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Principal

Seattle
Full-Time
Posted on 
July 18, 2021
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Job Description

Coulter Partners is exclusively retained by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to undertake this assignment and will collaborate with the foundation in the search of an exceptional leader for the position.

In 2009, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation established a strategic investment fund with the mandate to use equity, debt, and guarantee investment tools to further the philanthropic goals of the organization. The fund, with $2.5 billion in investments under management, has become a leader in the “impact investing” industry, successfully completing more than 90 investments across a variety of sectors and asset classes.

Leadership & Culture

Our culture shapes our choices about what we do and how we do it. We believe that energized people, working well together, fueled by great leadership in an inclusive environment can do extraordinary things. We expect foundation employees to intentionally and consistently embody our four agreements; show respect, offer trust, be transparent, and create energy.

Position Summary

The Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) team is seeking a Principal-level professional to further grow the investment portfolio by collaborating with teammates and foundation colleagues in thesis formation, investment execution and management activities, and building and maintaining excellent relationships within the life sciences ecosystems of early-stage companies, venture capitalists and other investors and strategic companies.

In this role, you will focus on investments in life sciences, working with program teams in Global Health and Agricultural Development. Investments are made in support of the charitable impact theses of these program strategy teams (PSTs), which employ technical specialists from around the world. Representative past investments include:

  • $4 million seed investment in Affinivax, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing next generation vaccines delivering broader protection against infectious diseases, including pneumonia.
  • $5 million investment in the publicly traded equity of Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biotechnology company with a novel boron-chemistry drug development platform that was acquired by Pfizer Inc. in June 2016.
  • $120 million volume guarantee to Bayer AG and Merck & Co. Inc., which ensured a market for the companies’ implantable contraceptive products in exchange for a commitment by the drug manufacturers to increase their production and lower their prices in the developing world.
  • $55 million Series B preferred equity investment in BioNTech SE, a commercial biotechnology company developing personalized immunotherapies for cancer and mRNA vaccines for infectious disease (IPO September 2019).
  • $10 million Series B preferred equity investment in Enko Chem, Inc., an agricultural biotechnology company applying DNA-encoded libraries to the discovery and development of new crop protection chemicals.
  • $10 million Series E preferred equity investment in Halodoc, a leading Indonesian online-to-offline health delivery platform leveraging mobile technology to improve primary healthcare outcomes: and
  • $20mm Series A/B preferred equity investment in Vir Biotechnology, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on finding innovative solutions to unmet needs in infectious disease.

Investments from the fund are structured as “program-related investments,” which is a defined term in the US Internal Revenue Code that governs charitable investments made by a private foundation.

Core Responsibilities

  • Work closely with foundation PSTs to understand their strategies and partner with technical colleagues to form investment theses and source potential investments through active outreach and relationship-building within the entrepreneurial and investment communities.
  • Lead deal teams that include program technical specialists, legal and investment colleagues to execute new investments, including helping to form the investment thesis, performing initial evaluation, participating in shaping conversations with company and co-investors, determining investment structuring, leading the due diligence process and financial modeling, and negotiating definitive legal documentation.
  • Present investments to the foundation's Investment Committee.
  • Lead all aspects of portfolio investments, including as a board of directors’ observer, and facilitate interactions between portfolio companies, and foundation program teams and Investment Committee with regards to strategic, financial, and legal opportunities/issues.
  • Build and maintain excellent relationships with life sciences ecosystem members including early-stage companies, venture capitalists and other investors, and strategic companies; and
  • Ensure high-quality interactions and provide clear and consistent communications with internal and external stakeholders.

Core Knowledge & Skills

We anticipate that the successful candidate will have strong financial transaction experience with a leading venture capital firm, growth/private equity firm, investment bank or corporate business development team where you were active in deal sourcing, execution, and portfolio engagement. You should also have an interest in principal investments and a belief in the foundation’s mission to drive innovative social impact.

Education & Experience

  • MBA and/or advanced degree and a minimum of 5+ years of experience, or equivalent experience.

As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We’re committed to creating a workplace where employees thrive both personally and professionally. We also believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve—in race, gender, age, cultures and beliefs—and we support this diversity through all of our employment practices.

All applicants and employees who are drawn to serve the mission of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will enjoy equality of opportunity and fair treatment without regard to:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Age
  • Religion
  • Pregnancy
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Disability
  • Gender Identity
  • Gender Expression
  • National Origin
  • Genetic Information
  • Veteran Status
  • Marital Status
  • Prior Protected Activity


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