Associate Director Portfolio – Pioneer Investing

New York, New York
Where to Apply

Acumen seeks a dynamic early-stage investment professional to lead its global pioneer investing.  This is an outstanding opportunity for an executive with strong investing skills, a deep understanding of impact investing and a proven capacity to coach junior investment professionals.

The Organization:

Acumen is changing the way the world tackles poverty by investing in companies, leaders and ideas. The organization invests patient capital in businesses whose products and services are enabling the poor to transform their lives. Founded by Jacqueline Novogratz in 2001, Acumen has invested more than $101 million in 92 companies across Africa, Latin America, South Asia and the United States. They are also developing a global community of emerging leaders with the knowledge, skills and determination to create a more inclusive world. In the last three years, the Acumen team has grown almost 50% and expanded to two new geographies.  They have an expanding footprint of leadership programs, a global portfolio team managing a diverse set of early stage companies focused on serving the poor, and a best-in-class approach to understanding impact.  In 2015, Acumen was named one of Fast Company’s Top 10 Most Innovative Not-for-Profit Companies.

Reports to: Chief Investment Officer


The Associate Director Portfolio – Pioneer Investing will lead Acumen’s global philanthropy-backed investing, working in close partnership with the Chief Investment Officer and Regional Directors

  • The Associate Director will oversee the execution of sectoral and geographic pioneer investment strategies, support global portfolio team members in identifying, structuring, and executing investments, and play a lead role in navigating exits
  • They will also play a critical role in supporting the identification and execution of post-investment management projects, addressing the distinct challenges facing our portfolio companies, which are many times operating in newly created markets or difficult geographies

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Managing the global investment process; providing guidance in preparation for Investment Committee meetings, on conducting diligence, deal structuring, and evaluating opportunities for follow-on capital
  • Working to refine and execute Acumen’s pioneer investment strategies by sector, and using these strategies to inform investment choices
  • Coaching the global portfolio team; providing regular and consistent support to the global portfolio team members; building relationships virtually and giving feedback on due diligence, investment memoranda, deal terms and negotiations
  • Managing special situations; getting deeply involved in special situations, such as exits, turnarounds, refinancing or deals that need to be approved in expedited matter

Qualifications & Characteristics:

  • Candidates for the Associate Director Portfolio – Pioneer Investing should have a passionate commitment to Acumen’s mission and business model
  • This individual will have a deep understanding of doing business in emerging markets, they will understand regulatory constraints, and organizational cultures, and will bring a significant set of existing relationships to Acumen

Ideal candidates will demonstrate accomplishment through the following experiences:

  • 7-12 years’ experience in venture capital, private equity and/or investment banking; experience leading transactions across the lifecycle of a deal from sourcing to exit
  • Operational experience is a plus
  • Demonstrated commitment to tackling problems of poverty; experience using investment as a tool for achieving social impact is strongly preferred
  • Ability to move fluidly between high-level strategy and detailed aspects of deal terms, business models, or market analysis
  • Proven capacity to build relationships and credibility across cultures, levels of seniority and backgrounds, in this instance with investment committee members and junior team members
  • Experience in emerging markets
  • A natural intellectual curiosity and ability to build a strong network of relationships;

For all roles, Acumen seeks leaders who:

  • Display commitment to, and enthusiasm for, the organization’s mission and business model, and respect for Acumen’s core values: generosity, accountability, humility, audacity, listening, leadership, integrity, respect
  • Exhibit Moral Imagination: The humility to see the world as it is, and the audacity to imagine the world as it could be. It also includes but is not limited to the following:
  • Display high level of empathy in all relationships and encounters
  • Possess deep self-awareness and ability to identify own strengths and weaknesses
  • Actively listen and focus on hearing what others are saying
  • Display exceptional relationship and interpersonal skills: courtesy, tact, patience and strong team orientation
  • Show an ability to thrive when there is ambiguity, remain cool-headed when there are curve balls, and withstand the tests of a rapidly changing environment with resilience and resolve


  • Bachelor’s degree is required
  • Relevant advanced degree is strongly preferred

Location & Travel:

  • This role will be based at Acumen’s global head office in New York, NY
  • Eagerness to travel globally to other country offices (anticipated 2-5 trips per year).
  • Permanent authorization to work in the country of role location.


Acumen offers competitive compensation for the international development sector, commensurate with experience. Compensation includes a base salary, an annual bonus based on achievement of individual and organizational goals, health insurance, and an employer-sponsored defined contribution retirement program.

Additional Information

For Consideration:

Please submit your resume, along with answers to the questions on the following application page:

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, so candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.