Acumen Latin America Associate Director

Bogotá, Colombia
Job Type
Deadline for Applications
Where to Apply

Acumen Latin America seeks a committed Portfolio Associate Director with 10-15 years of experience to help build and manage a world-class investment portfolio of game-changing enterprises that impact the lives of low income communities primarily in Colombia; fluency in English and Spanish is a must.

About Acumen
Acumen is changing the way the world tackles poverty by investing in companies, leaders, and ideas. We invest patient capital in businesses whose products and services enable the poor to transform their lives. Founded by Jacqueline Novogratz in 2001, Acumen has invested more than $114 million in 109 companies across Africa, Latin America, South Asia and the United States. We are also developing a global community of emerging leaders with the knowledge, skills, and determination to create a more inclusive world. In 2015, Acumen was named one of Fast Company’s Top 10 Most Innovative Not-for-Profit Companies.

About Acumen Latin America (ALA)
Acumen’s commitment to Latin America began in 2012. With an initial focus in Colombia and Peru, we have built an investment portfolio of eight companies, a committed team and strong community in the region. Core to our success is the ability to identify, resource, and build a world class portfolio that demonstrates the power of patient capital to solve the problems of poverty in Latin America and the world more broadly. Equally important is to leverage our experience into insights that compel this ecosystem of funders, operators, and policy makers to catalyze a broader paradigm shift in the battle against poverty.

Currently, the main focus of our work is in postconflict areas of Colombia where we are experimenting with investments in community generated businesses as a way to tackle not only issues of economic livelihood but to support communities that have faced enormous economic exclusion and violence in gaining greater autonomy and a stronger voice to shape the future of their territories.

As Associate Director you will play a key role in driving Acumen’s success in Colombia.  Depending on funding, your work may also encompass Peru and other countries.  Initially, you will focus on investing activities, growing the pioneer/early stage portfolio (which is increasingly focused on post-conflict areas of Colombia) and coordinating support to existing and new portfolio companies.  Over time, you will assume increasing levels of responsibility leading to management of all pioneer/early stage investing activities, developing local fundraising opportunities (in coordination with the ALA Director), and taking on corporate communications, though leadership and representation responsibilities, and managing the investment team. The Associate Director reports to the Latin America Director.

More specifically, you will:

Identify, cultivate and execute a pipeline of investment opportunities providing critical services to the poor, particularly in post-conflict areas of Colombia
+       Identify pipeline: Build an exhaustive network of relationships (including corporate, entrepreneur, NGO, academic, investor, advisory) to identify new pipeline opportunities, particularly in postconflict areas of Colombia
+       Oversee Investment Processes: Develop attractive opportunities by building relationships with promoters and grassroots organizations with which we are co-investing; coordinate evaluations and analyses; coordinate pre-investment preparedness work as needed; support thorough due diligence; and coordinate structuring and execution of investments
+       Oversee investment documentation: Prepare, present, and maintain detailed and compelling investment documentation for ALA’s Investment Committee

Implement a post investment management strategy to add significant value to investee companies
+       Serve in a senior relationship capacity for ALA, developing close contact portfolio company promoters, including representing Acumen as a Director on Boards
+       Develop long-term relationships with external stakeholders including funders, advisors, thought leaders, sector and functional experts to provide business development and strategic post-investment management across the ALA Portfolio

Additional responsibilities include:
+       Oversee local impact measurement activities, including in-house Lean Data projects: support design of projects, supervise local Lean Data team, and coordinate with Acumen’s global LD team
+       Develop and manage relationship with major institutional donors, such as USAID: maintain day-to-day relationship and communications and ensure all required reporting is executed
+       Manage Pioneer/Postconflict Portfolio Team (this responsibility will be transferred over time from ALA Director): recruit and retain team, coordinate portfolio staffing, coach and develop team
+       Support ALA Director in pioneer/postconflict business development: Identify potential donors, support in developing prospects, prepare submissions to RFP and other grant opportunities
+       Represent Acumen in public arenas: Participate in key sector events in representation of Acumen and take on key public speaking roles

Qualifications & Characteristics
+       Bachelor\’s and Master’s Degree is required; MBA preferable
+       Fluency in writing and speaking English and Spanish is required
+       Strong financial, modeling and business analysis skills demonstrated by prior experience required
+       Solid operational skills including problem solving and project management skills, including ability to work and deliver projects independently, proactively and under pressure
+       Strong communication skills and ability to be a \”storyteller\” of our work
+       Ideal candidates will demonstrate accomplishment through 10-15 years of experience, including the following:
o       At least 5 years of principal investing experience, including financial and operational due diligence of private companies. Understanding of early stage businesses and entrepreneurs is a plus.
o       At least 5 years of management consulting or operational experience with a proven track record of delivering operational and management support to companies or internal units
o       Significant experience working with the public sector in Colombia
o       Significant experience working for the non-profit sector in Colombia
o       Significant experience working with grassroots/producer organizations (required)
+       Authorization to work in Colombia is required

Additional characteristics we seek for all roles at Acumen:
+       Commitment to and enthusiasm for the organization’s mission to change the way the world tackles poverty, and respect for our core values: generosity, accountability, humility, audacity, listening, leadership, integrity and respect
+       Ability to thrive in ambiguity, remain cool-headed when there are curve balls, and withstand the tests of a rapidly changing environment with resilience and resolve
+       A sense of humor (really)

Additional Information

Application Requirements:
Please apply here ( by submitting a resume and a response to the following questions:
1. Why do you want to do this work for Acumen in Latin America? (MAX: 150 words)
2. What are your top two skills relevant to this position? Give evidence of these skills have made you successful in the past. (MAX 150 words)
3. What are 1-2 challenges you think that early stage social enterprises may face when trying to scale? (MAX: 150 words)

Candidates are encouraged to apply early, as applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis; deadline is Sept 10th, 2018.