Head of Lending and Regional General Manager

Reports To: Chief Lending Officer
Job Type: Full-time, exempt
Region: East Africa
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Start Date: Immediately
Contact: Please apply on Shortlist (link at bottom of page)

Why Root Capital

Root Capital invests in the growth of agricultural enterprises so they can transform rural communities. These businesses purchase crops such as coffee, cocoa, or grains from smallholder farmers. With growth, they become engines of impact that can raise incomes, create jobs, empower women and young people, sustain peace and preserve vulnerable ecosystems.

Root Capital supplies these businesses with vital resources: access to capital, trade and technical partners, financial training and conservation practices. They work in hard-to-serve geographies where others do not.  To date, they have loaned $1.2 billion to improve the lives of six million people in farming communities.

We are a dynamic nonprofit supporting the growth of agricultural enterprises that improve rural livelihoods. We offer team members the opportunity to create a positive impact where it's needed most.

Root Capital provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, active military or veteran status, age, physical or mental disability, medical condition, pregnancy (which includes pregnancy, childbirth, medical conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth, and breastfeeding and expressing breast milk), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Root Capital is committed to creating a dynamic work environment that upholds our leadership principles of empowerment, equity, integrity, service, and transparency.

A Day in the Life

The individual is the senior representative of Root Capital in the region.   The position directly manages the Lending activities in the region with a current team of seven lending and business development officers and credit analysts.  The team’s responsibilities include management of client relationships, underwriting of all loan requests, and active monitoring of all credits, and new client acquisition in specific geographic and industry segments where we can drive significant impact.

The role also includes “dotted line” oversight and coordination of several other functions in the region, including credit administration and operations, human resources, finance, and accounting.  This function requires active coordination with the line managers of these functions, many of whom are located in Root Capital’s headquarters in Cambridge. The goal here is to ensure consistent alignment around policies and priorities, to assist the line managers in resolving conflicts, to participate actively in the development of all staff in the region, and to foster the smooth functioning of the regional operation.

Finally, as head for the region, this Lending Head and GM will play an active and important role in the development and stewardship of key relationships with external stakeholders, including donors, investors, board members, value chain actors, and peers.

Prior credit and management experience are required.

Does this sound like you?

The right applicant would have the following skill set:

  • Bachelor's Degree; formal credit training; Master's degree a plus

  • Minimum 7 to 10 years of direct credit experience in a lending institution; microfinance or SME lending experience a plus

  • Deep understanding of Agri-lending is an added advantage

  • Excellent credit structuring and financial analysis skills, solid grounding in financial skills

  • Impeccable leadership skills; can drive the broad vision and the direction through teams

  • Able to empower, motivate and coach the team

  • Not afraid to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty to get work done

  • High intellectual curiosity

  • Strong interpersonal skills

  • Excellent communication, both written and verbal

  • Bilingual English/Swahili

  • Commitment to Root Capital’s mission

  • Must be authorized to work in Kenya

  • Okay with extensive travel regionally in Africa, and to US and Europe, estimated at 25-40%.  Ability to obtain visas to travel to these locations is required.

Key Responsibilities

The right candidate will ideally be responsible for the following primary areas of work, briefly outlined below:

  1. Work closely with Lending and Risk Management staff to develop and supervise the regional lending strategy and goal setting.

  2. Lead loan origination and structuring, coordinating and participating in risk approvals and loan documentation.

  3. Ensure strong and active management by the team on all client relationships.

  4. In coordination with the Global Head of Lending, establish performance goals for the Lending Team, and maintain discipline around risk appetite and active engagement with Risk team around problem loans.

  5. Ensure policy compliance across the portfolio of loans in the region.

  6. Participate actively in regional and global risk management and business development processes.

Other Responsibilities

  1. Dotted-line Management of support Functions – As GM this role has oversight of HR, Accounting, Credit Administration, and Business Development in coordination with solid-line managers, primarily located in the US.

  2. Stakeholder Relations and Activities – represent Root Capital’s strategy, activities and initiatives with a variety of external stakeholders, including donors, investors, value chain actors, co-lenders and peers, government representatives, and board members.

  3. Strategy Collaboration – participate actively with the Executive Council in determining the organization’s overall business strategy.

  4. Budgeting – on point for developing and owning the region’s budget, working in collaboration with other solid and dotted line managers as appropriate

  5. Team Leadership and Management – provide direct reports with ongoing feedback, coaching, and development opportunities to ensure that they and the broader team are highly motivated, productive and engaged.

Apply Now

To apply, please visit the job description on Shortlist. After reviewing the position, please click "Apply" in the top right corner, create an account on Shortlist, and submit an application that includes a detailed cover letter and CV/resume.