Senior Portfolio Associate, Acumen America

Deadline for Applications
Where to Apply


Acumen is looking for a Senior Portfolio Associate to join our San Francisco-based Acumen America team.  We’re looking for someone with 3-5 years of investing experience, including exposure to early-stage investing and a proven commitment to tackling poverty. The right candidate is bold, creative, and can excel in a fast-paced, start up environment.
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 are enabling the poor to transform their lives. Founded by Jacqueline Novogratz in 2001, Acumen has invested more than $91 million in 82 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. This year, Acumen was named one of Fast Company’s Top 10 Most Innovative Not-for-Profit Companies.

Acumen America
The Senior Associate will be joining a 3-person team building an emerging portfolio for Acumen focused on tackling poverty in the United States. This team, launched in 2015 and called Acumen America, is responsible for finding, vetting, and managing investments in game-changing social enterprises that serve the poor within the US across three portfolio sectors: financial inclusion, workforce development and healthcare. To date, Acumen America has closed on two investments and plans to invest in five to six companies each year.

The Senior Associate will interface directly with entrepreneurs and CEO’s, evaluate new investment opportunities, conduct due diligence on high potential opportunities as they arise, and structure deal terms. The Senior Associate will use his or her finance and investing skills to evaluate the growth and return potential of social enterprises from both a financial and social impact perspective. The Senior Associate will also prepare analysis for presentation to Acumen America’s Investment Committee.
The Senior Associate will also support the team’s Director and Associate Director with research and analysis related to Acumen America’s investment portfolio and its performance, fundraising and strategic partnership initiatives, and management of portfolio operations.
The individual in this role must be comfortable working in a fast-paced, changing environment, executing quickly on a range of transactional responsibilities, as well as thinking critically to add value and solve problems. More specifically, you will be responsible for:
•       Representing Acumen America’s brand and investing strategy externally in meetings and at conferences
•       Identifying, cultivating, and reviewing a pipeline of fresh investment opportunities providing critical services to the poor in the United States, in partnership with the Associate Director of Portfolio
•       Conducting thorough due diligence and investment analysis, including financial modeling, valuation review and structuring
•       Preparing, presenting, and maintaining detailed and compelling investment documentation for Acumen America’s Investment Committee and Board of Directors
Portfolio Operations
•       Work with the Associate Director of Portfolio to analyze and document data-driven explanations for portfolio decisions; to extract and document investment-specific and general insights; to analyze metrics data to identify patterns; and to channel that data to outputs for marketing and fundraising efforts
•       Oversee portfolio data system to ensure accurate data on pipeline and portfolio under-management
•       Produce discrete knowledge and research materials based on lessons from Acumen’s portfolio
This role will report to the Associate Director of Portfolio and require significant partnership with the team’s Director.
Qualifications & Characteristics
•       3-5 years of experience in venture capital, private equity, investment banking, or investment management; experience with due diligence and deal execution with early stage ventures is preferred
•       Superior financial, modeling and business analysis skills, as demonstrated by prior experience
•       Excellent written and oral communication skills; ability to present arguments and analysis in a clear and succinct manner to Acumen management, partners and externally to investees and co-investors
•       Strong ability to take initiative with research and analysis and produce valuable results in conditions of uncertainty; solid operational skills including problem solving and project management skills, including ability to work and deliver projects independently, proactively and under pressure
•       Familiarity with the social enterprise and impact investing sectors; demonstrated commitment to serving the poor is preferred
•       Bachelor\’s Degree is required
•       Must be authorized to work in the U.S. on a permanent basis
Additional characteristics we’re looking for in all roles at Acumen:
•       Commitment to, and enthusiasm for, the organization’s mission and business model, and respect for our core values: generosity, accountability, humility, audacity, listening, leadership, integrity, respect
•       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:
o       Displaying high level of empathy in all relationships and encounters
o       Possessing deep self-awareness and ability to identify own strengths and weaknesses
o       Actively listening and focusing on hearing what others are saying
•       Exceptional relationship and interpersonal skills: courtesy, tact, patience and strong team orientation
•       Strong communication skills and ability to be a “storyteller” of our work
•       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
•       Curious – always questioning, always probing, and never blindly accepting
Acumen offers a competitive compensation package within the impact investment sector, commensurate with experience, including benefits and a 401K.
Application Requirements
Please submit a resume and reponses to the following questions. To apply, follow this link.
1.      What are some advantages of using impact capital, as opposed to traditional investment capital, for investing in the companies in which Acumen invests? (MAX: 150 words.)
2.      When evaluating an early-stage investment opportunity, which 2-3 criteria do you think might be most important to your investment decision? (MAX: 150 words.)
3.      Please describe a situation in which you had to manage a process in an uncertain and fast-paced environment.  How were you able to navigate the ambiguity while engaging other stakeholders in the process? (MAX: 150 words.)
Candidates are encouraged to apply early, as applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.  The deadline for this position isMay 27, 2016. While we may have some flexibility, we expect the candidate to be available to start by July 1, 2016.