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.

Senior Associate, Energy Sector Insights

at Acumen in New York or London

About the Job

Acumen is looking for a Senior Associate with 5 – 7 years of experience with expertise in renewable off-grid energy in developing markets, to help analyze the sector, our portfolio within it, and make recommendations on our next moves. This role is based in NYC or London.

At Acumen

We’re investors. A different kind of investor. We invest in people and companies working to solve problems for people living in poverty... essential products and services that bring more opportunities, more choices to millions. To date, Acumen has positively impacted 300 million lives by investing $132M in 136 innovative, early-stage companies in Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and the United States. But investing clearly isn’t just about capital. It’s about investing in people. We’ve been investing in people for years. Connecting with emerging leaders in their own countries and engaging them in extended collective dialogue on what constitutes a “good society”, moral inquiry, and skill building.

The Role

People living in poverty are set to experience the first and worst impacts of climate change. Enter Acumen's patient capital approach to our growing renewable, off-grid energy portfolio in developing markets.

New York and London are not hubs of off-grid energy transactions. Deals come along now and then, but New York and London operate in service to the field, where Acumen’s regional offices lead on deal origination and execution. This role will play a part in supporting regional teams as they diligence, prepare, and execute deals. The main focus of this role is to share what you know about the renewable energy market, what we’ve learned from investing in off-grid energy over the years, and what each particular investment opportunity offers within that context. This is not an oversight role; this is a service role.

The role is to look across our off-grid energy investments and the broader sector and to derive or conceive of valuable recommendations that serve our investees, our own investment officers in the field, and their respective ICs and diligence. This is not an academic exercise.

The ideal candidate can sort through a great deal of data and stories—data and stories about financial and social impact—and identify meaningful patterns. Not just any pattern, but the few that are really going to matter for our entrepreneurs and their customers: people living in poverty.

Aside from offering valuable recommendations to the field, this role will:

  • Work with Finance while they dive head long into a transformation in software and data capacities so that we dig in on our energy portfolio in a whole new way. This is a goldmine of YOY inputs to feed the work. How can we track this information more effectively? Which systems do we need in place to derive insights and spot trends more quickly?
  • Work with the Associate Director of Insights, Business Development, and Strategic Partnerships to understand their challenges in raising different kinds of capital and share what you are learning in the field. Are there gaps to close with your insights? How can you support the raise?
  • Work with the Associate Director of Insights to find the interesting ideas that are emerging from our energy work to package them into sector-shifting reports and coordinate with Marketing and Communications to help them publish more widely in accordance to their calendar, channels, and audiences.


Qualifications and Skills

  • About 5 - 7 years of total experience with at least half of it in investing—or reporting on investing—in the early stages in the renewable energy sector in developing markets. Experience with energy access for low-income communities in the developing world preferred.
  • Education: maybe you have a graduate degree in business or math, maybe you’re an autodidact.
  • Perhaps you have experience running diligence and deals, sitting through diligence and deals as a co-pilot, studying deals for a particular aim, or supporting a raise with funders, or maybe you’ve worked as a sector analyst for a publication such as Bloomberg New Energy Finance or The Economist Intelligence Unit
  • A network (of some, but likely not all): advisors, investors, funders (public, private), analyzers, reporters, or knowledge of the players.
  • Can remain focused on who the insights are meant to serve.
  • Ability to analyze, synthesize, and making meaning of data (sometimes data does not tell you where the opportunity is, sometimes it’s an act of imagination based off what data tells you).
  • Anticipates future opportunities and consequences
  • A disciplined, structured thinker who is open to challenge and feedback.
  • Able to prioritize, execute, and meet deadlines.
  • Organized, direct and clear communicator. Can frame insight for different audiences for different purposes.
  • Ability to manage a project and collaborate with people across geographies (US, Europe, Africa, & Asia), toward a shared aim.
  • Able to absorb and integrate senior-level executive challenge to ideas.
  • Self-reflective and aligned with Acumen values
  • Permanently authorized to work either in the UK, US,

Location: London, New York City

Deadline: Candidates are encouraged to apply early, as applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The deadline for this position is May 15th, 2021

To apply


Acumen is changing the way the world tackles poverty by investing in companies, leaders and ideas. We invest patient capital in businesses whose products and services offer important opportunities to people living in poverty. To date, Acumen has positively impacted 309 million lives by investing $137M in 139 innovative, early-stage companies in Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and the United States. But investment isn’t only about capital, we’ve been investing in innovators for years, connecting with emerging leaders around the world and engaging them in collective dialogue, moral inquiry, and skill building through