Location: Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), with sporadic travel to Nigeria and Ghana (Ivorian national preferred)
ISF Advisors is the leading strategic and financial advisory group committed to mobilizing capital for a more sustainable, equitable, and productive global food system.
Building on a decade of industry research, the ISF Advisors team combines experience from top-tier strategy, investment banking, and corporate finance firms to help the public and private sector develop more practical, profitable, and sustainable financial solutions. This combination of expertise allows us to analyze problems with a systems lens and structure investment solutions that mobilize different forms of investment and philanthropic capital.
Our sector leading research on agriculture and food systems generates ideas and insights to inform investment strategy for public and private funders. In addition to issues affecting smallholder farmers and rural enterprise, we have deep experience working in adjacent areas including technology, youth, gender, nutrition, climate change, forestry, and land use.
ISF Advisors has become a trusted advisor and partner to leading institutions involved in food systems, including many of the world’s largest investors, donors, companies, NGOs, and foundations. For more information, visit our website: www.isfadvisors.org
ISF seeks a Manager with experience in commercial banking, investment banking, and/or private equity/debt in West Africa. This Manager position is attached to a 5-year project called Promoting Opportunities for Cashew Processing in West Africa (Prosper Cashew) which is sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and implemented by TechnoServe, with ISF Advisors as a sub-awardee. The project initiated operations in October 2020. The aim of Prosper Cashew is to strengthen the cashew value chain in West Africa, by increasing the region’s productive capacity, facilitating access to working capital, demonstrating the business case for additional investment flows in the sector and bringing together investors and high-quality investees. Prosper Cashew’s interventions span Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria but are mostly focused on Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria.
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 assess and engage with local, regional and/or global financial institutions to intermediate investment, aiming at filling in demonstrated needs of partner cashew processors. Accompanied by operational and commercial technical assistance provided by TechnoServe, increased financing will help processors become operational and commercially sustainable. In parallel, and jointly with the TechnoServe team, the Manager will also be responsible for delivering targeted technical assistance to firms or financial institutions in order to de-risk and/or unlock new investments for these firms
- Identify and engage with processors presenting potential to access institutional forms of investment, and facilitate introduction to capital providers within ISF's network of investment funds and local, regional and global financial institutions
- Engage local financial service providers, such as local banks and regional banks, private equity/debt funds to provide equity and debt to businesses in the portfolio, and multilateral donor banks, and public/private investors, who may provide financing where local services are not available or sufficient
- Support due diligence processes of potential investees to validate their financial needs and assess their investment readiness
- Support coordination between investors and investees, if needed
- Produce clear, concise written materials and presentations in connection with project execution and business development
- Coordinate closely with the TechnoServe access to finance 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
- Support the organization of events aiming at supporting Prosper Cashew investment activities
- Report into ISF’s Executive Director and coordinate closely with the program Capital Investment Lead and Chief of Party, based in Abidjan
- Manage overall work plan, including tasks and milestones, and track progress towards ISF program targets and prepare periodic reports
- 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
- 5-10 years of experience in commercial banking, investment banking, and/or private equity/debt
- Relevant experience related to the delivery of financial services to agricultural enterprises
- Proven network of contacts within relevant financial institutions in Côte d’Ivoire. Contacts within financial institutions in Nigeria preferable
- Familiarity and experience with agriculture finance and agro-processing in West Africa (specifically Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and/or Nigeria). Experience with cashew processing preferable
- Proven experience and understanding of financial products, business modelling, 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. Ability to speak local languages will be valued
- Passion for growing agriculture enterprises, social innovation and entrepreneurship
If you are interested in this position and meet the qualifications above, please submit a one-page cover letter and resume when applying.
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.