Location(s): Flexible (Abidjan preferred), with extensive time in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria
ISF Advisors is an advisory group committed to transforming rural economies by delivering partnerships and investment structures that promote financial inclusion for rural enterprises and smallholder farmers. Combining industry-leading research with hands-on technical expertise, ISF develops practical, profitable, and sustainable financial solutions.
ISF’s team brings together financial experts and management consultants from leading investment banking, commercial banking, and strategy firms. Decades of specialized experience enables ISF to respond to the specific needs of rural enterprises, financial institutions and investors.
ISF is housed within the Global Development Incubator (GDI) and shares GDI’s commitment to building effective partnerships that make a significant and lasting impact. For more information on ISF and GDI please refer to the respective websites: ISF (https://isfadvisors.org/) and GDI (https://globaldevincubator.org/).
The role of the Manager will be to unlock capital flow in the cashew sector in the project’s target countries. Specifically, the Manager will work with the rest of the ISF team to develop a clearly articulated investment strategy that fills a demonstrated market gap and support the development and launch of the Cashew Catalyst Fund, which will provide access to long-term working capital to cashew processors. Accompanied by technical assistance, the fund will allow a number of processors to become operational and commercially sustainable. In parallel, and jointly with the TechnoServe team, the Manager will identify investable companies (both new and existing) and assess capability gaps that can be addressed with a Technical Assistance Facility, which aims to build investee capacity and further reduce risk for investors. The Manager will also be responsible for delivering targeted technical assistance to firms on topics such as improved accounting systems and internal controls in order to de-risk and unlock new investments for these high-performing firms.
- Conduct an initial supply/demand gap analysis and investor landscape analysis to inform the development and structure of the Cashew Catalyst Fund.
- Work with the ISF financial advisory team to design and structure a thematic fund to address the identified market gap.
- Develop the fund pipeline through outreach to current and new entrepreneurs, identifying and singling out cashew processors presenting potential for external investment.
- Support the ISF financial advisory team to run the thematic fund’s fund manager selection process.
- Conduct in-depth due diligence of potential investees to validate their financial needs and assess their investment readiness. If needed, build financial models that reflect operations, cash flow and capital structure.
- Support potential investees to access the fund’s capital to stimulate the creation of new cashew processing facilities and to support the expansion and professionalization of the broader cashew sector.
- Deliver targeted technical assistance to high-performing firms on topics such as improved accounting systems and internal controls in order to de-risk and unlock new investments.
- Produce clear, concise written materials and presentations in connection with project execution and business development.
- Coordinate closely with the TechnoServe implementation team who will bring forward financing needs from program supported companies.
- Coordinate with ISF’s financial advisory team to draw upon ISF’s technical expertise and investment network related to rural finance.
- Report into ISF’s Executive Director and coordinate closely with the program Chief of Party, based in Abidjan .
- Manage overall work plan, including tasks and milestones.
- Support outreach, network-building and lead development with ISF Advisors team.
- Travel as needed to support implementation.
- Relevant Master’s degree (MBA, Finance, etc.) or equivalent education.
- Minimum 8+ years of experience in commercial banking, investment banking, and/or private equity/debt.
- 5+ years of experience related to the delivery of financial services to agricultural enterprises.
- Familiarity and experience with agriculture finance and agro-processing in West Africa (specifically Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, and/or Nigeria).
- Proven experience and understanding of financial products, business modeling, evaluation, markets and investment readiness.
- Familiarity with innovative finance for development and common development finance tools (e.g. risk guarantees, concessional lending, blended finance, etc.).
- Self-starter, able to achieve results with limited supervision with strong project management skills (goal-setting, organization, and implementation).
- Outstanding diplomatic, negotiating and interpersonal communication capability
- Exceptional analytical and problem-solving skills.
- Ability to deliver consistently high levels of accuracy, efficiency and follow-through.
- Excellent communication skills. Fluency in English and French required, written and oral.
- Passion for growing agriculture enterprises, social innovation and entrepreneurship .
If you are interested in this position and meet the qualifications above, please submit your one-page cover letter and resume via our applicant tracking system.
ISF provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. Individuals from all backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.