Sector Strategist - Infrastructure

Team: Investment

Location: London, UK

Employment Type: Permanent

Salary: Competitive

Closing Date: 31 August 2020

Sector Strategist - Infrastructure


Our Mission 

  • CDC is the UK’s development finance institution. Founded 70 years ago, we invest in the most challenging markets of Africa and South Asia with the aim of supporting economic development. CDC has net assets of £5.1bn, with over 1300 growing businesses in the portfolio.
  • Last year we committed over £1billion of capital across 50 transactions. 
  • CDC is wholly owned by the UK government, who has committed a further £3.5bn of capital for CDC to deploy over the next two to three years.
  • We are expanding our presence in Africa and South Asia with further new offices openings in 2020.
  • At CDC, we take an entrepreneurial approach to investment. We think innovatively about ways to deploy our capital, attract and mobilise other investors, and drive transformational impact.
  • Primarily, CDC invests to achieve impact and a financial return which is reinvested into more businesses. We aim to create jobs and accelerate economic prosperity and focus on sectors that will do this; manufacturing, food and agriculture, infrastructure, financial institutions, construction, health and education.
  • CDC works with like-minded ambitious people who are primarily motivated by our mission to deliver impact. We are a growing team of over 400 and place immense value on diversity within our organisation.
  • Read more about us on our website


Team and role overview

CDC Infrastructure

  • CDC has a longstanding commitment to Infrastructure (we have deployed nearly $3bn to Infrastructure projects historically and the value of our Infrastructure investments currently represent about one third of CDC’s total portfolio).
  • We cover key sub-sectors of energy (power generation, transmission & distribution, decentralized energy, gas midstream), transports & logistics, water and waste management.
  • We have a range of capital and capabilities to invest in the sector and dedicated professionals across Direct Equity, Direct Debt (including Project Finance) and Intermediated Equity (Funds & Capital Partnerships). Our dedicated direct equity and debt professionals for Infrastructure form a joint Infrastructure group (with confidentiality walls where required), primarily based in London with presence in India.
  • Our typical investment range of growth capital is $20-150m for the expansion of existing companies/platforms or greenfield opportunities in Africa and South Asia. We also make smaller investments in nascent infrastructure sectors such as decentralized energy and resource efficiency.
  • Examples of existing investments include:
  • Globeleq (Equity) – Africa’s leading developer, owner and operator of power projects with operational capacity in excess of 1GW
  • Ayana (Equity) – CDC’s renewable energy platform in India with 700MW of solar projects under development
  • Gridworks (Equity) – CDC’s wholly owned platform focusing on Transmission & Distribution projects in Africa
  • Nachtigal (Debt) - 420MW Hydro project financing, increasing Cameroon’s generation capacity by almost 30%
  • Nubian Sun (Debt) – 9x Solar (390MW) project financing in Egypt, part of one of the largest solar parks in the world
  • Liberty 1, 2 and Indus (Debt) - 3x 50MW wind project financing, increasing generation capacity and reducing reliance on fuel imports in Pakistan
  • Greenlight Planet (Debt) – leading global manufacturer and distributor of solar lanterns and solar home systems



  • In 2016-7 CDC identified seven priority economic sectors[1] as part of its overall 2017-21 strategic framework.
  • Thinking along economic sectors helps us to:
  • Be clear about the development impact we want to have
  • Look at long-term trends and developments that will affect the investment landscape in a sector
  • Help define what particular markets and segments within quite broad sectors (such as infrastructure and financial inclusion) hold the most development and commercial opportunity, and which hold less
  • Benchmark our approach, exposure and (for internal audience) performance against other investors
  • Communicate the above internally and externally, and help develop our approach to partnering with others in each sector
  • As part of accelerating its sector capabilities, in 2018 CDC hired a cadre of sector strategists for each priority sector. The first priority was to develop an integrated sector strategy in each of the 7 priority sectors. These were completed and launched internally in 2019 and externally in 2020. The organization is now implementing these sector strategies and planning for the next investment period and corresponding 5-year strategy (2022-27).


The Role of the Infrastructure Sector Strategist

  • Ultimately the goal of the sector strategist is to help CDC be in an increasingly better position to build a successful investment portfolio across the Infrastructure sector (from both a development impact and commercial perspective), by developing knowledge, networks, perspective and reputation.
  • The Infrastructure Sector strategist work towards this goal by:
  • Giving internal CDC investment teams more guidance and confidence in what they can/should or shouldn’t focus on in terms of origination and asset selection, as well as access to best-in-class market practise and expertise, and potentially new relationships in sectors and sub-sectors
  • Providing more clarity on CDC’s goals and capabilities in Infrastructure to external market participants, co-investors and partners, as well as wider stakeholders
  • The Infrastructure sector strategist is responsible for a limited set of core deliverables including:
  • Ownership of the core sector strategy. This should undergo a light-touch annual review, subject to ongoing trends monitoring and the potential evolution of internal priorities, and a more fundamental review every few years. For Infrastructure, articulation of CDC climate goals into the Infrastructure strategy will be a key consideration going forward and helping CDC deliver on its Climate objectives including identifying new areas of Climate investment focus for the Infrastructure Team.
  • Connect with the best external expertise – for example, by developing an external network of sector experts, through external engagement efforts (speaking opportunities or publications), or managing relationships and workstreams with our shareholder DFID
  • Acting as internal ‘glue’ for the infrastructure team, by monitoring and socializing key trends, enhancing internal knowledge sharing and promoting cross-team collaboration
  • Provide internal advice in particular to investment teams across all products, as well as to CDC Technical Assistance team using grant capital, particularly on matters of “fit-with-strategy” and/or at pre-or-first-screening stage.
  • Beyond these core deliverables, work to be led by the sector strategist, in collaboration with others in CDC, might include:
  • Deepen our market expertise in regions and sectors by supporting strategy implementation
  • Lead or support more detailed sub-sector strategies or and/or market mappings
  • Lead or support new strategies for CDC’s “Catalyst” programme focused on enhanced development impact
  • Country specific sector plans (for the biggest markets)
  • Developing methodology for the investment teams for research-based work
  • Provide technical, transactional advice to Infrastructure investment teams on sourcing and structuring climate-related investments.
  • Be a source of ideas for how to enhance climate change mitigation and adaptation in our Infrastructure portfolio. This will likely include informing investment strategies and improving investment decision-making related to climate change,
  • Development and management of the Infrastructure Pitchbooks
  • Development and management of Knowledge and Industry contact databases
  • Work led by others but that the sector strategist might contribute to includes:
  • Detailed sector-focused Development Impact frameworks and associated metrics
  • Overall corporate priorities such as climate change and gender lens investing, and overall corporate strategy development
  • Development of sector-specific technical assistance programmes
  • External engagement and communications around sector goals


Main internal and external collaborators

  • The main ‘internal client’ of the sector strategist will be the CDC Infrastructure investment teams. The sector strategist will be product agnostic and so work across the various equity, debt, and funds investment teams. (S)he will be embedded alongside investment colleagues, while working closely with other CDC teams including the development impact group, regional teams and the corporate strategy team.
  • Externally, the sector strategist will maintain close contact with sector experts, peers in other like-minded investment and development finance institutions, and CDC’s own shareholder DFID. (S)he is expected to have networks to sponsor companies, although investment teams will own the relationship with specific investment transactions.

This is a senior level role at CDC pitched at the senior manager/ director level, depending on experience.


The candidate

  • (S)he will have extensive commercial and/or investment experience in Infrastructure (including consulting, investment and/or strategy functions, and ideally climate-related transaction/investing experience), this experience may be via a mix of the following settings:
  • Developer or operating companies (possibly in a business development or corporate strategy role)
  • Investment organizations or investment banks with in-house sector expertise or sector-focused investment strategy
  • Strategy consultancy within a practice area focused on a particular industry or sector
  • There will be a strong preference towards experience gained in Africa and/or South Asia settings.


If you are the successful candidate, you are likely to exhibit:

  • Considerable Infrastructure sector knowledge – with an emphasis on breadth of knowledge rather than very in-depth knowledge of a particular part of a sector
  • Understanding of climate themes relevant to Infrastructure investments
  • Analytical yet pragmatic approaches to problem-solving
  • High standards for project delivery and execution, and strong project management skills
  • Experience working in a multi-stakeholder environment, an excellent coordinator
  • Strong social and interpersonal skills, with a proven ability to influence across a range of stakeholders and at different levels to build consensus
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • You will be strongly motivated by CDC’s mission and ideally demonstrate some commitment to international development through previous professional or personal activities


CDC is working with DMD Consulting


Our cultural values

We look for team members who aspire, as we do, to work at our best and to be:

  • Impact-led, commercially rigorous
  • Tenacious in the face of challenges
  • Collaborative and caring


CDC is committed to diversity and inclusion and welcomes all applicants regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.


[1] Infrastructure, Financial Inclusion, Manufacturing, Food and Agriculture, Health, Education, Construction and real estate


Please provide a cover letter with your application

Role opened: 31/07/2020

Role closes: 31/08/2020

Salary: Competitive

Apply now