• British International Investment is the UK’s development finance institution, owned by the UK Government. We invest with the aim of solving the biggest global development challenges by investing patient, flexible capital to support private sector growth and innovation.
• We have over 70 years of experience successfully supporting the sustainable, long-term growth of businesses in Africa and Asia, and have recently expanded to invest in the IndoPacific and Caribbean.
• We invest to achieve impact and a financial return which is then reinvested for more impact. Over the past five years, we have committed almost £7 billion of new investments, with our net assets growing in value to approximately £7.5 billion. We are now invested in 1,200 businesses which directly employ over 900,000 workers and support many more. Over the next five years, we plan to grow further, and aim to commit around £9 billion of new investments over the period.
• Our new five-year strategy responds to the opportunities and challenges facing developing and emerging economies. One of these enduring challenges remains the financing gap faced by small and mid-sized companies. These businesses are the engine room of any economy and with the right funding and support should be responsible for most net new jobs.
Background to Project Oxen
Successfully and sustainably funding the growth of SMEs has been notoriously difficult. Project Oxen was created to re-imagine the SME investment model and design a new approach, drawing on decades of experience from within BII and from best practice around the world.
Project Oxen is addressing the financing constraint faced by small and mid-sized companies (SMEs1) through the creation of new local permanent Investment Companies in select countries in Africa. These local Companies will provide USD500,000 – USD5m of growth capital to SMEs – in local currency – using a standardised investment process to keep costs low and achieve scale. The intention is for each Company to hold a large SME portfolio compared to traditional private equity funds but be more targeted and bespoke compared to banks or NBFIs. At steady state, we expect each Company will have an active portfolio of 50+ companies and will invest in and help scale over 150 SMEs in each country in the first fifteen years.
1 Established businesses (not start-ups) above micro enterprises but below large corporates. Specifically with
revenue: USD100k – USD15m, assets: USD100k – USD15m, employees: 10-300.
BII will be the initial sole shareholder with an indicative commitment of USD50m to each countrylevel Company. This allows each Company to reach breakeven and through recycling capital become self-sustainable where reflows from the portfolio cover operating expenses and new
investments in an evergreen structure. Long-term success will include mobilising capital from local institutional investors and pension funds in order to reach even more SMEs.
The first independent country-level Company is currently being established in Ghana and we are now looking to replicate the model in Zambia. Given the work leading up to the launch in Ghana, we have a detailed playbook and business plan that can be adapted for Zambia. The key next step is finding a CEO who can build off this work with BII and lead the establishment of the Zambian Company. A full management team, board and investment committee will subsequently be hired and ensure the appropriate governance structures are in place. Once at steady-state (year 5 onwards) we expect the Company to have 20 employees and to be investing USD15m – USD30m in 10-15 companies every year.
Establish and lead the new SME Investment Company for Zambia.
BII is looking to recruit an experienced, driven, and entrepreneurial minded CEO to refine the strategy, work with BII’s Project Oxen deal team to secure final BII Investment Committee approval for the Zambia business plan, establish the Company, build out the Zambian team, and
grow a high-quality portfolio of investments. This will be a rare opportunity to be the founder of a fully funded institution that can successfully and sustainably fund SMEs in Zambia for decades to come.
The role has two phases:
❖ Phase 1: Pre BII Final IC Approval and Company establishment in Zambia
▪ Fulltime consultant reporting to the Head of Project Oxen at BII (c. 12 months).
❖ Phase 2: Post Company establishment
▪ Fulltime CEO reporting to the Board of the new Investment Company.
The role will include the following specific responsibilities and objectives:
Strategy, organisational development, and leadership
• Set up and oversee all aspects of the SME Investment Company in Zambia including developing the strategy and business plan and building off BII’s work to date on the pilot Company in Ghana. This will include working closely with the BII deal team to match the proposed self liquidating products to the market need in Zambia, refine the investment process, establish the operational framework (finance, tax, legal, marketing, HR) and support the creation of the appropriate governance structures.
• Recruit, develop and inspire a high-performing team in delivery of the business plan, creating core values aligned with shareholder requirements.
• Ensure the Company is commercially viable, reaching breakeven within 3-5 years and becoming financially self-sustainable in line with the long-term vision.
• Ensure the impact objectives of the Company are achieved, reported on and continuously monitored. These objectives will be embedded in the Company culture, incentives, and activities, from strategy to deal execution to portfolio management.
• Mobilise third-party capital into the Company at an appropriate time. Identify, evaluate, and monitor investments
• Actively originate and execute investments and support the management team to:
o Build a credible pipeline of investment opportunities by leveraging existing networks and developing relationships with SME owners, management teams and intermediaries.
o Run targeted due diligence that cost-effectively blends in-house and external expertise on commercial, financial and credit, legal and compliance, business integrity, tax, and ESG appraisals.
o Present proposals to the Investment Committee in-line with the investment process.
o Lead structuring and negotiations with target companies and oversee all aspects of investment agreements to closing.
• Monitor investments of portfolio companies including sitting on boards where appropriate. Track progress of investments against commercial and impact KPIs and proactively restructure where required.
• Support portfolio companies in executing their business plans through a carefully structured operating model that is sustainable at higher volume investing and works for a relatively large portfolio at scale. This could include helping SMEs improve financial management,
governance, and E&S outcomes. Stakeholder and relationship management
• Proactively engage and maintain a network of relationships in the SME ecosystem in Zambia (and beyond) to include government, banks, intermediaries (accounting, legal, tax, corporate secretarial), advisors, incubators, foundations, impact investors and other institutions that
can fund SMEs and help them grow.
• Ensure that the Company complies with all regulatory requirements.
• Actively promote and develop the brand and reputation of the Company and position as the preferred partner for SME growth capital in the country.
The Candidate Background
• Senior-level C-suite experience in Private Equity/Credit, Banking, NBFI, SME Investment/Advisory or equivalent.
• Deep roots in Zambia with extensive networks across the business community and desire to live in Zambia (if not already there).
• Entrepreneurial business builder who is at home establishing new ventures, shaping strategy, building systems and processes, and successfully scaling companies.
• Sound people judgement with the ability to recruit and lead a high-calibre team of investment and operating professionals
• Commercial acumen and operating expertise to recognise, attract and support a high-quality portfolio of SMEs.
• Credibility and gravitas to interact effectively with and influence SME promoters, management teams, government, business partners, an external network of advisors, and other institutional investors.
• Demonstrated commitment to development or social goals through previous executive or non-executive activity.
• Proven expertise of private sector investing in small and mid-sized companies including evaluating and executing investments and successfully managing a large diversified portfolio.
• Strong financial skills and expertise in structuring and negotiating self-liquidating investments, including loans, royalty and revenue based financing, and other mezzanine structures.
• Track record of partnering with SMEs to add value and drive both impact and financial returns.
• Able to work across cultures, sectors, regions.
• Enterprising with the ability to thoughtfully challenge the status quo and understand what has / has not worked in the past. Able to establish strategic direction and build a strong longterm vision, inspiring others.
• Catalyst and innovator able to develop concepts, quickly getting to the core of bottlenecks, and constantly seeking to improve things.
• Can build effective teams through attracting, developing and motivating others.
• Activity orientated, organised, reliable and able to realise detailed plans.
• Comfortable in operating in a relatively lean organisation that will have to be developed over time and that will require, even at maturity, active engagement of its leaders at all levels with limited capacity to delegate.
• High levels of personal integrity.
BII’s Cultural Values
We look for high-calibre people who aspire, as we do, to work at our best and to be:
• Impact-led, commercially rigorous
• Tenacious in the face of challenges
• Collaborative and caring
Please provide a cover letter with your application
BII has partnered with Big 5 Search (www.big5search.com) on this search process.
Job Status: Open
Job Sectors: C.E.O
Job Type: Full Time
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