Established in 2006 by Wendy and Eric Schmidt, The Schmidt Family Foundation (TSFF) works to restore a balanced relationship between people and planet. TSFF pursues its mission through three innovative and thoughtful strategies: 1) The 11th Hour Project; 2) the Impact Investment Program; and 3) Schmidt Marine Technology Partners (SMTP). The Schmidt Family Foundation is a private foundation with growing assets of over $1B and an impact investment portfolio of approximately $160M of AUM.
For more information on The Schmidt Family Foundation please visit: www.tsffoundation.org.
The Impact Investing Program is at an exciting point of growth with a recent addition of $100M to its AUM. Therefore, The Schmidt Family Foundation seeks a highly results-oriented, collaborative, and flexible investment professional to help guide and support the team. The Program seeks to preserve its capital through making impact-first investments that achieve similar impact goals as the Foundation’s grantmaking programs in sustainable agriculture, energy, human rights, and marine conservation. This is a hands-on entrepreneurial role requiring creativity and nimbleness and the Portfolio Director must also take initiative, be strategic, and bring deep passion for working on the issues of the Foundation. The successful candidate will be self-motivated, bring promising practices to bear, while also being an adaptable team-player as the program continues to build out its investment and operating strategy. This role will report to the Director of Impact Investments as part of a 5-person investing team.
The Portfolio Director will be responsible for helping to develop and execute the Foundation’s impact investing strategy and portfolio construction, both in the U.S. and internationally, in alignment with the Foundation’s mission of creating a more responsible relationship with the planet’s natural resources. The Portfolio Director will be the lead on specific areas of the portfolio with exact issue area(s) to be determined based upon expertise, interest, and team needs. The Foundation has a high-touch, relationship-driven investment approach which applies internally in its collaborative relationship with grantmaking programs, externally with potential co-investment partners and, most importantly, in the management and support of portfolio. The Portfolio Director will be an active investor and collaborator within the Foundation and a credible and effective advocate for innovative blended financing strategies among the broader philanthropic and social sector community.
- Develop, execute, and continually refine effective strategies for building a portfolio of issue area-specific investments covering one or more of the following Program strategies: U.S. regenerative agriculture, renewable energy, and indigenous communities, as well as energy access in Sub-Saharan Africa, technology for marine conservation, and plastics
- Manage portfolio cash flows, forecast risk-adjusted financial returns of the portfolio, and oversee financial reporting to internal stakeholders and external auditors
- Develop strong relationships with external experts and build the Foundation’s presence in the field
- Source, review and evaluate potential investment opportunities performing due diligence including impact and financial risk assessment, industry analysis, competitive landscape assessment, product-market fit, go-to-market validation, and financial modeling
- Craft creative capital solutions and negotiate terms in order to meet the needs of founders, considering the Foundation’s impact-first capital preservation goals
- Recommend investments to the Investment Committee in collaboration with the Director of Impact Investments
- Author investment memos and related diligence documents informed by comprehensive, in-depth company and industry research as well as portfolio benchmarking analysis
- Contribute to the continual assessment and evolution of portfolio management, inclusive of reporting and forecasting tools to ensure the portfolio is grounded in a focus on impact and staff, management, and board are informed
- Collaborate with grantmaking program team(s) to develop strategies and ensure high programmatic alignment, and establish strong relationships with operational support teams (Legal, Finance, Operations)
- Participate in the Foundation’s collective learning-by-grantmaking communities to further inform investment strategies
- Take on ad hoc projects and workstreams to support the needs of a small, entrepreneurial team
- Provide post-investment support to portfolio companies including serving as Board observer or Board representative, as applicable
- Demonstrate leadership supportive of a collaborative team culture and manage an Analyst and/or intern as need and/or interest is identified
Desired Knowledge and Experience
- 8-10 years minimum of relevant experience in direct investing or working with early-stage companies, which could come from a variety of public, private, or nonprofit settings such as venture capital, private equity, investment banking, social enterprise, or community banks; Impact investing, mission investing, or family office experience is a plus
- Expertise in one or more of the Foundation’s main issue areas: U.S. regenerative agriculture, renewable energy, or indigenous communities, energy access in Sub-Saharan Africa, technology for marine conservation, or plastics
- Strong financial and analytical skills including demonstrated experience building 3-statement financial models and conducting sensitivity analyses
- Strong understanding and proficiency in negotiating, structuring, and overseeing both equity and debt investments
- Team player who is adept at building strong working relationships with team members, consultants, borrowers/investees, and constituencies in the impact investing field and effectively incorporating diverse perspectives into decision-making
- A high degree of honesty and integrity and demonstrated passion for and commitment to the Foundation’s mission in professional and/or volunteer capacities
- Strong management skills including the ability to work effectively with associate and analyst team members using team member time efficiently and developing their skills toward advancement in the organization
- Strong leadership presence with skills in persuasive verbal and written communication, relationship building, networking, and public speaking
- Ability to operate independently and manage multiple projects simultaneously while navigating shifting priorities, and recommending adjustments when needed, with a strict adherence to excellence
- A Bachelor’s degree in Finance, Business, Economics or a related field or equivalent experience with strong grounding in finance and investing required; relevant advanced degree and/or financial certification is a plus
- A commitment to social impact and supporting founders and emerging leaders, especially from underrepresented backgrounds and those building organizations that close gaps of access and/or opportunity for low-income communities and/or communities of color
Compensation and Location
The Schmidt Family Foundation offers a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience and an excellent benefits package that also includes green and wellness benefits. The position is based in Menlo Park or Los Angeles, CA. Staff are currently working remotely but are transitioning to a hybrid work model, which requires 2 days per week in the office. The ideal candidate will be already located in the Bay Area or Los Angeles or willing to relocate. LA-based professionals would be expected to be in the Menlo Park home office one week each month.
To apply, email a cover letter that expresses both your passion for the mission and fit for the role; resume; and list of three references (candidates will be notified in advance of any outreach to your references) to email@example.com by 5:00 pm PT on Monday, January 31, 2022. Use the subject line: “Portfolio Director.” Submit Microsoft Word or PDF files only (one combined PDF file is preferred). Resume review begins immediately.
The Schmidt Family Foundation is committed to using its philanthropic resources to deepen and expand its relationships with organizations led by people of color – both operationally and programmatically. The Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and strives to create an atmosphere where diversity of identity, experience, and background are welcomed, valued, and supported.
The Schmidt Family Foundation believes that diversity brings about greater sustainability on all levels and aims to use its resources to generate greater social and environmental diversity through its grant-making and other related investments. Candidates who contribute to this diversity are strongly encouraged to apply.