Minneapolis, MN

Investment Analyst, ESG & Impact Specialist, McKnight Foundation
The Organization

The McKnight Foundation, a family foundation based in Minnesota, advances a more just, creative, and abundant future where people and planet thrive. Program interests include regional economic and community development, Minnesota’s arts and artists, education equity, youth engagement, Midwest climate and energy, Mississippi River water quality, neuroscience research, international crop research, and rural livelihoods. Founded in 1953 and independently endowed by William and Maude McKnight, the Foundation has assets of approximately $2.2 billion and grants about $90 million a year.

Designated a Great Place to Work® for its high-trust, high-performance workplace culture, McKnight notes that 100% of its employees said they were proud to work here. Employees love our mission and the chance to take on meaningful, creative work alongside caring, talented colleagues in a beautiful location with great benefits. In addition, McKnight has been recognized as one of the nation’s best workplaces for women and best small workplaces.

Position Overview

Position Purpose

The Investment Analyst (IA) reports directly to the Director of Investments (DI) and is part of a four-person team that leverages consultant, board committee, and staff resources to build a resilient endowment with a truly long-term horizon. McKnight is committed to using its investor influence to promote its mission and build better, more effective markets.

The IA is passionate about investing and excited to work across all asset classes with both strategic and day-to-day administrative responsibilities in the endowment. This position provides additional expertise and focus for mission-aligned investing: helping to integrate Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) into the endowment, monitoring the maturing impact investing portfolio, and identifying new investments. Impact investments provide three types of returns to the Foundation: financial, social and environmental impacts, and learning returns to grantmakers. In addition, McKnight is committed to sharing its experiences and learning with the endowment and foundation community. The position provides backup to the Investment Associate and Investment Officer (IO).

As of year-end 2018, the Foundation has $190 million in impact investments. An additional $709 million of the main endowment is aligned with McKnight’s mission. One out of three investment dollars is aligned with mission. www.mcknight.org/impact-investing

Key Areas of Responsibility

Public and Private Market Investments

  • Help oversee existing portfolio of impact investments. This may include debt or equity raising by investee companies, corporate governance issues, managing public risks, changes in key personnel, or serving as a board observer. Meet with company leadership and fund managers as appropriate. Attend funds’ annual meetings periodically.
  • Contribute to ongoing oversight and diligence of existing endowment investments across asset classes. Conduct diligence or risk assessment on fund managers or direct investments—both market-rate and concessionary.
  • Help achieve ambitious deployment targets for private equity, venture, private debt, and real assets—both impact and non-impact dollars. Work with investment consultants, grantmaking staff, and community partners to source and develop deal flow. Build networks with other foundations and impact investors to enhance opportunities.
  • Seek opportunities to drive ESG integration throughout endowment and help implement strategies in specific asset classes or with a particular manager. Partner with DI and IO to achieve the Foundation’s impact and integration goals.
  • Shepherd investment recommendations through the Investment and Mission Investing committees’ gating process. Prepare materials, summaries, and information to facilitate committee decision making.
  • Oversee all fund paperwork for private investments across the endowment, working in cooperation with IO.
  • Track existing concessionary program-related investments (PRIs). Meet annually with organizations in the portfolio, creating and/or modifying agreements. Work closely with program staff and grantees that help generate PRI ideas.

Portfolio Oversight

  • Create opportunities and partner with grantmaking staff on market-based strategies in areas of mission alignment. These may include market scans, shareholder strategies, thought partnership, or endowment level projects (e.g., evaluate methods for assessing climate risk across the endowment).
  • Maintain quarterly dashboards and other in-house reporting as needed
  • Oversee annual impact reporting with consultant.
  • Monitor proxy voting across public equity funds. Review fund managers’ annual voting records on pooled accounts.
  • Oversee biennial assessment of fund managers’ ESG capabilities. Collaborate with consultant on new methods and tools for assessment. Find efficient ways to communicate our assessment to fund managers to encourage alignment and action.
  • Contribute to understanding in fund management industry of the imperative for greater diversity. Work with team to enhance McKnight’s information on whether fund managers are building effective, diverse teams.

Learning and Communication

  • Bring investment thinking to solve social and environmental challenges in partnership with other investors, nonprofit advocates, or stakeholders.
  • Maintain content of increasingly complex impact investing website with market-leading transparency featuring separate profiles and disclosure for each investment.
  • Conduct analysis and create reports to illustrate investment activities, concepts, and recommendations to stakeholders. Seek opportunities for data visualization. Match communication style to recipient needs.
  • Complete surveys about endowment.
  • Share useful information from fund managers with priority grantmaking programs to enhance cross-programmatic information exchange on capital markets.
  • Collaborate with Director of Learning to enhance systems to capture learnings from investing with grantmaking programs.
  • Serve as resource to grantmakers and McKnight grantees on feasibility of financing strategies and in providing information on field of impact investing.

Shareholder and Market Engagement

  • Stay abreast of developments in the impact investing and socially responsible investing fields.
  •  Develop and execute efficient strategy for leveraging McKnight’s position as a shareholder and a market participant with the goal of building more transparent and effective markets.
  •  Build relationships with key organizations. Track and participate in collaborative efforts including CERES, Mission Investors Exchange, and others.
  • Evaluate joint campaigns and initiatives to forward McKnight’s program priorities. Participate in Climate Action 100+ shareholder engagement group. Monitor key regulatory bodies to support shareholder rights and encourage regulations that fully value the costs of social and environmental impacts.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  •  Experience with diversified long-term investment portfolios—both theory and practice.
  • Skill in financial analysis, underwriting risk, due diligence on investments, and/or dealmaking—either market rate or concessionary.
  • Eagerness to bring investment thinking to solving social and environmental problems in partnership with other investors, nonprofit advocates, or stakeholders.
  • Experience with or knowledge of ESG and impact investing. Desire to achieve financial, impact, and learning returns for the Foundation.
  • Ability to clearly communicate concepts, research findings, financial analysis, and data interpretations.
  • Ability to see relationships and patterns and express them clearly.
  • Ability to design, monitor, and report to multiple audiences on the financial, social, and learning outcomes of individual deals and the impact portfolio as a whole. Skill in communicating to fellow experts; equally important to communicate, in plain English, to nonfinancial stakeholders. Willingness to bring other stakeholders into this field with patience so as to create passionate advocates and broad-based support.
  • Knowledge of relevant program areas. McKnight impact investment priorities are community-based social and economic development, social enterprise, the low-carbon economy, and sustainable agriculture.
  • Excellent writing skills.
  • Ability to develop and maintain strong working relationships and to effectively represent the McKnight Foundation and the Impact Investing program with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ability to form effective relationships with consultants and leverage their expertise.
  • Excellent organizational skills with attention to accuracy, detail, and deadlines. Ability to handle heavy workload and meet deadlines.
  • Desire to build systems and processes and to continuously improve the investment team’s efficiency.
  • Ability to handle confidential and commercially sensitive information.
  • Ability to work well independently and in a team environment.
  • Skill in Microsoft Excel including proficiency using advanced formulas, tables and formatting, advanced charting, pivot tables and pivot reporting, and VBA and macros.
  • Ability to work with high level of proficiency in Microsoft Office software including Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint. Experience with SharePoint and Dynamics GP a plus.

Required Education and Experience

Baccalaureate degree. At least three years of experience in business, investing, finance, economics, or related analytical field demonstrating a thorough understanding of financial/investment analysis and reporting. MBA, CFA, or degree in finance would be considered beneficial.


Working Conditions and Physical Effort

  • Work is normally performed in an office work environment.
  • Regular operation of normal office machines (computer, copier, and fax) is required.
  • Occasional evenings and weekends are required.
  • Travel is required.

How To Apply

This position closes on March 29, 2019. Apply now:  Click Here

Salary Range: $73,000-$75,000

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