In addition to its grant-making, Ford Foundation has a long and distinguished history of “double bottom line” investing or impact investing, primarily through program-related investments (PRIs), which the foundation pioneered in 1968. Seeking to expand its commitment to impact investing and its endowment management strategy, Ford Foundation recently announced the addition of a Mission-Related Investment Endowment (the “MRI Endowment”), governed by an MRI Committee of the foundation’s Board of Trustees. The program will invest up to $1 billion, phased in carefully over the next 10 years.
The overall goal of the new Mission Investments (MI) program is to deliver significant mission impacts over the long-term and advance the Foundation’s programmatic goals while seeking to achieve a total return consistent with prudent risk taking. As such, the MI program has both financial and social return objectives:
The financial objectives include: deploying the commitment in a gradual and prudent manner; preserving the real (inflation-adjusted) value of the MRI Endowment over the long-term; eventually contributing to foundation spending.
The social return objectives are two-fold: (1) directly delivering attractive mission impacts over the long term and advancing the foundation’s programmatic goals (portfolio-level impact); and (2) supporting the development of the impact investing market through transparency, thought leadership and documentation (field-level impact).
Based in New York City, the Director of MI will report to the program Vice President for Economic Opportunity and Markets. The Director will be responsible for leading a new team combining two functions: the entrepreneurial start-up of the new MRI Endowment-integrated with the foundation's PRI work. This individual will lead a team tasked with building the two programs over time, assist in the education of key stakeholders on market opportunities, build and continuously improving operational capacity, and develop a pipeline of investments. This team will work in collaboration with both the foundation’s grant-making and Investment Divisions.
The Director will be responsible for developing all areas of the MI strategy and portfolio construction process in alignment with the foundation’s mission of addressing inequality – specifically in the areas of creation or provision of quality employment, affordable housing, or inclusive financial services targeting the undeserved, both in the U.S. and in emerging markets in the global South. Other core accountabilities include:
Overseeing and further developing the portfolio of PRIs (currently 68 active investments totaling $212 million in outstanding and committed investments, with a board-authorized cap of $280 million), including the development and implementation of an integrated approach to PRIs and MRIs in a single team.
Formulating investment strategy, identifying investment opportunities, conducting due diligence on prospective investment managers, recommending MRI investments to the MRI Committee of the board, negotiating the terms of the Foundation's investments and monitoring the performance of all managers.
For MRIs, ensuring the diversification of private market basket in terms of risk, return and impact expectations. Over time, working closely with the MRI Committee of the Board, develop proposals for scaling the portfolio for diversification across asset classes and pathways to social impact.
For PRIs, ensuring the right balance of innovation, charitability, return expectations, and appetite for risk, which together help distinguish the PRI as an investment tool and the foundation as an impact investor.
Pursuing opportunities to advance fund manager diversity while remaining open to investments that enable the foundation to promote increased gender and racial diversity in fund managers operating in other sectors.
Collaborating with other leading institutional investors, such as pension funds and university endowments, which have committed to advancing fund manager diversity.
Managing the MRI policy portfolio and investment guidelines as well as the PRI investment strategy and guidelines.
Acting as staff director of the foundation's MI working group
Working with the MRI Committee to develop a full performance framework for the MRI Program, drawing on expertise in a host of investable sectors (housing, employment, etc.), in the foundation's grant making teams, and in their Impact Investing line of work.
Coordinating with relevant internal and external experts on defining and measuring impact in various fields.
Regularly communicating and presenting the MRI/PRI investment portfolio's activities, results, strategy, and lessons to the MRI Committee, board program committee for Economic Opportunity and Markets, and President.
Serving as a leader in the field, seeking opportunities to share learning and experience in field-building efforts.
The Ford Foundation seeks a dynamic and entrepreneurial team leader with a deep investment background. This individual will bring a minimum of 10 years of directly related investment experience demonstrated by success in managing portfolios, preferably in two or more asset classes (including private markets - private equity and real estate). This individual will ideally bring experience gleaned in an endowment, foundation, pension fund, or similarly sophisticated investment organization. MBA and/or CFA designation is preferred, with a strong grounding in finance.
Specific qualifications include:
High degree of honesty and integrity and commitment to the foundation's social justice mission.
Extensive networks with best-in-class investment managers, especially with expertise in private markets and emerging markets.
Strong investment acumen and successful track record of managing institutional investments of similar scale and sophistication.
Superior understanding and proficiency in equity investments and impact investing
Superb entrepreneurial skills demonstrating experience and competencies in start-up efforts as well as working effectively in a larger organization, preferably with global staff.
Extensive experience managing small, highly accomplished teams to drive investment results.
Demonstrated leadership presence; visionary with strong skills in verbal and written communication, relationship building, networking and public speaking.
ALIGNMENT TO THE MISSION AND CULTURE OF THE FORD FOUNDATION:
Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and core values of equity, fairness, and diversity
Personal qualities of humility, capacity for self-reflection, and a sense of humor
Discretion and ability to handle confidential issues
Action-oriented and entrepreneurial self-starter who can work well independently and in teams
Equal employment opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at The Ford Foundation, where employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexualorientation preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as established under law.