In 2017, the Ford Foundation announced the creation of its mission related investments (MRI) program and committed $1 billion to be invested through the MRI program over ten years. The MRI program is designed to deliver significant positive social impacts consistent with the Foundation’s mission while seeking to achieve a total return consistent with prudent risk taking. MRIs must meet rigorous investment criteria.
Underpinning all Mission Investments activity is the fundamental belief that diversity, equity, and inclusion are necessary to achieve progress and innovation in business, society, the capital markets, and capitalism itself.
In 2019, the Foundation had approved $129 million in MRIs. The Mission Investments department currently invests exclusively in private equity funds, with target investment sectors including the following: Multifamily Affordable Rental Housing, Diverse Managers, and Quality jobs in the U.S.; and financial inclusion in the Global South (Latin America, Africa, India, Southeast Asia). Over time, the Mission Investments department plans to expand beyond Financial Inclusion in the Global South and may broaden beyond its three U.S. target sectors.
Reporting to the Deputy Director, Mission Investments (Deputy Director), the Investment Officer (IO) will be responsible for driving all phases of investment activity. The IO will collaborate with the Ford Foundation’s internal team, including Mission Investments department colleagues and other colleagues who serve in the grantmaking program and colleagues in operations and functional risk management. The IO will also have direct interaction with the Foundation’s executive officers and members of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees who serve on the MRI Committee of the Board.
The ideal candidate will have demonstrated private equity investment expertise, with significant knowledge of the impact investing market, and have a proven ability to think methodically, strategically, analytically, and critically. They will be a collaborator that operates with integrity and uses sound judgment. In addition, they will work effectively with people from a variety of backgrounds and be committed to addressing inequality in all its forms.
- Source private equity investment opportunities in alignment with the Foundation’s target sectors; conduct financial, operational, and impact due diligence; recommend investments verbally and via written investment approval memos; negotiate and close transactions; represent the Ford Foundation on Limited Partner Advisory Committees when appropriate; monitor financial and impact performance; and perform continuous due diligence on managers
- Contribute to discussions regarding (a) asset allocation and strategy; (b) risk analysis and management, and (c) manager hiring and termination decisions in all asset classes within the MRI and PRI portfolios
- Prepare and deliver written and oral presentations to the Director, Mission Investments; Ford Foundation President; General Counsel, Chief Investment Officer, and Chief Operating Officer; and the MRI Committee of the Board of Trustees
- Review and monitor the performance of managers. Regularly meet with current and prospective managers to evaluate results, perform continuing due diligence, and assess risks in the pursuit of new investment opportunities
- Work with the Mission Investments Senior Program Officer responsible for grantmaking to establish effective linkages between the grant strategy and the investment strategy
- Share knowledge regarding the use of mission investments to further the Foundation’s programmatic goals with foundation colleagues and collaborate broadly across the Ford Foundation program division
- Recommend and participate in learning and evaluation, report on the progress of the strategies, and collaborate with foundation staff, peers, and external audiences to promote learning, exchange and strategic partnership.
- Work with the broader impact investing market on issues of common concern related to impact investing
- Represent the Foundation and its work to government, media, academic, business, investment, philanthropic, and civic leaders through meetings, updates, speeches, and interviews.
- Demonstrate outstanding professional relations with colleagues across the organization and with external constituents, serving as a substantive and reputational ambassador for the Foundation.
- Serve as a mentor and coach to associates and assistants on the team
- An advanced degree in business, law, finance or equivalent professional qualifications demonstrating investment experience, plus at least 10 years’ experience in banking, finance, private equity or impact investing;
- Proven track record as an investor, with expertise in taking investments through the cycle of sourcing, diligence, recommendation and portfolio management
- Subject-matter expertise in the impact investing market and / or demonstration of strong generalist cross cutting work in social justice area
- Exceptional leadership presence – internally and externally
- Exceptional communication skills – strong active listening skills, constructive verbal and written skills, strong public presentation skills
- Ability to work effectively and collaboratively across organizational teams and offices
- Demonstrated skill in independent thinking and problem-solving
- Demonstrated ability to be a productive member of a community of people at work, respecting differences
- Investment experience across multiple asset classes, e.g., fixed income, private equity, real assets, and public equity is preferred
Medical and dental benefits for employee and immediate family on first day of work
Retirement savings account with matching company contributions of up to 13%
Three weeks’ paid vacation in first year of work; four weeks in subsequent years
Office closed the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day
Professional development initiatives for growth
Generous parental leave (maternal and paternal) during new child’s first year (born into family or adopted)
Salary: Salary is based on experience and on the Foundation’s commitment to internal equity. A generous benefits package is provided.
Equal employment opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at The Ford Foundation, where employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation/affectional preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as established under law.
TRAVEL: Significant domestic and international travel.
- This position is primarily a sedentary role. However, the person in this position may need to occasionally move about inside the office to liaise with internal staff, access files, office machinery and a copy machine/printer. As stated above, the position involves significant travel.
Alignment to Culture and Values
- Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and core values of equity, openness, collaboration, trust, accountability and urgency
- Personal qualities of humility, capacity for self-reflection, and a sense of humor
- Discretion and ability to handle confidential issues
- Action-orientated and entrepreneurial self-starter who can work well independently and in teams
How to Apply
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