “impact investing” industry, successfully completing more than 80 investments across a variety of sectors and asset classes. The 12-person investment team is seeking a Principal-level individual to further grow the investment portfolio by collaborating with teammates and foundation colleagues in thesis formation, investment execution and investment management activities.
The individual will be a generalist, working across a number of the foundation’s 30 different strategic priority areas which include programs in global health, global development, global growth and opportunity and US programs. Investments are made in support of the charitable impact theses of these program strategy teams, which employ technical experts from around the world. This is an individual-contributor role with no people management responsibilities, but an expectation to work successfully across the team and in a highly-matrixed organizational structure. Representative past investments from the fund include:
- $11 million Series A preferred equity investment in bKash, Ltd., the largest mobile payments platform in Bangladesh serving more than 35 million customers. To date, almost four million accounts are registered to active users living under $2/day; a third of whom are women living under $2/day;
- $52 million Series B preferred equity investment in CureVac GmbH, a leading mRNA biotechnology company developing vaccines against cancer and infectious disease;
- $10 million Series E preferred equity investment in Halodoc, a leading Indonesian online-to-offline health delivery platform leveraging mobile technology to improve primary healthcare outcomes;
- $10 million senior secured loan to Civic Builders, a non-profit charter school facilities developer, to support expansion of its operations from New York/New Jersey to Rhode Island;
- $120 million volume guarantee to Bayer AG and Merck & Co. Inc., which ensured a market for the companies’ implantable contraceptive products in exchange for a commitment by the drug manufacturers to increase their production and lower their prices in the developing world; and
- $5 million investment in the publicly-traded equity of Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biotechnology company with a novel boron-chemistry drug development platform that was acquired by Pfizer Inc. in June 2016.
Investments from the fund are structured as “program-related investments,” which is a defined term in the US Internal Revenue Code that governs charitable investments made by a private foundation – https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/private-foundations/program-related-investments.
Additional information can be found here – https://ssir.org/articles/entry/investing_for_impact_with_program_related_investments
It is expected that the Principal will focus on the following responsibilities:
- Work closely with program strategy teams to understand their strategies and partner with technical colleagues to form investment theses and source potential investments through active outreach and relationship-building with the entrepreneurial and investment communities;
- Lead deal teams that include program technical experts, legal and investment colleagues to execute new investments, including: helping to form the investment thesis, performing initial evaluation, participating in shaping conversations with company and co-investors, determining investment structuring, leading the due diligence process and financial modeling, and negotiating definitive legal documentation.
- Present investments to the foundation’s Investment Committee.
- Manage and monitor portfolio investments, including as a board of directors observer, and facilitate interactions between investees, program teams and the foundation’s Investment Committee with regards to strategic, financial and legal opportunities/issues; and
- Ensure high-quality interactions and provide clear and consistent communications with internal and external stakeholders.
Education and Experience
- We anticipate that the successful candidate will have strong financial transaction experience with a leading private equity firm, investment bank or corporate business development team and a deep interest in principal investing and belief in the foundation’s mission to drive innovative social impact.
- Candidates with experience at a venture capital, growth equity or leveraged buy-out fund where they were active in deal sourcing, execution and portfolio engagement are particularly encouraged to apply.
- Minimum five-years of applicable career and/or graduate school experience is required.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people – especially those with the fewest resources – have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life.
With an endowment of over $46 billion and total grant payments of over $50 billion, including $5.0 billion in 2018, the Gates Foundation is the world’s largest private foundation. The Foundation operates through five key divisions: Global Development, Global Health, Global Growth & Opportunity, Global Policy & Advocacy and the United States Division (focusing on US education and poverty reduction).
Leadership and Culture
We believe that energized people, working well together, fueled by great leadership in an inclusive environment in which they thrive, will do phenomenal things.
Applicants for this role will only be considered if they possess current US Work Authorization, and do not require employer-sponsored VISA support to begin or remain in this role.
As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We’re committed to creating a workplace where employees thrive both personally and professionally. We also believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve—in race, gender, age, cultures and beliefs—and we support this diversity through all of our employment practices.
If interested, please apply here.