Principal, Strategic Private Equity Fund at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
$1.5 billion strategic investment fund seeks Principal with buy-side experience and belief in the mission of helping all people lead healthy, productive lives.
Location – Seattle
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 50 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 deal origination, investment execution and board oversight activities.
The individual will be a generalist, working across a number of the foundation’s 28 different 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:
- $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;
- $52 million Series B preferred equity investment in CureVac GmbH, a leading mRNA biotechnology company developing vaccines against cancer and infectious disease;
- $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.
It is expected that the Principal will focus on the following responsibilities:
- Work closely with two or three of the 28 strategy teams to deeply understand their strategies and partner with colleagues on these technical teams to 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;
- Prepare and present business case analysis and risk evaluation for investments, including proposals 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 principle investing. Candidates with experience as an Associate at a venture capital, growth equity or leveraged buy-out fund where they were active in deal sourcing, execution and portfolio engagement are particularly encourage to apply. Minimum five-years of applicable career and/or graduate school experience is required.
With an endowment of $45 billion and total grant payments of over $36 billion, including $4.2 billion in 2015, the Gates Foundation is the world’s largest private foundation. The Foundation operates through four program areas: Global Development Division, Global Health Division, Global Policy & Advocacy Division and the United States Division.
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.