Farmer working on coffee field at sunset
Logo.png

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.png
 

INVESTMENT TEAM

thumbnail.jpeg

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.

Harry-Turner-square-09-2019.jpg

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.

Jon-Halverson.comp_.jpg

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.

Iris Headshot.jpg

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.

carol.jpg

CAROL JERREHIAN
Senior Vice President Marketing

Carol has an extensive Marketing background, with experience in financial services, enterprise software, retail and other industries.  She has held management positions with industry leaders including AIG, QVC Network and SAP.  

 

While reporting to David Simms at MBNA, Carol became further inspired to pursue her dream job to help the poor in the developing world.  That dream became a reality with Talanton. With a heart for the homeless and the poor, Carol supports several nonprofits through sponsorship and volunteering.  

 

She has a B.A. in Business Administration from Grove City College. Carol is passionate about traveling the world to experience different cultures and meet new friends. 

She enjoys photography, live entertainment, reading, music, and being outside in nature. Most of all, she cherishes time with family and friends.

Picture1.png

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.

thumbnail.png

FLORENT NDUWAYEZU
Senior Analyst

Florent has five years of experience in financial advisory and management consulting supporting small, medium and large companies, investment funds and other strategic investment partners in the Sub-Saharan African region. Before joining Talanton, he was a Senior Analyst at Open Capital Advisors (OCA), a consulting firm based in Nairobi that drives growth, enables investment, and builds markets across Africa.  While at OCA, Florent provided advisory and consulting services/client support through financial market research, development of financial models and creation of investor-specific materials.  He reviewed capital structures to fit company balance sheets, risk level, growth goals, projected cash flows plus assessed relevant financing options. In addition, he developed and executed fundraising strategies for partner companies.   

 

Florent has a Bachelor of Business Science in Actuarial Science from Strathmore University, Kenya. He is passionate about values-led investments, specifically faith-driven social impact ventures.  He is also an advocate for sustainable or socially responsible investing. In his free time, he enjoys reading and outdoor sports. Having lived in different parts of Africa, Florent can fluently communicate in English, French, Swahili, and Kirundi. 

paul-cherry@2x.jpg

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.   

d51efe8f-dcc1-44f4-9c43-0c5a272fda5c.png

SHELLY BALBACH
Executive Assistant

Shelly’s walk with God began at the age of 20 when she immediately knew she wanted to study His Word and dedicate her life to Him.   

 

Prior to joining Talanton, Shelly was the Executive Assistant for several executives at FedEx Services and has held similar roles at other organizations.  At one point in her career, she was the Office Manager at a local Christian school and was blessed to “go to school” each day with her three boys. 

She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biblical Studies and Helping Professions from Cincinnati Christian University, where she met her husband, Bill.  He is a lead pastor at a church near Pittsburgh, PA, where they have been privileged to serve since 2001.  

Talanton’s mission to honor God through impact investing in faith-driven,  growth-stage businesses to help people lift themselves from poverty is quite meaningful to Shelly. She is excited to be a part of something that directly works to enrich the lives of those in need.    

 

BOARD OF ADVISORS

Peter_Thorrington@2x.jpg

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.

Kathy_Drake2402x.jpg

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).

Jeff_Meyer@2x.jpg

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.

Herve.jpg

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.

thumbnail.jpeg

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.

14CAA589-FCD3-485F-A72A-A4F2D4060806.jpe

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. 

INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO

Educor.jpeg
Masaka.jpeg
Enda.jpeg
Kentegra.png
Moko.jpeg
OWP.jpeg
__.png
Long Miles.jpeg
Rabboni.jpeg

NETWORK OF STRATEGIC IMPACT
& SERVICE PROVIDERS

 
National Christian Foundation.png
New Horizons Foundation.png
JTC.png
RSM.png
Faegre Drinker.png
Impact Foundation.png
Dentons.gif
Navigators.png
Sinapis.png
Open Capital.png
TBN.jpg
GLOBAL .png
CNCF Logo.jpeg
FOOD SOLUTIONS.png
Hope.png

VALUES

 

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).

telescopeblue.png

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.