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Head of Innovative Finance
Head of Innovative Finance
- Role: Leading Conservation Capital’s Innovative Finance division
- Position: full time, senior management position
- Location: London, United Kingdom with significant international travel
- Application deadline: 9th June 2019
ABOUT CONSERVATION CAPITAL
Conservation Capital (www.conservation-capital.com) is a leader in the rapidly developing field of commercial conservation enterprise and related investment financing. Our business is organised around two principal disciplines:
Innovative Finance: Across the globe, there is a chronic shortage of funding for nature conservation. Consequently, there is an urgent need for new private sector investment approaches to improve efficiency and supplement traditional public and philanthropic funding. The accelerating trend for impact and ESG investing, coupled with new regulations targeting biodiversity management obligations, are creating new opportunities for conservation finance. We operate at the forefront of this field, researching, designing and incubating innovative financing mechanisms that raise and invest new and more diverse capital into a range of progressive conservation projects and businesses. This will be the focus of this new role.
Sustainable Ecosystems: To endure, natural ecosystems – together with the critical services they provide – need to prove their economic, social and political relevance. We design, build and support the implementation of smart business plans for terrestrial and marine conservation areas. Our approach uses commercial business and innovative institutional structures to support the long-term financial and ecological health of these natural environments. Our project areas range from single sites, through to entire conservation landscapes and networks of protected areas.
Our current team combines decades of experience in private and development finance, business, law and management consultancy with a passion for the natural world, bringing the rigour of corporate finance and business development to high priority conservation landscapes and initiatives.
While we are still a small team based across the UK, Kenya and South Africa, our track record points to our accelerating impact: we have helped raise and structure more than US$ 250 million across nearly 100 conservation initiatives and businesses in more than 25 countries that:
- Generate more than US$ 50 million in annual commercial revenues;
- Deliver more than US$ 15 million p.a. in direct cash contributions for conservation management;
- Sustain more than 2,500 jobs;
- Are a primary source of further income for more than 150,000 people, mostly from marginalised rural communities; and
- Directly support the conservation of millions of acres of vital habitat.
The conservation and related business initiatives that we have supported have been nominated for more than 50 national and international conservation and related social impact awards.
ABOUT OUR INNOVATIVE FINANCE DIVISION
Some of our current work streams within the Innovative Finance division include:
- Managing the first ever collective investment funds for conservation enterprise in both Africa and Europe – both of which we conceived, capitalised and now lead as portfolio manager. Between them they have nearly US$ 14 million of debt-based investments under management and have played a pioneering role in developing this sector as an emerging asset class.
- Based on the lessons learned from these two funds we have co-founded a new investment group that plans to raise a significantly larger fund focusing on investing in businesses that support conservation in East and Southern African landscapes. This will combine a commercial private equity driven approach with an active natural capital and ecosystems service focus, managed by a team that has collectively invested US$ 1 billion in Africa. over 60 combined years of operating experience. • Working with a high-profile group of international conservation organisations and commercial sector actors (including banks, accountancy and legal firms), we are leading the development of what will be the world’s first outcomes-based financing instrument in the conservation sector. Borrowing the blueprints of the “impact bond” model as they have been used in other sectors, this ambitious initiative has the potential to revamp the way conservation funding is deployed and measured into the future.
- In partnership with two leading international conservation organisations, we recently published a White Paper on the potential of new mechanisms for facilitating and accelerating the financing of biodiversity offsets.
- Starting to migrate our terrestrial experience into the oceans, we are currently working with three international investment banks, NatureVest, the Development Bank of Seychelles and the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust to develop a significant debt-based enterprise development fund targeting the emerging blue economy across the Seychelles.
- Developing a proprietary grant-financed investment “inclusiveness” fund that will be used to acquire buy-in stakes across relevant conservation enterprises on behalf of local community and conservation stakeholders, re-orientating ownership dynamics in a manner that create new and sustainable economic opportunities, thereby optimising related conservation incentives. Following two pilot investments in Kenya and Ethiopia we now wish to actively move on building out scale.
Conservation Capital is seeking to appoint a driven and highly-skilled professional to lead our Innovative Finance team in London.
The successful candidate shall report to the founder of Conservation Capital, currently based in Nairobi.
- Business Development, Conversion & Execution: To incubate, win and oversee the execution of new conservation finance mandates that innovate, drive positive conservation outcomes and the Conservation Capital brand.
- Intellectual Leadership: To extend and deepen Conservation Capital’s thought leadership within the overall conservation finance arena in which this team operates;
- Operational Leadership: To manage and build Conservation Capital’s Innovative Finance team and its work flow; and
- Governance and Corporate Development: Participate as an active member of Conservation Capital’s executive committee and in so doing support as appropriate both the company’s wider external product and service delivery, and its internal business development plan.
In addition to great leadership and communication skills, you’ll need to have:
- Passion: a strong and inherent interest in solving some of the globe’s most pressing conservation challenges. The current thinking is that the planet needs about US$ 1 billion a day of conservation financing more than it is getting – that’s a lot of work to do!
- Ambition: the ability to take a small but pioneering and well-respected company and help grow it into what is an increasingly significant and front-line space.
- Relevant Experience: we don’t necessarily need someone with deep experience in conservation nor the geographies within which we have traditionally worked (although this may be helpful); but we do need someone who has been involved in developing creative financial solutions to complex investment challenges and opportunities. The venture capital, private equity or development finance sectors are probably most relevant – but we have an open mind.
- Initiative: the ability to see and convert new openings in what will be a fast-moving theatre, responding with the right mix of zest and caution.
- Creativity: we will continue to lose biodiversity and be dependent on grant finance if we do not think outside the box. We need someone who can help us push boundaries, be creative and innovate new mechanisms to support sustainable conservation.
- Languages: fluency in French would be beneficial but not essential.
If you are interested, please send your CV and a one-page letter of interest to Barbara Mayer at [email protected] with the subject line ‘CC IF Lead – Expression of Interest’. The application deadline is 9th June 2019.