Mark King – our newest Managing Director
Give us the quick backstory on your career. What was the journey that led you to impact investing?
My interest in the intersection of economic development, business and investing goes back to 1986 and my junior year at Wheaton College. I was a political science major and did the obligatory internship in Washington DC. I landed an internship at USAID and was fortunate to see some of the early grant applications being submitted by the pioneers of micro-enterprise lending. That internship lead to a study abroad program in India with two different micro-finance NGOs, which in turn led to a job at Opportunity International after I graduated.
I spent about seven years working for Opportunity, I then made the jump to urban economic development by joining South Shore bank here in Chicago. For two years I managed a mezzanine fund that targeted high growth, job creating manufacturing businesses on Chicago’s westside.
From there I made the jump to venture capital and joined a great team of people that I had the privilege of working with for the next 20 years. Along the way we worked at Heller Financial, GE capital, Blue Crest Capital and Ares Capital. It was a great time to be in venture, but quite the wild ride from the days of the .com bust all the way through to the latest and greatest like crypto currencies. I was tremendously blessed to work with some amazing entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.
At the end of 2017 I had the opportunity to go a couple different directions with my career. When I connected with Impact Marketplace and saw the opportunity to merge all my prior experience in micro-finance and venture capital, I lept at the chance to dive into impact investing.
In parallel to your career, you were starting and raising a family. Tell us about that part of your life.
My wife Tina and I are celebrating our 25th anniversary this year. She was an elementary school teacher and now works with a non-profit as a job coach for adults with special needs. We have three teenage sons with large appetites, two in high school and one in college. It’s hard to imagine three kids being more different – they keep us going in a lot of different directions.
When you’re not working, what do you spend your time on?
The boys certainly keep me busy. One of my hobbies the last several years has been podcasting. It’s a great way to learn, meet people, and have a creative outlet. It also appeals to my inner gadget guy. As a family we spend a lot of time in Door County, Wisconsin enjoying the outdoors and being on Lake Michigan.