What we do
Aardvark believes that inclusive, commercially-viable business strategies are key to reducing poverty and inequality.
Vast increases in capital are needed to scale such businesses. To attract and channel investment to them, Aardvark focuses on the following areas:
Designing, structuring and managing investment vehicles (equity and debt).
Developing bespoke impact/sustainable investment strategies.
Fund/fund-of-fund appraisal, manager selection and direct investment due diligence.
Aardvark works at the intersection of social and environmental sectors, poverty and climate change with particular focus on agriculture, healthcare, renewable energy, education and access to finance.
Aardvark has a broad range of clients, including fund managers, family offices, high net-worth individuals, institutional investors, banks, development finance institutions and governments. Most seek assistance in designing or assessing investment opportunities in the emerging markets, whether sustainability/impact-orientated, or traditional private-equity and venture capital strategies.
The firm is led by Noah Beckwith, who has over two decades experience in private equity, SME investment, development finance and inclusive business. Based in Singapore, he is retained by Credit Suisse as the Senior Impact Specialist for the Asia Impact Investment Fund, an impact investment vehicle managed by United Overseas Bank Venture Management and advised by Credit Suisse. In addition, Mr Beckwith works on various mandates in partnership with colleagues and firms around the world. These relationships have been developed through engagements in more than 40 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
He is also a visiting lecturer at New York University’s Wagner School Graduate School of Public Service, and has lectured at Yale University, The Marshall Business School, USC, and University of St Gallen in Switzerland. He has published various reports on impact investment, social finance and emerigng-market private equity. Most recently he authored Inclusive Business Financing: Where Commercial Opportunity and Sustainability Converge, sponsored by Credit Suisse, the Asian Development Bank and the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency.
His recent mandates have included advising the Government of Australia on an emerging-market fund of funds strategy in Asia, advising and training the UN Development Program (UNDP) on private sector investment mobilisation and designing a BoP (base of the pyramid) investment fund strategy for the Asian Development Bank. Between 2013 and 2017, Noah was the fund and technical assistance adviser to the Programme Co-ordination Unit for the UK Department for International Development’s $100m Impact fund of funds, which invests in social sector funds across South Asia and Africa. He has also advised the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on programme-related investments in Africa and the Clinton Foundation on value-chain investment strategies in Latin America.
Prior to working independently, Noah was responsible for fund structuring, development impact assessment and business principles (environmental, social and governance (ESG) management) at Aureos Capital, a global SME private equity fund manager. Whilst at Aureos, he developed the Aureos Sustainability Index, one of the first development impact measurement systems in the field. Previously, he spent two years with the Commonwealth Development Corporation, and four years with the Economist Group as a Senior Economist for the Africa/Pacific regions of the Economist Intelligence Unit, contributing regularly to the Economist newspaper on African and Asian affairs. Noah graduated from Oxford University with an MA in English and Modern Languages, and from the London School of Economics with a Diploma in International Relations, and an MSc in Development. He works in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America.