Investment Associate, Fair By Design Fund (“FBD”)

Company: Ascension Ventures /
Location: Central London
Type: Entry-level, permanent, full-time
Closing Date: 2nd December 2019

An exciting opportunity for an Investment Associate to join a social impact fund focused on investing in early-stage technology businesses and social enterprises tackling the Poverty Premium.

An estimated 14.3 million people (22% of the population) in the UK are living in poverty. People in poverty or on low incomes often pay more for the same products or services than those better off financially. This is the “Poverty Premium” – the extra costs of being poor.

There is not one ‘Poverty Premium’, but many unfair increments in cost that when added together can represent a significant drain on tight household budgets – the cost of a family holiday, furnishing a new flat, or keeping a household in clothes, shoes and adequately warm through the winter. Such increments are typically centered on a specific set of issues – in energy, through expensive tariffs; credit, because of poor credit ratings; or insurance in deprived postcodes – all typically compounded by digital exclusion. Read more about the Poverty Premium here:

Fair By Design (FBD) is a movement designed to eliminate the Poverty Premium, comprised of a Campaign (managed by Barrow Cadbury Trust) and a Fund (managed by Ascension Ventures). We challenge entrepreneurs, corporates, the government, regulators and the public to innovate and develop new and better ideas to address this problem. The Fair By Design Fund is a £10m fund investing in early-stage companies that find fairer ways to serve low-income consumers, tackling Premiums in key sectors such as financial services, energy, insurance, and food/household goods.

About the Role

The role sits within the Ascension team, an early-stage venture capital firm built by exited operators to back the next generation of tech entrepreneurs. Since 2013, Ascension has invested in 75+ start-ups across 3 distinct funds, including the FBD Fund. Its specialist approach and extensive sector reach allow it to identify and scale pioneering enterprises.

The Investment Associate will source, structure and execute investments for the Fund. The role involves the full investment process cycle, from deal origination through to completion, as well as stakeholder management, including founder and investor relations, reporting to Limited Partners, and working closely with the Fair By Design Campaign.

Ascension is a small but fast-growing team and is looking for a candidate with strong analytical, organisational and interpersonal skills, with the ability to grow and adapt accordingly, with the support of the Ascension team.

Key Responsibilities

Reporting to the FBD Fund Investment Manager, Emma Steele, day-to-day duties will include:

  • Pipeline Sourcing & Management: deal-flow research, direct outreach, and ecosystem relations (e.g. attending industry events and demo days, organise VC & Angel investor meetings, build and maintain relationships with accelerators).
  • Due Diligence & Analysis: perform DD on potential investee companies, draft Investment Committee Papers, including market research and financial analysis and manage ‘lived experience’ workshops.
  • Deal Execution: manage and keep track of the execution process, produce and negotiate Term Sheets, help set company objectives and social KPIs, and manage final legal DD.
  • Reporting: produce quarterly social KPI/trading updates and bi-annual social impact report for the FBD LPs, including the collection of quarterly commercial and social KPI information from all startups in the FBD portfolio using Ascension’s social impact reporting tool.
  • Database Management and Portfolio Support: manage file repository and CRM systems, and assist with internal and portfolio events and news.

Person Specification

Qualifications & Experience

  • Qualified to at least degree level in a relevant subject, or demonstrable evidence of knowledge gained from other sources and/or experience.
  • 1-3 years of professional working experience and a keen interest in the tech start-up ecosystem and/or the social impact space.
  • Strong project management skills and excellent organisational ability.
  • Nice to have but not a must: a background in financial and/or business advisory (e.g. financial services, legal services, accounting or management consultancy).

Skills & Abilities

  • Wide-ranging knowledge of social issues in the UK, including an understanding of how government policies and the private sector affect society.
  • Organisational ability enables them to plan, strategize and implement. Able to refine processes by monitoring outcomes and analysing data.
  • Can positively influence others to achieve results that are in the best interest of Ascension.
  • Thrives in an agile, fast-paced working environment.
  • Excellent written and communication skills a must.

To Apply

To apply, complete the following form:

Please note, we will only consider this form and your CV in the selection process. Side-emails or other attachments will not be considered.

We are committed to creating a diverse environment and are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, colour, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, or age.