As a family office making direct investments we can invest early, keep investing over time and support entrepreneurs as their companies grow.
Lauren Cochran is Managing Director at Blue Haven Initiative, where she leads strategy and execution for the family office’s portfolio of direct investments.
Lauren makes debt and equity investments with the dual expectation of best-in-class financial returns and maximum positive social and environmental impact. As part of this work she spends more time in sub-Saharan Africa than anywhere else, sitting on the boards of several of Blue Haven’s portfolio companies, working with entrepreneurs, building the ecosystem and finding new investment opportunities. She is also a member of the Blue Haven Initiative Investment Committee.
Prior to joining Blue Haven, Lauren worked for five years at Imprint Capital before the impact investment firm was acquired by Goldman Sachs Asset Management. There, she made investments across the developing world in for-profit businesses seeking to improve standards of living, create economic opportunity and better the environment while also generating a commercial financial return.
Her interest in emerging- and frontier-market startups focused on improving the lives of populations underserved by existing infrastructure dates back to her 2006-2007 tenure with the William J. Clinton Foundation’s Health Access Initiative—analyzing healthcare infrastructure on the ground in sub-Saharan Africa and working to fill gaps in the diagnosis, care and treatment of children living with HIV/AIDS. Encountering grassroots entrepreneurship in Africa inspired Lauren to pursue a career linking social impact and private equity.
Earlier in her career she worked in commercial private equity as an analyst with Deutsche Bank’s financial sponsors group in New York and then as an associate at Diamond Castle Holdings, a private equity firm investing in energy, business and financial services and healthcare.
Lauren holds a B.S. from Georgetown University, completed the General Course program at the London School of Economics, and earned her M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
While technology underlies the business models of Blue Haven-funded companies in sub-Saharan Africa, Lauren looks for companies that have “ground game” in the field so they can respond to evolving market conditions in real time.