Investments, Head of US Financial Inclusion – Omidyar Network

 

Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, and his wife, Pam, established Omidyar Network (ON) based on the belief that every person has the potential to make a difference. Since 2004, we have worked with our partners to create opportunities for people to tap that potential, enabling them to improve their lives and make powerful contributions to their communities. As a philanthropic investment firm, we make both private investments and nonprofit grants, identifying likeminded organizations that we support, help scale, and collaborate with to help realize their full potential. Since 2004, we have deployed more than $900m in for-profit investments and grants.

Over the past 12 months, ON has internally transitioned to a structure organized around specific investment initiatives.  This will allow us to put greater focus and deeper sector-specific expertise into our work in pursuit of the overall mission. Initiative teams, in turn, are now reaching a scale where professionals from different areas of expertise can complement each other for greater collective impact.

Our team is looking for a professional with meaningful investment experience to lead our financial services work in the U.S.

POSITION SUMMARY:

This role is a leadership opportunity to shape the future of financial inclusion and the state of financial health for low-and-moderate income American households. This position can be based in either Redwood City (preferred) or Washington, DC. It will report to the global initiative lead for financial inclusion.

Priorities for the broader team include: 1) expanding for-profit portfolio at the cutting edge of the financial inclusion market; 2) supporting policy, regulatory, or infrastructure innovations that increase the likelihood of success for market innovations; 3) selectively strengthening the impact narrative for financial health in the US.

This position will contribute to all of the above priorities, with an emphasis on for-profit investments at the frontier of the field in the U.S.

Success in this role requires creativity, an entrepreneurial spirit, excellent strategic instincts, overall business acumen, and meaningful investment experience in a VC, corporate venture arm, or private equity firm.  Our ideal candidate would also be extremely collaborative and have excellent coalition building skills 

MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Evolve and implement ON’s U.S. Financial Inclusion impact and investment theses consistent with ON’s overall sector-level approach
  • On the for-profit side, source and build a high quality portfolio of innovative, technology-driven startup companies in financial services, primarily aimed at low-and-moderate income households.  Focus will be on early stage opportunities (e.g. Series A & B)
  • Lead the due diligence and execution of prospective investments and grants (e.g. develop investment thesis, negotiate terms, conduct customer calls, build financial models, prepare investment memoranda, etc…)
  • Take board roles and work closely with portfolio organizations to assist them in achieving their goals
  • On the non-profit side, build collaborative relationships with relevant financial inclusion ecosystem players (e.g. policy makers, regulators, funders, and researchers) to achieve ON’s broader sector development goals
  • Partner with ON’s global Financial Inclusion team to achieve the goals of ON’s overall strategy.

IMPACT OBJECTIVES:

ON’s global Financial Inclusion initiative works to accelerate access and usage of financial services that help poorer and low-income households increase resilience, financial health, and capture opportunities. We do so through a combination of investments in innovative businesses that have demonstration potential for the industry, grants to sector-specific intermediaries, strategic partnerships, and thought leadership.

As a recent example of how we combine our various instruments, we have put significant energy behind the investment thesis of using alternative data for smaller dollar, non-collateralized credit. For-profit investments in portfolio companies across geographies against that theme include Cignifi, EFL, Lenddo, RevolutionCredit, and Zest. Grants supporting the work include support to industry-building institutions such as AFI, BTCA, CGAP, and the GSMA MMU.  In terms of thought-leadership, in the fall of 2015 we published a report on “Big Data, Small Credit” and shared its findings at a number of industry events such as Money 2020, Techonomy, the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, and the World Mobile Congress.

ON’s U.S. Financial Inclusion lead would have the opportunity to build out investment theses and drive sector level change by deploying a comparable set of investment, grant-making, and thought leadership tools in the U.S. financial services sector.

EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS REQUIREMENTS:

  • 10-15+ years business experience in the financial services industry with meaningful experience making thoughtful, successful investments, ideally combined with exposure to technology settings
  • Demonstrable track record of success in senior leadership roles in an investment, banking, or corporate finance capacity
  • Proven, hands-on ability to identify, formulate, manage and execute growth and investment strategies
  • Demonstrated ability to formulate clear investment theses, and make accurate judgment calls drawing on prior leadership and investment experience
  • Must have a true passion for economic inclusion and social impact
  • Strong analytic, strategic thinking and project management skills
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Collaboration and coalition-building skills
  • Prior demonstrated interest in / experience with social entrepreneurship and creating positive social impact is a plus

Please find more information here.