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 50 investments across a variety of sectors and asset classes. The 10-person investment team is seeking a Principal-level individual to further grow the investment portfolio by leading deal origination, investment execution and board oversight activities for the fund’s venture capital activities.
Working closely with the Foundation’s program teams in Global Health and Global Development, the Principal will help source innovative investment opportunities that have the potential to significantly advance the Foundation’s goals. The Principal will then lead deal teams on the negotiation, execution and portfolio management of venture investments, including serving as the Foundation’s board representative or observer for certain investee companies.
Representative past investments from the fund, include:
$20 million Series A preferred equity investment in Vir Biotechnology, co-led with ARCH venture partners to create a company with the technology, talent and capital to take on infectious disease through immune programming; $52 million Series B preferred equity investment in CureVac GmbH, a leading mRNA biotechnology company developing vaccines against cancer and infectious disease; $140 million investment in Intarcia Therapeutics, a leading biotech company with cutting-edge implantable drug delivery technology that promises to change the management of chronic diseases like diabetes and HIV; $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 Principal will focus on the following responsibilities:
- Source investment opportunities, develop rapport with internal and external stakeholders, coordinate due-diligence, construct and negotiate term sheets, attend to legal documentation, close and exit Program-Related Investments, with a particular focus on biotech venture capital stage opportunities.
- Source potential investments through active outreach and relationship-building to the entrepreneurial community, strategic partners and academia.
- Oversee deal teams in close collaboration with program officers and legal counsel.
- Prepare and present business case analysis and risk evaluation for investments, including proposals to the Foundation’s Investment Committee.
- Lead transaction negotiations.
- Manage portfolio investments through frequent interaction with company leadership (management, board, investors) and strategic partners; and represent the Foundation as an observer to the board, ensuring progress against programmatic and financial benchmarks.
- Ensure high-quality interactions and provide clear and consistent communications with internal and external partners.
- Proactively collaborate with internal colleagues to understand programmatic needs. Thoughtfully seek contacts with key external stakeholders within the biotech/pharmaceutical industries and venture community to find solutions to unmet programmatic needs.
- Selectively represent and speak on behalf of the Foundation at relevant events and conferences.
- Work independently to identify issues, formulate and design plans, and execute ideas for major global health impact