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 70 investments across a variety of sectors and asset classes. The 12-person investment team is seeking an Associate-level individual to further grow the investment portfolio by collaborating with teammates and foundation colleagues in thesis formation, investment execution and investment management 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 serving more than 30 million customers and transacting currency volumes representing more than 15% of Bangladesh’s GDP. To date, almost four million accounts are registered to active users living under $2/day; a third of whom are women living under $2/day;
- $52 million Series B preferred equity investment in CureVac GmbH, a leading mRNA biotechnology company developing vaccines against cancer and infectious disease;
- $10 million Series E preferred equity investment in Halodoc, a leading Indonesian online-to-offline health delivery platform leveraging mobile technology to improve primary healthcare outcomes;
- $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 Associate will focus on the following responsibilities:
- Participate on deal teams that include program technical experts, legal and investment colleagues to execute new investments, including: helping to form the investment thesis, performing initial evaluation, participating in shaping conversations with company, determining investment structuring, leading the due diligence process and financial modeling, and negotiating definitive legal documentation.
- Present investments to the foundation's Investment Committee.
- Manage and monitor portfolio investments and facilitate interactions between investees, program teams and the foundation's Investment Committee with regards to strategic, financial and legal opportunities/issues.
- Research and evaluate investment strategies and specific companies/investment opportunities as part of program strategy development as well as those arising from relationships with existing investees and co-investors.
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