Acumen is looking for a Portfolio Manager to join our San Francisco-based team.  We’re looking for someone with 7-10 years of investment banking, private equity, or other investing experience and a proven commitment to tackling global poverty. The right candidate is bold, creative, and can excel in a fast-paced, start up environment.

Acumen is changing the way the world tackles poverty by investing in companies, leaders and ideas. We invest patient capital in businesses whose products and services are enabling the poor to transform their lives. Founded by Jacqueline Novogratz in 2001, Acumen has invested more than $115 million in 113 companies across Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and the United States. We are also developing a global community of emerging leaders with the knowledge, skills and determination to create a more inclusive world. In 2015, Acumen was named one of Fast Company’s Top 10 Most Innovative Not-for-Profit Companies.

The Manager will be joining a small team building an emerging portfolio for Acumen focused on tackling poverty in the United States. The team is responsible for finding, vetting, and managing investments in game-changing social enterprises that serve the poor in our three portfolio sectors: financial inclusion, workforce development and health. This position is expected to be highly entrepreneurial and preferred candidates will be excited by a start-up environment.

The Portfolio Manager will source and evaluate new investment opportunities, conduct due diligence on high potential opportunities as they arise, and structure deal terms. The Manager will use his or her finance and investing skills to evaluate the growth and return potential of social enterprises from both a financial and social impact perspective. The Manager will also prepare analysis for presentation to Acumen’s Investment Committee.

The Manager will develop research and analysis related to Acumen’s investment portfolio and its performance, fundraising and strategic partnership initiatives, and management of portfolio operations. The Manager will support the development of insight and communication pieces for external audiences.  The Manager will also be responsible for coordinating relationships with select portfolio companies.

The individual in this role must be comfortable working in a fast-paced, changing environment, executing quickly on a range of transactional responsibilities, as well as thinking critically to add value and solve problems. More specifically, you will be responsible for:


  • Identifying, cultivating, and reviewing a pipeline of fresh investment opportunities providing critical services to the poor in the United States
  • Conducting thorough due diligence and investment analysis, including financial modeling, valuation review and structuring
  • Preparing, presenting, and maintaining detailed and compelling investment documentation for Acumen’s Investment Committee and Board of Directors

Portfolio Management

  • Assess portfolio company needs related to post investment support; design and implement post-investment management interventions in coordination with the team’s Directors
  • Design and evaluate key metrics to measure the social and financial returns on investments
  • Develop long-term relationships with external stakeholders including funders, advisors, thought leaders, sector and functional experts to provide support across the portfolio

Portfolio Operations

  • Work with the Directors to analyze and document data-driven explanations for portfolio decisions; to extract and document investment-specific and general insights; to analyze metrics data to identify patterns; and to channel that data to outputs for marketing and fundraising efforts
  • Produce discrete knowledge and research materials based on lessons from Acumen’s portfolio 
  • This role will report to one of the team Directors.

Qualifications & Characteristics

  • 7-10 years of experience in venture capital, private equity, investment banking, or investment management; experience with financial and operational due diligence of early stage businesses is a plus
  • Superior financial, modeling and business analysis skills, as demonstrated by prior experience
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills; ability to present arguments and analysis in a clear and succinct manner to Acumen management, partners and investees
  • Strong ability to take initiative with research and analysis and produce valuable results in conditions of uncertainty; solid operational skills including problem solving and project management skills, including ability to work and deliver projects independently, proactively and under pressure
  • Familiarity with the social enterprise and impact investing sectors; demonstrated commitment to serving the poor is preferred
  • Bachelor's Degree is required
  • Must be authorized to work in the U.S. on a permanent basis

Additional characteristics we’re looking for in all roles at Acumen:

  • Commitment to, and enthusiasm for, the organization’s mission and business model, and respect for our core values: generosity, accountability, humility, audacity, listening, leadership, integrity, respect
  • Moral Imagination: The humility to see the world as it is, and the audacity to imagine the world as it could be. It also includes but is not limited to the following:
    • Displaying high level of empathy in all relationships and encounters
    • Possessing deep self-awareness and ability to identify own strengths and weaknesses
    • Actively listening and focusing on hearing what others are saying
  • Exceptional relationship and interpersonal skills: courtesy, tact, patience and strong team orientation
  • Strong communication skills and ability to be a “storyteller” of our work
  • Ability to thrive when there is ambiguity, remain cool-headed when there are curve balls, and withstand the tests of a rapidly changing environment with resilience and resolve
  • Curious – always questioning, always probing, and never blindly accepting

Acumen offers a competitive compensation package commensurate with experience, including benefits.

San Francisco, CA.

Candidates are encouraged to apply early, as applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.  The deadline for this position is Friday, March 1, 2019.

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Share an example of a business serving low-income Americans, and why you think the company is tackling systems of poverty? (MAX: 150 words.)*
When evaluating an early-stage investment opportunity, which 2-3 criteria do you think might be most important to your investment decision? (MAX: 150 words.)*
Please describe a situation in which you had to manage a process in an uncertain and fast-paced environment. How were you able to navigate the ambiguity while engaging other stakeholders in the process? (MAX: 150 words.)*
In which of the seven countries where Acumen operates do you have permanent work authorization?*