As part of the GIIN’s mission to accelerate the scale and effectiveness of impact investing, we publish job openings from members of the GIIN Investors’ Council and other impact investing leaders.

Investment Executive - Catalyst Strategies

at CDC Group in London - Victoria

About the Job

CDC, the UK’s Development Finance Institution, is pioneering a series of new investment 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 will seek to make a series of catalysing investments and bear more risk at the portfolio level than CDC’s main Growth portfolio. The six initial strategies (known collectively as Catalyst Strategies) focus on markets as diverse as medical supply access, electrical transmission and distribution and impact funds. There is the potential for more strategies to be developed in the future, including in agriculture.

The Deputy CIO for Catalyst Strategies joined in late 2018 to coordinate this exciting approach, which we believe to be unique in development finance, and oversee the investment portfolio that grows from it. We are now looking for an exceptional individual to support and report into her in developing both the governance to manage the current portfolio for financial and impact performance and the pipeline of new strategies to grow the portfolio over time.

 Key responsibilities of the role include supporting investment teams in developing new Catalyst strategies or amending existing ones,
 supporting Catalyst portfolio management processes,
 monitoring the overall Catalyst portfolio for impact and financial risk and return and acting as a strong advocate for the work, internally and externally.
Other responsibilities may include:
 support for the broader CIO function
 support the Growth Portfolio as required.

 Mapping/scoping future strategies
o Help to develop a process for originating and assessing future potential of highly additional Catalyst qualifying strategies, working closely with existing investment teams and sector specialists /sector development impact (DI) experts. In doing so, ensure:
 due attention is given to strategies that originate and/or could be managed by partners outside of CDC as well as in-house ideas (see partnerships section below);
 the parallel development of CDC’s 7 sector strategies helps to inform the development of future Catalyst strategies;
 the future approach to originating and assessing future strategies learns from the original approach CDC took to developing its six initial Catalyst strategies between 2014-2017.
Key CDC relationships: All investment teams, sector specialists and sector DI experts, corporate strategy team, external partners

 Supporting decision-making process for individual strategies and investments
o Support the strategy-level Catalyst sub-committee approval process where board and Executive Committee (ExCo) members approve new qualifying strategies, as well as any major shifts in existing Catalyst strategies.
o Support the consequent deal-level investment committee processes for investments within approved Catalyst strategies, including reviewing investment memoranda and sharing feedback.
o Help to ensure a consistent Investment Committee approach to specific Catalyst considerations (e.g. fit with qualifying strategy).
o Help to maintain and enforce a ‘blending’ policy in the event Catalyst investments ever blend with investments in CDC’s main portfolio.
Key CDC relationships: Catalyst strategy teams, CIO, Deputy CIO, individual investment committee members, Catalyst sub-committee

 Supporting portfolio management process
o Support the development of a robust and consistent Catalyst portfolio management process including:
 a strategic framework that illustrates what qualifies for Catalyst funding from the perspective of impact and risk;
 a consistent way of tracking development impact and financial performance and risk, both within different Catalyst strategies as well as for the Catalyst portfolio as a whole;
 a process for considering additional capital requirements or, conversely, reshaping or stopping strategies that are not performing;
 a way of monitoring and modelling the implications of Catalyst performance on overall CDC profitability and sustainability.
o Consider whether CDC’s approach to exits needs adjusting for Catalyst investments (for example, to give appropriate regard to impact considerations). Develop an approach to exiting whole strategies, and for the prospect of strategies to ‘graduate’ from Catalyst to the main CDC investment portfolio.
Key CDC relationships: Catalyst investment teams, portfolio analysis team, CIO

 Managing development impact
o Support the Catalyst investment teams developing and tracking the development impact case, including setting and collecting impact metrics, for each Catalyst transaction, and assessing over time whether realised impact is greater or lesser than intended impact.
o Lead on assessing the sector or market-level impact across the whole of a Catalyst strategy, working closely with the CDC evaluation programme.
Key CDC relationships: Catalyst investment teams, embedded DI teams, head of DI evaluations, Devco sub-committee of CDC Board

 Developing high-value partnerships and representing CDC externally
o Help to develop and maintain a small but high-quality set of relationships with potential or active partners who may help to originate, manage or co-invest with CDC Catalyst strategies. These partners will be diverse but could include impact investors and major philanthropies and grant-makers as well as commercial investors and should be complementary to the relationships held by Catalyst teams themselves.
o Help to cover market events across impact investing and blended finance.
o Work with the Deputy CIO to develop thought-leadership pieces that reflect CDC’s pioneering approach to market-building, higher risk investing.
o Maintain a watching brief of how other actors use concessional finance and any opportunities or risks this presents to any part of CDC’s operations (including for the Growth investment portfolio).
Key CDC relationships: Communications and stakeholder team, corporate strategy team, DI policy and research team, the forthcoming Capital Partnerships team

 Internal representation
o Be an internal advocate for Catalyst and work in partnership across all CDC teams; effective stakeholder engagement across investment teams, management and the board are critical to the success of this platform.
o Seek synergies and cross-learnings across Catalyst teams, for example by organising an internal, annual ‘Catalyst day’ for CDC staff working on Catalyst strategies and investment.
Key CDC relationships: All investment teams, development impact teams and support functions.

This role is directly in support of the Deputy CIO for Catalyst Strategies and sits within the Office of the CIO (Chris Coles), who is responsible for managing the firm’s investments across both Catalyst and Growth portfolios.


This is a multi-faceted role, so we are open-minded on the type of profile that would fit best. We expect some combination of:

 Career history:
o Experience in sustainable, responsible or impact investing or structuring required.
o Experience of international development or of working in emerging markets will be a bonus.

 Skills:
o Investment or financial structuring experience.
o Experience of portfolio monitoring and analysis (across impact management and financial performance), market mapping and/or strategy development.
o An ability to work collaboratively across sector and product teams and across stakeholders at all levels.
o Strong written and verbal communication skills, including presentation skills. Experience with investment research/professional writing ideal.

 Style and motivation:
o The ideal candidate is excited by blank space: smart, fun, collaborative, creative, entrepreneurial, open-minded and effective, quickly earning the respect of their colleagues as a builder.
o Must be highly driven by CDC’s development mandate, and enthusiastic for the chance to establish CDC as a pioneer in the field of market-building, higher risk investing.

To apply

CDC Group

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 likeminded ambitious people who are primarily motivated by our mission to deliver impact. We are a growing team of over 300 and place immense value on diversity within our organisation. Read more about us on our website