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 60 investments across a variety of sectors and asset classes. The 10-person investment team is seeking a Principal-level individual to further grow the investment portfolio by leading thesis formation, deal origination, investment execution and investment management activities.
The individual will be a generalist, working across a number of the foundation’s strategic priority areas which include programs in global health, global development and US education. Investments are made in support of the charitable impact theses of the strategy teams which employ technical experts from around the world. Representative past investments from the fund, include:
- $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;
- $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;
- $11 million Series A preferred equity investment in bKash, Ltd., the largest mobile payments platform in Bangladesh (and, by some measures, the world) serving more than 20 million customers and transacting currency volumes representing more than 10% of Bangladesh’s GDP;
- $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;
- $52 million Series B preferred equity investment in CureVac GmbH, a leading mRNA biotechnology company developing vaccines against cancer and infectious disease;
- $140 million investment in Intarcia Therapeutics, a leading biotech company with cutting-edge implantable drug delivery technology that promises to change the management of chronic diseases like diabetes and HIV;
- Volume guarantee to Mylan Laboratories and Aurobindo Pharma to support introduction of dolutegravir, a leading antiretroviral drug used the US and Europe, into the developing world at an affordable price to facilitate adoption of this clinically superior treatment; and
- $20mm Series A/B preferred equity investment in Vir Biotechnology, a biotechnology company taking a multi-platform, multi-program approach to transforming the care of people with serious infectious diseases worldwide.
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 private foundations.
It is expected that the Principal will focus on the following responsibilities:
- Working closely with two or three program teams to deeply 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;
- Oversee 4-5 person deal teams that include colleagues from the program technical, legal and investment fund teams to evaluate opportunities, shape opportunities with companies and co-investors, determine appropriate investment structure, conduct due diligence and financial analysis;
- Present investments to the Foundation’s Investment Committee;
- Lead transaction negotiations and oversee legal documentation;
- Manage portfolio investments through frequent interaction with company leadership (management, board, investors) and represent the Foundation as an observer to the board, ensuring progress against programmatic and financial benchmarks;
- Ensure high-quality interactions and provide clear and consistent communications with internal and external stakeholders; and
- Selectively represent and speak on behalf of the Foundation at relevant events and conferences.
We anticipate that the successful candidate will have strong financial transaction experience with a leading 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 seven-years of applicable career and/or graduate school experience is required.
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.
If interested, please apply here.