The primary mission of the Principal at Lewis & Clark Partners is to function as a deal flow engine for the firm. Principals help Lewis & Clark Partners succeed by sourcing, analyzing, and championing deals. A successful Principal will be comfortable leading due diligence and closing investment transactions. The role is expected to establish close relationships with key influencers, partners and entrepreneurs in the AgriFood landscape. This role also works closely with all other fund team members in a highly collaborative environment. Importantly, the Principal actively assists portfolio companies in creating value, including through implementing the firms’ post-investment playbook. This role contributes as a Board observer and/or Board Member in portfolio companies and monitors the specified industry.
- 5-10 years professional experience in venture capital, private equity, investment banking, financial analysis, management consulting, startup leadership, or other applicable field.
- Experience working in the AgriFood sector, ideally in food and feed ingredients.
- MBA or graduate degree (MD, PhD, JD) from accredited university in finance, economics, entrepreneurship, engineering or related field preferred.
- Demonstrated ability to influence all levels of management cross-functionally and externally; ability make things happen quickly and thrive in a fast-paced, fluid and collaborative environment.
- Exceptional analytical, communication and interpersonal skills.
- Deal flow: Proactively source and screen potential companies in which to invest based on the fund’s established criteria, often from a thesis-driven perspective. This includes analyzing business plans; updating information in internal systems; participating in periodic business/transaction flow meetings; creating detailed financial models and supporting documentation per the fund’s process; meeting and interviewing management, customers, suppliers, and industry experts; outlining, conducting, reporting, and capturing all due diligence; and periodically presenting investment recommendations as required.
- Lead research & diligence: As the owner of the diligence phase of our process, you’ll work with other team members on deals they lead through the process. Provide guidance, structure, project management, and leadership. Assist with market sizing, competitive analysis, and financial analysis. Engage third parties as needed for market research, proactively find ways to optimize our processes, and have final sign-off on any Deal Review Memorandums. Play a key role in finding and managing an Analyst for our fund that will help with these efforts.
- Structure and negotiate deals: Principals will take the learnings from the due diligence process, and appropriately structure a deal to achieve the firm’s target IRR. The Principal will know how to appropriately value a company, how to determine the amount of an investment that should be equity and/or debt, and be comfortable negotiating the proposed deal with the company’s board and management.
- Manage the legal diligence process: Part of the Principal’s duties are to lead the transaction through to the close (a successful investment). Understanding the legalese of the term sheet, company structure, and deal documents are important skills that the Principal needs to have to be successful
- Board skills: Part of the key responsibilities of the Principal role is to work with existing portfolio companies to help them succeed. A strong understanding of how the business operates and how to guide improvements is critical. Having a voice in the boardroom, either as an observer or as a board member, is also critical.
Additional responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Assist with quarterly and annual reporting documents and refining existing processes.
- Partner with other constituencies within the Limited Partner base; assist in special/team projects.
- Monitor and assess the AgriFood startup, venture and private equity industries; read industry periodicals and research reports; attend conferences; proactively evaluate potential investment niches; and prepare reports analyzing market potential, growth, competitive landscape, etc.
- Become an active participant in the Midwest’s early-stage ecosystem.
- Works closely with associates and interns to help manage and guide them.
- Assist with marketing/social media are required.
- Supporting fundraising and investor relations activities.
- Lead the process of developing financial models relating to financings, restructurings, valuation analyses and liquidity events.
- Leads the due diligence such as customer and management references, market sizing and mapping, and industry research, competitive analysis and ultimately forming a viewpoint on the investment opportunity.
- Craft investment memoranda and presentation materials, to include developing and refining presentation themes, data gathering and synthesis, and constructing professional presentation materials.
- Assist the team in creating processes and infrastructures to help our organization scale.