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Managing Director BHI Ventures

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Organization Overview

Founded in 2012 by Liesel Pritzker Simmons and Ian Simmons, Blue Haven Initiative (Blue Haven) is a single-family office managing a diversified international investment portfolio. As one of the first family offices created with impact investing as its mission and focus, Blue Haven seeks market rates of financial return on its investments as well as maximum social and environmental impact. With this approach, BHI considers the nuanced implications of its investment choices while pursuing financial returns appropriate to each asset class or venture. 

In addition to its leadership in the impact investing space, Blue Haven also runs a significant philanthropic portfolio with a focus on supporting the African entrepreneurial ecosystem and US and civic engagement.

Blue Haven is a fast moving, dynamic workplace that requires a high level of enthusiasm for both financial and operational due diligence as well as the impact intended with each investment. BHI operates from a virtual office environment with approximately 12 full-time employees.

 

Position Summary

A signature focus of Blue Haven is its in-house venture capital portfolio, investing upwards of $50 million in early-stage ventures. Established in 2014, Blue Haven Ventures has historically been managed by a Managing Director (MD) and one Senior Associate. The team targets innovative for-profit business models primarily located in sub-Saharan Africa that improve standards of living, create economic opportunity, and better the environment for people and businesses by delivering products and services more efficiently and at a higher quality and/or a lower cost than existing solutions.

This is an open-ended evergreen style fund that is fully funded by the family office, so there is no fundraising responsibility. Though the strategy has focused on equity as the main instrument, as part of a family office, the Ventures team has access to a wide range of flexible financial tools including debt, catalytic capital, and alternative structures. Recently, the Ventures team has been keen to incorporate local funds (particularly seed funds) into its strategy as a way of expanding pipeline.

The Ventures strategy can be opportunistic but focuses on four main sectors—financial services, healthcare, logistics, and climate change—and the current portfolio has a geographic concentration in East Africa. There are 13 investments in the portfolio; notable investments include Paystack (exited), Twiga Foods (exited), M-KOPA, PEG Africa, Kopo Kopo, Field Intelligence, Shortlist, and Flare.

The MD reports to BHI’s Principals and Investment Committee and works closely with a Senior Associate.

 

Duties and Responsibilities
  • Manage all aspects of the Ventures portfolio, including:
    • Set fund strategy and investment thesis based on experience in the market and market research  
    • Develop and manage pipeline of companies for investment
    • Conduct due diligence
    • Negotiate term sheets with external legal counsel
    • Manage existing portfolio of investments through close and supportive working relationships with managements teams
    • Take on governance roles (board seats), as needed
    • Manage exit scenarios
    • Prepare materials to communicate portfolio progress, pipeline overview and reporting to the Ventures Investment Committee, BHI Principals, and broader BHI fund Investment Committee
    • Lead bi-weekly investment committee meetings with three Ventures Investment Committee members and Senior Associate
    • Support the ongoing development of the Senior Associate with continued opportunities for leadership growth; hire and manage additional support staff as needed
    • Create and manage internal budget and expenses associated with Ventures portfolio
  • Contribute to the broader mission of Blue Haven, beyond Ventures
    • Work closely with other Managing Directors to contribute to firm-wide goals
    • Work closely with the Philanthropy teams to ensure that we are being as impactful as possible by avoiding silos
    • Represent Blue Haven through speaking engagements, social media and other brand-building opportunities

 

Qualifications and Attributes
  • Interest in the intersection of commercial private markets and social impact
  • Strong network of investors, entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial-support organizations in target African markets
  • Direct investment transaction experience in target African markets
  • Desire to support the growth and improve the processes of a marquee family office in the impact investment space
  • Comfort validating quantitative financial analyses
  • Comfort leading seed through Series E rounds
  • Strong and clear communication skills
  • Ability to separate sound businesses from hype
  • Team-oriented mindset with an eye towards relationship implications of transactions in addition to financial and impact outcomes
  • Desire to share the spotlight with partners both inside and outside of the organization

 

Benefits and Compensation

Competitive compensation commensurate with experience. Compensation includes salary, bonus, carry and benefits. Performance incorporates both financial and impact metrics.

 

Workplace Values

We collaborate.

  • We seek opportunities to work together across verticals and achieve greater impact faster.
  • We celebrate our wins together.
  • We are transparent with each other, which means bringing up issues early and owning our mistakes, not letting them fester.

We have each other’s backs.

  • We respect each other as people, not just professionals, and support each other’s health and well-being.
  • We value each other’s lived experiences and strive for a culture of inclusion that allows us to be vulnerable with one another.
  • While we take pride in our work, we don’t take ourselves too seriously and find fun opportunities to build deeper relationships with each other.
  • We assume good intentions when working together, even and especially when disagreements and conflicts arise.

We invest in ourselves and each other.

  • We empower each other to be leaders, both within Blue Haven and in our respective field.
  • We encourage creativity and innovation from everyone on our team. 
  • We understand that investing in developing our team means growing Blue Haven as a result.

We are humble.

  • We are honest to each other—and ourselves—about what we know and don’t know.
  • We believe perfect is the enemy of the good and understand that innovation means testing ideas, failing fast, learning, and moving on.
  • We are listeners who seek perspective from those with direct experience and get advice from those who fill our gaps in knowledge.

We are diligent.

  • We bring the same, exceptional level of energy and effort to every task, large and small.
  • We are sensitive to and critical of exploitative power dynamics, both as investors in the field and teammates in the workplace.
  • We own our commitments because your actions, not your words, demonstrate the value you add to the team.

 

To Apply

To apply, please send your cover letter and C/V to Will McCaw at Big 5 Search Company.