Root Capital Fellow

Reports To: Michael McCreless, Senior Director of Strategy and Impact
Job Type: Full-time, exempt
Location: Cambridge, MA
Start Date: Immediately
Contact: Please apply by using the form below.

About Root Capital and the Efficient Impact Frontier Collaboration

Root Capital is an $80M social investment fund serving agricultural enterprises in Africa and Latin America. Root Capital has developed an approach, the ‘efficient impact frontier,’ to quantitatively integrate social and environmental impact alongside financial risk and return in investment decision-making. Root Capital published its work in an article titled “Toward the Efficient Impact Frontier” in the Winter 2017 Stanford Social Innovation Review, and a paper with the Impact Management Project (IMP), titled “Constructing a portfolio on the efficient impact frontier within one asset class,” that includes four steps that any impact investor can take to implement the approach.

Now, with support from the MacArthur Foundation, Root Capital is leading a collaboration to convene and support a cohort of other impact investors to develop and pilot strategies for integrating quantitative measures of social impact alongside financial risk and return into their investment practices. Each investor will develop its own tools for assessing the expected impact of proposed investments, loans, or guarantees before financing decisions are made; for comparing expected impact to the expected financial risk and return; and for setting integrated impact and financial goals for their portfolios.

The financial institutions that are partners in the collaboration include:

  • US community development financial institution managing ~$1 billion
  • US community development financial institution managing ~$60 million
  • Non-profit investment firm managing $350 million
  • For-profit diversified financial institution with $1 billion impact investing fund
  • Non-profit capacity development provider with $1 million impact loan fund
  • Impact fund that deploys capital across the spectrum of grants, direct loans and investments in companies, and grants
  • Social investment practice of $3bn U.S. foundation

Position Overview

Root Capital is looking for a Fellow that will work alongside the leader of the efficient impact frontier collaboration to provide consulting services to financial institutions that are partners in the collaboration, and to structure and facilitate the collaboration as a whole. Consulting to partner financial institutions will include management and measurement of social and environmental impact, and calculation of expected risk-adjusted financial returns of investments. The Root Capital Fellow will report to Michael McCreless at Root Capital, but will work closely and independently with many of the partners.

This fellowship is an opportunity for the right candidate to develop broad and deep expertise in impact investing in a short period of time. It will provide an excellent preparation for a wide variety of future positions, as well as introductions to many leading individuals and organizations in the field.

Responsibilities

  • Support partner financial institutions in developing quantitative measures of the expected financial risk and return of their loans and investments. This may include:
    • Creation or revision of risk rating frameworks and calculations based on historical portfolio data of partners, and desk review of standard practices in the field
    • Build Excel models of loan profitability that take into account risk ratings, loan sizes, interest rates, and other factors as inputs
  • Support partner financial institutions in developing quantitative measures of the expected impacts of their loans and investments. This may include:
    • Review of existing materials and data about the social and environmental impact of investments in partners’ portfolios
    • Selection of impact indicators for each partner that fit that partner’s mission and goals, and organization of these impact indicators into a larger rating or categorization that can be applied to all of the loans and investments currently in a partner’s portfolio, and to prospective future investments
  • Support partner financial institutions in combining this data about expected financial risk and returns, and expected impacts, to provide partners an integrated view on the impact and financial performance of each of their loans and investments, and of the performance of their portfolio as a whole
  • Support the Senior Director of Strategy and Impact in planning and leading group workshops in which participating impact investors share their approaches and provide feedback to one another.

Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in business administration
  • Minimum of three years post-undergrad, ideally in a management consultancy or financial institution
  • Undergraduate degree in economics, statistics, business, public policy, or related field
  • Exceptional data analysis skills (both quantitative and qualitative) and ability to express complex analyses and concepts in writing and in Powerpoint presentation
  • Client relationship management skills
  • Demonstrated interest and aptitude for impact investing and / or social enterprise
  • Highly organized and strong attention to detail
  • Ability to work highly independently and with team members from diverse backgrounds and with diverse skill sets
  • Applicants must be authorized to work in the United States

Compensation

$600/week.

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.

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