Chief Financial Officer

Deadline for Applications
Where to Apply
Irma Zoepf


As a key member of the Executive Leadership Team, the Chief Financial Officer will report to the CEO and play a strategic role in the overall management of Root Capital. S/he will have primary day-to-day responsibility for accounting, reporting, budgeting, financial planning and analysis, treasury, governance, information technology, human resources, enterprise risk and compliance activities. The position’s focus is to provide a solid “back office” function, with multi-domain industry operational expertise, into an “impact first” agricultural lending institution to strengthen and support our operations, both our Cambridge headquarters and seven field offices in Latin America and Africa.  The position will be responsible for building the business processes to support a growing social enterprise that is both a non-profit organization and a non-bank financial institution.

Mission and History of Root Capital

Root Capital’s mission is to grow rural prosperity by investing in small and growing agricultural businesses that build sustainable livelihoods in Africa and Latin America. Root Capital is a nonprofit social investment fund that grows rural prosperity in poor, environmentally vulnerable places in Africa and Latin America by lending capital, delivering financial training and strengthening market connections for small and growing agricultural businesses. Root Capital clients include associations and private businesses that help create sustainable livelihoods by aggregating the products of hundreds, and often, thousands of farmers. Since our launch in 1999, we have provided more than $500 million in credit to over 420 small and growing agricultural businesses. Root Capital envision a thriving financial market serving agricultural businesses that generate long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability for small-scale farmers and their communities around the world. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Root Capital currently has associated offices in Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru and Kenya.


Strategic Leadership

o       Serve as Board Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer for the organization, ensuring the sound use and management of organizational finances, following Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
o       Guide the scaling of Root Capital as member of Executive Leadership Team from a fiscal perspective, being fully conversant in the key drivers of a lending business so as to identify and advise action on risks and opportunities.
o       Establish and execute meaningful financial policies, procedures, controls and systems; produce timely monthly financial statements and achieve a clean annual audit.
o       Liaise with Board of Directors, and specifically, the Audit & Finance Committee, to set agenda and engage Board members in executing their fiduciary responsibilities.
o       Lead Finance, Governance, Risk & Compliance such that Root Capital strategies and operations are clearly aligned and implemented well, with appropriate balance of internal controls and decentralization / empowerment across Root Capital.
o       Supervise staff of four direct reports (Controller, Director of Financial Planning & Analysis, Senior Director of Legal Affairs, and Treasurer) and total department of 16 staff.  Motivate department to perform their jobs with excellence and to represent Root Capital culture and values.
o       Remain up-to-date on best practices / current trends in both financial institution and non-profit management, leadership, SME finance, and in general the “Root Capital space” in order to optimize department performance.

Team Leadership

o       Supervise and develop the Accounting, Financial Planning & Analysis, Treasury, HR/Admin and Legal teams.
o       Serve as a model for Root Capital’s leadership behaviors, principles and values

Accounting and Financial System Integration

o       Guide controller in producing timely, accurate monthly consolidated financial statements, audit and IRS Form 990.
o       Oversee payroll for Cambridge and Latin America and Africa field offices, ensuring compliance with all applicable laws.
o       Leveraging bank operational expertise, lead implementation of business processes within multi-entity, multi-currency financial software. Focus areas include everything from optimizing the basics of bank reconciliations and cost allocation, installing new functionality for notes payable and multi-currency transaction processing, and ensuring these processes and systems leverage industry best practices to deliver accuracy, efficiency and scalability.
o       Establish and execute meaningful accounting and financial policies and procedures, controls and systems, ensuring that best practices from commercially regulated financial institutions complement non-profit practices.
o       In close coordination with colleagues, implement business processes to enable effective project management of multiple restricted grants.
o       Optimize accounting treatment for foreign currency lending and associated hedging, loan participations, syndications and other new practices as the organization evolves.
o       Review and advise on vendor contracts, ensuring proper procurement practices.

Financial Planning & Analysis

o       Guide FP&A team in determining sophisticated five year financial projections, maintained in Adaptive Planning software.  Includes developing a deep understanding of the drivers of our business to provide critical analysis of all aspects of our projections in order to advance the refinement of our business model for the loan portfolios and non-profit activities.
o       Establish, in conjunction with the director of FP&A, rigorous financial performance analysis to inform strategy and bolster the controls on the accuracy of our financial statements.
o       Oversee annual budgeting process, including quarterly revisions and regular reporting to Executive Team and Board of Directors.
o       Review financial risks within the lending portfolio, as estimated by Global Programs leadership; advise as appropriate to ensure that Root Capital properly identifies and accounts for risk that impacts the financial health of Root Capital as a whole.
o       Prepare and present presentations to Board of Directors and Executive Leadership Team.


o       Oversee banking relationships and short and long term cash management.
o       Guide organization in creating an appropriate capital structure of debt and equity to fund the business in light of our growth and sustainability targets and risk, our and investors’ risk tolerance, and the availability of debt and equity capital on advantageous terms.
o       Advise on management of financial risks associated with this activity, notably liquidity risk, FX risk, interest rate risk and commodity price risk.


o       Research and structure optimal field office registration programs
o       Promote good governance by facilitating Root Capital Board meetings and coordinating with Root\’s entities in the field
o       Work with Investor Relations to close on loans and grants
o       Support the Global Programs department\’s local lending regulation compliance and loan documentation needs
o       Manage Root\’s relationships with pro bono external counsel
o       Support Root\’s compliance regime including review and negotiation of loan and grant agreements in coordination with Know Your Customer Program
o       Work with HR & Admin to renew Root Capital\’s insurance policies each year and to review all office leases
o       Support Board of Directors and Root Capital’s general governance and compliance regime.
o       Manage the contractor agreement process
o       Support field offices with obtaining Powers of Attorney
o       Support Investor Relations with funder compliance and charitable solicitation registrations

Information Technology

o       Oversee organizational technology strategy
o       Ensure effective integration of systems
o       Guide IT team in effective development and administration of business systems and productivity platforms

Human Resources and Administration

o       Ensure alignment and integration of human capital strategy with organizational business plan and objectives
o       Design and implement talent and organization effectiveness best practices for Root Capital
o       Guide human capital and administration teams

Scaling Impact Plan
o       Serve as advisor to team that will develop and maintain a long range strategic plan for Root Capital
o       Provide inputs on how best to structure the management and administrative processes that will take the organization into the next phase of growth and impact.
o       Build specific systems and processes as needed to enable scaled, efficient and effective growth of the organization.

Other activities as specified by the CEO

Qualifications and Experience

o       Master\’s degree in Finance, Business Management, or Accounting.
o       CPA (Certified Public Accountant).
o       10 to 20 years of managerial experience, with 5 to 10 years as a CFO.
o       Thorough knowledge of budgeting and auditing.
o       Experience with implementing financial software and optimizing business processes.
o       Experience in or knowledge of nonprofit accounting, including fund and grant accounting, compliance, and reporting.
o       Knowledge of working with government funding.
o       Experience with the context of agricultural lending.
o       Experience with consolidating multiple sets of books in multiple currencies.
o       Experience with spinning off entities or managing a business with management agreements among its entities.
o       Strong analytical skills and experience interpreting a strategic vision into an operational model.
o       Human resource management experience, with knowledge of employee benefits, wage and hour, policy and employment laws, ideally in an international context.
o       Excellent record of leading teams, managing people, development, delegation, and coaching.
o       Deep empathy for the cultures and experiences of Root Capital’s diverse staff and the ability to communicate effectively and with clarity to a variety of audiences both in writing and orally.
o       Shares Root Capital’s commitment to worldwide poverty alleviation and environmental conservation.

This position works primarily in Root Capital’s Cambridge, MA headquarters. Working virtually across multiple time zones and periodic travel are required.

Additional Information

More information about Root Capital is available at

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Applications including a resume and cover letter describing your interest, qualifications, language abilities, salary requirements, and how you learned of the position should be sent to: Please type “CFO” followed by your name (Last, First) as the subject line of your email (e.g. “CFO – Smith, John”). Finalist candidates will be required to provide at least three work-related references.

Root Capital is an equal opportunity employer.