Investment Director, Funds and Capital Partnerships – Catalyst Funds

Team: Investment

Location: London, UK

Employment Type: Permanent

Salary: Competitive

Closing Date: 31 January 2020

Investment Director, Funds and Capital Partnerships – Catalyst Funds


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 2019.
  • 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

Recently, CDC has been pioneering a series of new investment strategies (known as Catalyst Strategies), each designed to unlock or accelerate a market in Africa or South Asia that could bring significant development impact. To enable this, each strategy seeks to make a series of catalysing investments and bear more risk at the portfolio level than CDC’s main Growth portfolio.

The Catalyst Funds strategy was one of the initial six Catalyst Strategies. The Catalyst Funds team invests in funds or other intermediated structures that provide significant development benefits through enhancing inclusion for underserved populations, deepening our reach in frontier markets or promoting innovation to address large developmental challenges (see for more information on our Catalyst Strategies).

Since it began investing in 2014, Catalyst Funds has committed more than $200m to fourteen funds, including a venture capital fund targeting breakthrough businesses in East Africa, a number of agribusiness focused funds and the first private equity fund in Afghanistan. We are currently looking at opportunities in various areas with the potential to generate significant development impact, including health, education, agriculture, as well as under climate and gender themes.


While development impact is at the heart of our mandate, this can only be achieved through a robust investment process that identifies which funds are most likely to succeed in executing innovative and often unproven strategies. To do this we employ an exceptional team which is tasked with identifying opportunities, maintaining CDC’s reputation as a rigorous, high quality investor, whilst at the same time pushing the boundaries in terms of the risks that it takes in order to achieve development impact.

The Catalyst Funds team sits within CDC’s Funds and Capital Partnership team (FCP), which manages all of CDC’s fund investing activities – a central pillar of CDC’s strategy. Through the FCP team, CDC is an LP in over 100 funds across emerging markets and is the largest single investor in private equity funds in Africa.

We are currently looking to recruit an Investment Director for the Catalyst Funds team. This individual will report to the Director and Head of the Catalyst Funds team and will be expected to lead new transactions from sourcing to closing, to take responsibility for monitoring a portfolio of existing fund investments, as well as contribute to all aspects of the team’s activities including team management and culture.


New Investments

  • Manage the design and implementation of market scoping studies as relevant
  • Source new fund opportunities in line with the Catalyst Funds mandate
  • Screen fund proposals and conduct due diligence where relevant, involving other team members as appropriate
  • Prepare recommendations to CDC’s Investment Committee
  • Manage fund commitment negotiations with fund managers and other

Portfolio Management

  • Active engagement with portfolio funds and other investors, including taking relevant advisory board seats where appropriate
  • Monitor and manage financial, impact and ESG performance and risk of portfolio
  • Proactively seek to add value to funds in the portfolio, working closely with Development Impact, ESG, Value Creation Strategies, Finance and Legal teams

Team building, operations and knowledge sharing

  • Build and maintain an effective network in the impact investing industry
  • Oversee other investment professionals on investments or portfolio management
  • Help to manage and develop other Catalyst Funds team members and contribute towards building a team culture which promotes knowledge sharing and learning
  • Develop and sustain expertise on Catalyst Funds target markets
  • Support and suggest improvements to Catalyst Funds operations
  • Contribute to team meetings and broader CDC initiatives (e.g. sector working groups) and develop collaborative working relationships with other CDC teams
  • Assist in development of the Catalyst Funds’ strategic direction
  • Act as an ambassador for CDC, including speaking at conferences and engaging with agreed stakeholders

The candidate


  • Significant senior level experience in private equity, fund of funds or impact investing with experience in emerging markets such as Africa / South Asia preferred
  • Significant experience of analysing, structuring and negotiating investment proposals, including leading deals and portfolio management
  • Equity valuation, financial structuring and direct investing experience is desirable
  • Highly motivated by CDC’s mission and can demonstrate some commitment to development or social goals through previous executive or non-executive activity
  • Relevant Master’s degree/MBA or equivalent


  • Strong numerical, analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to lead investments from start to finish including due diligence, writing and presenting high quality investment memos, negotiating commercial and legal terms
  • Knowledge of relevant markets and sectors to enable market research, origination and analysis of proposals
  • Ability to effectively manage and monitor portfolio and sustain long term relationships with investee management teams
  • Strong written/verbal communication, including presentation skills
  • Management and coaching skills and interest in broader team development
  • Drive to work collaboratively across team and wider organisation
  • Drive to achieve high quality results in commercially rigorous way organising work and teams to meet agreed deadlines
  • Ability to influence and persuade a broad range of stakeholders to obtain agreement and cooperation
  • Works effectively in ambiguous situations and environments, showing openness to new ideas and approaches 

CDC’s Values

We look for colleagues who are

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

CDC is committed to diversity and inclusion and welcomes all applicants regardless of gender, age, educational background, national origin, ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation and religion.


Please provide a cover letter with your application.

Role opened: 20 December 2019

Role closes: 31 January 2020

Salary: Competitive

Apply now