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OUR MISSION IS TO PARTNER WITH YOU

TO HELP LIFT PEOPLE FROM POVERTY

THROUGH WORLD-CLASS IMPACT INVESTING

You can help create and support tens of thousands of jobs by 2025

TEAM

TEAM

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INVESTMENT TEAM

INVESTMENT TEAM

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DAVID SIMMS
Managing Partner and Founder

In the spring of 1984 David and his wife Kim were standing in a farm field in Guatemala, where he understood for the first time the power of business to accelerate the Great Commandment to love God and love our neighbor. He has been privileged to spend a significant portion of his life using sustainable, finance-driven solutions to bring Hope, create jobs and transform lives for people living in poverty, principally in the developing world.

David has served as president of Opportunity U.S and Chaired the Opportunity Global board during a time when it had some ten million clients. He was a founding chair of MicroEnsure, a Bridgespan Partner, S.E.V.P. at MBNA, CEO of the Red Cross Washington/Baltimore Region, and a White House Fellow. David started his career at Bain & Co.

David and Kim live in the U.S. and have two wonderful adult sons. They enjoy sailing, touring historic sites, involvement with both their local church, C12 and serving throughout. David graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Penn/Wharton and has a joint J.D. and MBA with distinction from Harvard.

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HARRY TURNER
Partner

Harry has a 25-year career leading cross-cultural teams primarily in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa delivering large-scale programs in the finance industry. Harry has led global teams for large commercial firms (Macquarie Bank and Anderson Consulting) and for global social impact organizations (Opportunity International and Oikocredit).

He is personally involved in several startup social enterprises in the UK, is on the board of a $50M microfinance investment Fund (Dia Vikas Capital India) and is excited about the impact of bringing significant capital into SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and beyond. He spends his free time with his wife and three teenage children, enjoys listening to and playing good music and loves sport of all kinds – still managing to play cricket on a regular basis.

Harry has an MBA (with distinction) from the University of Oxford and a BS in Computer Science (honors 1st class) from the University of NSW, Australia.

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JON HALVERSON
Partner

Jon has 25 years of experience in international business leadership, investment, development and strategy consulting with two of the world’s leading food and agriculture multinationals, Cargill and Land O’Lakes, where he served as a Vice President.

 

He has lived and worked on three continents, most notably in Tanzania where he led a talented team in executing over 50 loans to Small Market Enterprises across East and West Africa.

 

Jon witnessed firsthand the transformational impact of a thriving business achieving scale in challenging contexts. His areas of passionate interest outside of impact investing are mountain climbing, canoeing and skiing, both alpine and skinny skis!

Jon has a BA from Wheaton College and an MBA – International Business from Regis University.

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IRIS WEN
Associate Partner

Iris has 15 years of experience in financial services, small business startups and scale-ups in Africa, and leading cross-cultural teams. Prior to Talanton, she was the Executive Director of a faith-driven social impact venture, Videre, that incubated and funded over 70 rural businesses in South Sudan, Ghana and Senegal.  She has also provided financial and strategic consultancy to impact-driven businesses in India and Eastern Europe. Iris started off her career as an investment banking analyst for UBS Securities and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

 

She enjoys creative deal structuring and the detective work of due diligence to uncover the growth potential in businesses. Most of all, she is passionate about using business as a God-given tool to alleviate poverty and fight injustice, and believes that funding the missing middle is a lynchpin to doing so in low-income countries.

Iris received her BS at Cornell University in Applied Economics and Management, and her MBA with distinction at the University of Oxford. She is Chinese-born, New York City-grown, and currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts with her husband Henry and two young boys. She hopes that her boys will grow up to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God. And also brush their teeth.

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MICHELLE OCHIENG
Vice President Investor Relations

Michelle is a Kenyan national and a permanent resident of the United States. Prior to joining Talanton, she worked for Volkswagen at their Wolfsburg, Germany headquarters in the Sales Africa department, and with Hilton Hotels Worldwide in London, UK and Nairobi, Kenya. 

She brings a wealth of Sales, Marketing and Account Management expertise to Talanton, and understands the SME business dynamic, having worked in Kenya with both Lattice Consulting and Young & Rubican.

Michelle is a Christian whose walk with God started in her early teens.  She has served with Word of Life Ministries in Kenya as a youth counselor and also briefly as Bible School Administrator.

Having lived and studied in Nairobi, Kenya, she has seen the first-hand effects of poverty on individuals and families.  Talanton’s mission to honor God through impact investing in growth-stage companies to help lift people from poverty resonates deeply with her.

Michelle has an MBA in Finance & Marketing from the USA WASC affiliated Kenyan University (USIU-Africa), is an Alumni Fellow of the GIZ German government Fellowship program 2017-2019 cohort, and is trilingual, speaking English, Swahili & German fluently.

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ANDY MOORE
Vice President Finance &

Portfolio Performance

Andy Moore has more than 15 years of experience as a director and entrepreneur in corporate, private equity and startup sectors across the world.  Prior to joining Talanton, Andy was Managing Director of Chorus Network, one of the UK’s first platforms for professional investors dedicated to social and environmental impact. Earlier in his career at KPMG, Andy was an Advisor to Her Majesty’s Treasury on the sale of its stake in Eurostar trains, and with Liberty Global, he led critical interventions following the group’s £23 billion acquisition of Virgin Media. 

  

An experienced Christian evangelist, Andy has led missions in cities around the world. He has been invited to speak at some of the world’s largest companies, including Facebook, UBS, Goldman Sachs, KPMG and Barclays. Andy is inspired by the Christian conviction that God is working tirelessly to redeem the world, and through impact investing, we can use our capital to restore dignity to the disadvantaged and “taken-advantage-of" in the global economy. 

  

Andy is a Chartered Accountant in England and Wales. He graduated top of Newcastle Business School with a degree in Corporate Management. He holds certificates in Christian Apologetics from The Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics, Theological and Pastoral Studies from Oxford University, as well as a Masters in Philosophy from the University of Birmingham. Andy is a keen sportsman, having played rugby to a representative level in Ireland and is enjoying newly married life with Rachel, living near Oxford in the UK. 

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PAUL CHERRY
Business Assessment

Paul has 30 years of professional experience in the petrochemical industry in a variety of technical, manufacturing, sales, procurement, supply chain and strategic roles with responsibilities in Australia, Asia and the Middle East. He was employed for 20 years by Lyondell Basell and its predecessor companies, initially in Australia and then in Hong Kong. Since 2010, he has been a freelance consultant working with clients on strategic and operational projects.  He also delivers petrochemical and polymer training globally. 

  

Paul and his wife Michele live in Hong Kong and enjoy sports and hiking in the beautiful (and hilly) Hong Kong country parks. He also runs in road races up to marathon distance. Their two children are both attending university at Paul’s alma mater, leading to lopsided family debates about the best university in Australia.  

 

He is thrilled to work with Talanton to identify and support businesses in East Africa, which not only generate financial returns, but bring jobs and meaningful incomes to thousands of people. Paul has a Bachelor of Science (First Class Honors) and Ph.D. from the University of Melbourne.   

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DESIREE LATU
Executive Assistant

Desiree Latu, a dedicated professional with over 11 years of experience as an Executive Assistant, brings a wealth of skills and a heart for service to the Talanton team. Her journey began corporate sales then transitioned to supporting senior executives in small and fast-growing organizations, mastering tasks like intricate travel arrangements, seamless meeting coordination, project execution, and financial precision.

 

Desiree's impact isn't confined to her professional life. She co-founded Moms on a Mission, a local non-profit addressing community needs and fostering positive change. This initiative has finely honed her organizational and leadership skills, allowing her to thrive in dynamic environments. Her genuine commitment to making a difference uniquely equips her to excel as an exceptional executive assistant at Talanton.

 

Beyond the office, Desiree's life is full of diverse experiences. She became a Christian in her late 20s after volunteering extensively in South America where she met and married a Tongan Australian and moved to Sydney.   Now a mother of four and having lived and traveled across five continents, this journey enriched her perspective and allowed her to gain international experience.

 

With her extensive experience and a passion for contributing to Talanton's mission of uplifting people from poverty, Desiree Latu is an ideal fit for the team.

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KENNETH MUCHINA
Senior VP East Africa

Kenneth, a Kenyan national, brings 23 years of diverse expertise in advisory and executive roles across East Africa. His career encompasses transaction advisory, investment management, strategic advisory, corporate governance, and statutory audit services. Kenneth passionately advocates for responsible investments that generate quality employment and supply opportunities in developing economies.

With a rich background as a senior executive and advisor, Kenneth has gained exposure to multiple industries. He serves on various boards, including the Youth Safety Initiative Awareness Crime Si Poa and the Alliance High School Endowment Fund.

Committed to community interests, Kenneth actively supports the education of hearing-impaired children at the Kerugoya School For the Deaf. He is a founder and volunteer in the 'Busherian Mountaineers Group' and the 'Alliance Classic Run,' initiatives that raise funds for the Alliance High School Endowment Fund Trust (Kenya) through mountaineering and charity run events.

 

A dedicated trail hiker, mountaineer, and recreational runner, Kenneth holds a B.Com honors degree from the University of Nairobi. He is also a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK).

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CYNTHIA ACHIENG
VP Investments

Cynthia brings 15 years of unwavering dedication to East Africa's financial services sector, with a focus on investment advisory. Starting at NCBA Bank in Kenya, she seamlessly transitioned into pivotal roles at African Alliance, Genghis Capital, and KCB Capital.

Cynthia's expertise spans diverse sectors—primary healthcare, agriculture, energy, banking, microfinance, and manufacturing. Her contributions include facilitating funding, structuring partnerships, and driving capital-raising initiatives for entrepreneurs.

Notably, Cynthia's experience at Penda Health and Stanbic Bank Ltd involved origination, due diligence, investment proposals, capital raising, and partnership and investor relations. Before joining Talanton, she played a crucial role at Stanbic Bank Kenya, structuring partnerships with fintechs to drive scale.

Cynthia holds a Commerce degree from Strathmore University, Nairobi, and is a Chartered Public Accountant. Finalizing her Master's in Public Policy at Strathmore University Business School, she blends academic rigor with practical expertise. In her leisure, Cynthia relishes cross-country road trips across Kenya and joyful moments over meals with family and friends.

Passionate about entrepreneurs, Cynthia believes in their transformative role in Africa's economic performance and job creation. Based in Kenya, she's thrilled to contribute to Talanton's mission of alleviating poverty through impactful investing.

BOARD

BOARD OF ADVISORS

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PETER THORRINGTON
Board Chair

Retired as President of UTi Worldwide Inc, a global supply chain and logistics company, which went public on NASDAQ in 2000. Previously, president of BAX International, president of WTC Inc and founder of Rand Freight Lt.

 

Post retirement he served 11 years in board leadership at Opportunity International, a Christian microfinance organization. He is also past chair of the Westmont College Board of Trustees.

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KATHY DRAKE

Kathy is retired from a career as portfolio manager at the investment firm of Dodge & Cox and now spends her time volunteering at faith-based organizations.

 

These include a Board at The Fuller Foundation and New Door Ventures; Opportunity International Ambassadors Council; Steering Committee, JPOW (the Justice Poverty Oppression and Women Initiative);, Generous Giving.

 

In addition, Kathy is involved with the Barnabas Group (consulting for faith-based non-profit organizations).

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CHRISTIAN HILLIARD

Christian Hilliard started his first cable television company at the age of 16.  Christian then attended Colorado College where he earned his BA in Economics.

 

For the next thirty years, he started and sold over two dozen telecom companies in seven different states. Christian served on the National Cable Television Co-Op board and received the honor of Cable Television Pioneer. 

 

Outside of telecom, Christian is involved in outdoor advertising and real estate. Last year, he sold the majority of his companies, celebrated his 26th wedding anniversary, and dropped his youngest daughter off at Pepperdine University – all on the same day. 

 

Married to his high school sweetheart, Karyn, they have four children, a son-in-law, and four dogs. As for hobbies, Chris likes snow skiing, leading men’s small groups and missions trips, fly fishing, sailing, dog training, and flying airplanes with friends.

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RACHEL McDONOUGH

Rachel McDonough is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional and a Certified Kingdom Advisor® with over 20 years of experience helping generous, values-driven families manage wealth in a way that holistically reflects their stewardship mindset.

 

She loves watching clients become clear regarding their goals, understand the practical trade-offs of their financial choices, and make powerful decisions that have a multi-generational impact on their families and communities. In 2021, she founded Wealth Squared, a team of EverSource Wealth Advisors, to serve, guide, and care for clients – partnering with them to pursue God’s plan for their lives.

 

In addition to receiving the Larry Burkett Award from Kingdom Advisors in 2022, she is a published author and frequent speaker on faith-driven investing and generosity. She also founded Wealthfluence, LLC, a consulting practice that helps other Christian wealth advisors and asset managers on investing with biblical values. Away from the office,

 

Rachel serves as a worship leader at her church, and loves her "other job" as a homeschooling mama of 3.

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JEFF MEYER

Jeff Meyer is President and CEO of Baillie Lumber Co. Jeff graduated from Wheaton College and Harvard Law School, and practiced law at Kirkland and Ellis in Chicago. Since 1990, Jeff has worked in various capacities at Baillie Lumber.

 

Jeff has served on boards including Wheaton College, Opportunity International, Cabrini-Green Legal Aid Clinic, the Nichols School, National Hardwood Lumber Association, Hardwood Manufacturers Association and his local church.

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SAM MWALE

Samuel Mwamburi Mwale is an economist, policy advisor, and business leader whose career spans public and private sectors.

 

He has served in top public service leadership positions in the Kenyan government as well as executive and non-executive positions in the financial services sector including non-executive board director in commercial and investment banks, and insurance sector, boards of several international and local charities, and in Kenya’s apex business organization – Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) where he is a trustee and honorary US representative.

 

His lifelong passion and vision is to invest towards a transformed, prosperous, and thriving Africa through job and wealth creation by business and sound public policy.

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HERVE SARTEAU
Investment Committee Chair

Herve is a former Founding Senior Partner of CarVal Investors, a private equity firm where he ran a global portfolio and held multiple roles, including on its investment committee.

 

Prior to his time at CarVal, he managed M&A and strategy projects for both Cargill and HP Europe. He is a board member of several start-ups (Mymeds and Zivix), and for many years served on the global and US boards of Opportunity International, as well as its affiliate banks in Ghana and Mozambique.

 

He was raised in France and holds both a MSEE and an MBA from INSEAD.

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DAVE TOLMIE

Dave Tolmie is a Founding Partner with Edgewater Funds, a private equity firm with $2.7 billion in committed capital.  Prior to Edgewater, he was CEO of YesMail and previously a consultant with McKinsey & Company.  

 

He serves on several Edgewater company boards, the Illinois Venture Capital Association, is a founding board member 1871, was a longtime board member of Opportunity International, and is active in civic and business leadership positions. 

 

He is Chairman of The Faraja Fund Foundation, which supports the Faraja Primary School for children with physical disabilities in Tanzania.  Dave received his MBA from Harvard Business School plus several entrepreneurial leadership awards. 

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DANA WITCHERMAN

Dana Witcherman is an impact investor (venture, PE, and angel), and is also working as Senior Advisor to Impact Foundation. 

 

She serves on the boards of Noble Story Co and Five Talents US, and she co-founded the Washington, DC chapter of Faith Driven Entrepreneur and Investor. She is an active member of Potomac Angel Capital and ReNew Capital. 

Dana has a Master’s in International Economic Development from Columbia University. She worked for the US Agency for International Development and International Trade Administration for 20 years, managing over 30 staff and $60 million in foreign aid.

INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO

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NETWORK OF STRATEGIC IMPACT
& SERVICE PROVIDERS

NETWORK
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VALUES

LEARN MORE

H

Honor God – “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40).

O

Operate with Excellence – to deliver outstanding triple-bottom-line results.

P

Partner well – working with investors, supporters, foundations, entrepreneurs and business incubators to see lives transformed economically, spiritually and socially.

E

Exemplify Faithful Stewardship – living out Talanton’s calling from the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30).

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APPROACH

APPROACH

WHAT

Talanton invests in values-driven, growth-stage enterprises in developing countries with $500K to $5MM in revenue in sectors that provide jobs for those living in poverty. Our hallmarks include deep due diligence, creative investment structuring, and developing meaningful relationships based on mutual respect with company leaders and management teams.

WHO

We look for excellent, missional management teams motivated by visions that go beyond outsized financial returns.

WHERE

We focus on low-income countries, especially in East Africa, and places where we have both staff and on-the-ground partners able to monitor the work. 

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

On your behalf, Talanton invests in values-aligned, growth-stage businesses.  Contact us to learn how you can set up a new account or transfer funds from one of your existing Donor Advised Funds (DAF) or investment accounts.

Treating only symptoms like hunger, poverty and hopelessness often is disappointing because it doesn’t address root causes. Creating good jobs at scale in redemptive enterprises is the key to unlocking permanent solutions.

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