Chief Lending Officer

Root Capital
Cambridge, MA
Job Type
Deadline for Applications
Where to Apply

Position Overview
Root Capital seeks an experienced, driven and innovative Chief Lending Officer (CLO) to lead and implement Root Capital’s lending strategy. Location is flexible, though limited to Cambridge or one of our four regional hubs: Costa Rica, Kenya, Peru or Senegal. A core member of Root Capital’s leadership team, the CLO oversees the people, partnerships, networks and systems needed to assess, set, and achieve Root Capital’s lending targets. All regional heads of lending will report up to this position. This individual is responsible for planning and coordinating lending activities and ensuring compliance with Root Capital’s lending policies and procedures to build and maintain a healthy portfolio. S/he will evaluate Root Capital’s loan portfolio in coordination with the COO and the Chief Credit Officer (CCO) to determine the right composition of industries, loan products, and geographic dispersion that fits within Root Capital’s risk appetite, as established by the Board of Directors. S/he will also evaluate and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Root Capital’s lending operation, and advocate for the resources needed to reach lending targets. A key aspect of this role will be building and motivating the lending team to ensure first-class customer service, getting to know the needs of Root Capital’s clients, engaging with peer organizations in networks such as the Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs and the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance, as well as engaging with the Board of Directors (Board) on lending strategy.

Set lending strategy and specific lending targets by region and product. (30%)

In coordination with the VP of Strategy and VP of Capital Markets, develop a lending strategy and oversee its implementation to enable growth and innovation in the loan portfolio.
Ensure that lending targets align with organizational mission and strategic plan.
Work with regional heads of lending to determine appropriate lending and portfolio performance management targets and manage to those targets.
Work with regional heads of lending to evaluate new markets and products. Ensure that new markets / industries pursued align with the organization’s strategic plan and risk appetite.
Adjust and adapt lending strategy and targets in accordance with complex geopolitical contexts and dynamic investing landscapes.
Manage a lending team of ~20 professionals across four regional hubs and 15 countries. (30%)

Work with regional heads of lending to determine appropriate strategies, staffing, and performance evaluation needs to reach lending goals.
Ensure that team goals are clear, objectives are achievable, and that staff have resources and access to professional development opportunities necessary to do their jobs.
Oversee portfolio management. (15%)

Oversee overall client relationship management in coordination with other service areas (Treasury, Credit Administration and Advisory) and ensure quality customer service.
Ensure solid borrower performance monitoring and portfolio health in compliance with lending policy.
Actively participate in problem loan management in coordination with Risk Management.
Maintain credit underwriting standards and serve as one of the credit approvers globally. (10%)

Ensure high quality underwriting in compliance with credit policies and standards.
Review and approve credit memos as required.
Ensure health and direction of Root Capital as member of senior leadership team (15%)

Maintain oversight of departmental budget and contribute to organization’s fiscal health, strategy, culture, and morale.
Act as conduit of insights from clients and lending partners to Board and senior leadership to inform organizational direction and priorities.
Participate in strategy sessions led by the COO and be accountable for ensuring that lending plans align with organizational goals and that organizational policies and practices support lending goals.
Engage Board on appropriate matters through Board and Committee meetings. Present lending results at Board meetings and calls as required.
Skills and Experience
Bachelor\’s degree in Finance or related field preferred. Master\’s or advanced degree in related field a plus.
A minimum of ten (10) years progressively responsible experience in commercial lending preferred.
Formal credit training a plus.
Strong attention to detail.
Spanish language skills required; French language skills a plus.
Leadership skills, with the ability to manage and inspire a global, diverse workforce.
Excellent speaking and writing skills, with an ability to communicate complex concepts in compelling to a diverse set of audiences. Deep experience communicating technically sophisticated financial information to other experts in the field.
Experience in sustainable business, international development, financial services to the poor, venture philanthropy or related areas or other demonstration of commitment to Root Capital\’s work.
Deep commitment to innovative solutions concerning the \”missing middle,\” particularly for small and growing rural/agricultural businesses in developing countries.
Able to travel domestically and internationally as needed (currently estimated at about 30% of time).
Must be authorized to work in the USA or in Root Capital’s regional hub country in which the applicant proposes working (Costa Rica, Kenya, Peru or Senegal).

Additional Information

Chief Lending Officer