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INVESTMENT TEAM

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.

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