Chief Legal & Compliance Officer

Full time Persistent Europe or Africa

We are Persistent in our quest to build ventures with a sustainable impact.

Persistent is a leading venture builder in sub-Saharan Africa, founded by thought leaders and pioneer investors in the off-grid sector.

We believe that building commercially successful impact ventures in emerging markets can make the world a better place and provide attractive financial returns at the same time.

We believe that climate change is the challenge of our time and therefore focus on companies that proliferate renewable energy and other climate mitigating solutions to customers in emerging markets.

Our model is simple: We bring know-how and experience as well as the right financial capital to start-up companies. The Persistent team can provide business and financial modelling, fundraising, legal and tax structuring, technology architecture, digital strategy and HR management expertise.

Our model is unique for two reasons: First, we have the capacity to go beyond boardroom advice and roll up our sleeves to fill operational roles. Second, due to our close involvement and experience, we can provide flexible and risk tolerant capital to our companies in an efficient way.

Our model provides positive impact and financial return because we work only with exceptional entrepreneurs, because we are backed by the most visionary investors, institutions and foundations and because we are persistent.

Your role
We are looking for an exceptional attorney with a pronounced entrepreneurial mindset. You will have at least some US or UK legal training and/or relevant venture capital legal experience from other jurisdictions to oversee all governance, legal and compliance aspects of Persistent’s business.  You will lead all legal aspects of Persistent’s development and be ready to roll up your sleeves to provide the legal framework of its venture partners – those companies that Persistent provides human and financial capital to. You will be part of the Persistent management committee and participate in the management of all aspects of the firm.

Your responsibilities
Persistent corporate and business operations:

  • Lead the legal and tax analysis of Persistent’s corporate structure and develop recommendations for the most beneficial legal and tax structure for future growth of Persistent
  • Oversee all legal aspects of Persistent’s business operations, its capital raising and borrowing
  • Manage all legal aspects of Persistent’s investments in and relationships with its partner companies, including legal due diligence, negotiations and documentation
  • Serve as a member of the firm’s Management Committee and Investment Committee and participate in the management of the firm and managing its investor relations
  • Administer Board and Member matters as a corporate secretary
  • Serve as Chief Compliance Officer
  • Coordinate with outside legal counsel to the firm in various jurisdictions

Persistent partner companies:

  • On behalf of Persistent, guide, oversee, vet and approve tax and legal structures of Persistent partner companies
  • Advise on and troubleshoot ongoing legal matters (issue spotting, assistance in retaining outside counsel where appropriate and assistance in supervision of outside counsel) for Persistent partner companies
  • Act as legal and business advisor for partner companies under Service Level Agreements, including negotiating complex financings, securitizations, investments,  acquisitions and insolvency restructurings, with appropriate technical assistance from outside legal counsel
  • Take Board seats in partner companies on behalf of Persistent

Your profile
You fulfil the following requirements:

  • Passion for our mission and a pronounced entrepreneurial mindset to enable companies in emerging markets to positively impact the climate and lives of individuals our companies serve as they grow and scale
  • A practical, problem solving approach to practicing law, able to weigh risks and propose practical solutions, not simply point out obstacles.
  • Demonstrated legal experience in at least several of the following categories: general corporate law, venture capital or other private equity, fund management, debt and equity financing, mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcy and insolvency and international tax
  • Proven track record of handling complex legal matters, coordinating, synthesizing and making recommendations based on multiple legal disciplines, aiding and developing new business, sales teams, support functions and cross-functional stakeholders
  • Advanced understanding of how organizational structure and leadership culture affect performance of teams at different stages of the growth and business cycle
  • Either well established network and outstanding reputation in our industry, alternatively exceptional ability to strike connections fast to become an indispensable partner for existing and prospective clients
  • Strong communication skills and ability to engagingly speak in public
  • Ability to build trustful relationships with peers, customers, key partners and stakeholders
  • Team player with an analytical mindset and strong problem-solving abilities

You must have:

  • A law degree and a license to practice in the US, UK or another leading jurisdiction
  • 6-10 years (senior associate or partner level or the equivalent in-house or government) experience practicing law
    The role will preferably be based in Lagos, Nairobi or Zurich.

Build with us
Our culture at Persistent is entrepreneurial, collaborative and flexible. We seek talented people who are passionate about impact and have a drive for excellence. We offer a dynamic work environment that is required to work closely with our fast-moving partner companies that are located in more than a dozen countries in Africa.

Join us at Persistent and benefit from:

Impact: An opportunity to work directly with start-ups in underserved markets and create lasting social and environmental impact.

Steep learning curve: You will join a small, but experienced team that will enable you to become a multi-skilled professional in a short period of time and build the confidence to embrace and tackle most business challenges.

Opportunity to take initiative: Leverage your expertise to create practical and relevant solutions for companies on the frontline and see concrete outcomes of your work.

Flexibility: Exercise a significant amount of discretion in determining what you do and how you do it.

Persistent is a workplace that gives you the flexibility to balance the requirements of work and private life. While you will frequently travel to our partner companies and to be with your colleagues, you will also be able to work from home when necessary, and make use of flexible hours and family focused leave policies. We also offer attractive compensation that is designed to reward your performance and impact over the long term.