Get to Know Calvert Impact Capital Staff: Adam Kellner
June 03, 2020
We're conducting a series of interviews with our staff, borrowers, and investors. We hope you'll follow along and get to know Calvert Impact Capital and our partners better. Our nineth interview in this series is with Calvert Impact Capital staff member, Adam Kellner.
Name: Adam Kellner Title: Analyst, Risk Tenure at Calvert Impact Capital: Two years Places you’ve called home: New York, NY; Los Angeles, CA; Jerusalem, Israel; College Park, MD; Philadelphia, PA; Washington, D.C. Languages: English; Hebrew
1. What do you do at Calvert Impact Capital?
As a member of the Risk Management team, I spend my days supporting investment operations by assessing the risk of our portfolio or our pipeline. I have developed or helped improve many of our predictive default models. Without the ability to predict or assess risk, the company wouldn't be able to accurately assess which investments were risky and which were not.
Through my work, I also support Investment Officers and Risk Officers in creating due diligence memos by responding to any questions about risk models or conducting additional analysis or research. This could be anything from assessing the volatility of individual lines of repayment or researching repatriation laws in different countries. In other instances, I join calls with borrowers to ask questions related to due diligence memos. Most recently, I have begun supporting Investment Officers in underwriting new deals.
While I don’t have any typical day, one day I might work on predictive default models and another day I could review due diligence memos for an individual loan. On other days, I spend time developing models of our impacts, exposures, or risks. I’ve also supported on research projects such as our gender report, “Just Good Investing.”
2. What excites you most about your work at Calvert Impact Capital?
There is always so much going on at Calvert Impact Capital. Finding new and interesting projects to work on is easy to do—If you raise your hand and say that you want to do something, you can do it. I'm always working on four or five different things at once, and my projects usually involve complex thinking and intentional collaboration with different teams. For example, when the Communications team was working on the gender report, I got to support the process because of my genuine interest and passion for the project. As this is my first full-time role after college, I’ve enjoyed working for a company that supports the professional development of its employees. At Calvert Impact Capital, I’ve been able to develop skills and pursue projects related to my personal interests.
3. How did you get to Calvert Impact Capital, and more specifically, into impact investing?
I studied Information Systems, Finance and Math in college. I got an internship in traditional finance, and it became clear to me afterwards that I wanted to find a job at a mission-driven organization that tackles some of the globe’s most pressing issues. I wanted to use my work and my skills to create a positive impact.
I began researching nonprofit finance and impact investment, and soon after I landed an internship at the Reinvestment Fund, a former Calvert Impact Capital borrower. I had a very positive experience interning at the Reinvestment Fund, where I helped develop cash flow models, research from the treasury side, and create predictive risk models. It was refreshing to work at an organization and in an industry where people were emotionally connected to the work and cared about social impact; that made the work environment much more positive for me. Through my work there, I came across Calvert Impact Capital when completing an analysis of the impact investment sector. The timing worked out for me as I was looking for a job post-graduation and Calvert Impact Capital was hiring for a Risk Analyst, a position that fit my interests and technical skills well. The rest is history!
4. If you could have a dinner party with any three guests, dead or alive, who would you invite?
I write a lot of story games for my friends, so I would probably invite some of my favorite storytellers, including Michael Dontae DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, the creators of “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” I’d also invite Hiyao Miyazaki, a Japanese animator and creator of one of my favorite movies, “Spirited Away.” They all craft really fantastic stories with amazing characters and plots, and It’d be fun to hear about how they create their stories and learn from the true experts.
5. Do you have any reading or listening recommendations? (Books, podcasts, articles, etc.)
The new Fiona Apple album, “Fetch the Bolt Cutters” is great; I’d highly recommend it. I also recently read “On a Sunbeam” by Tillie Walden, and it's one of the most beautiful stories I'd ever read. It's a graphic novel and a queer story in outer space of two separated lovers who find themselves in a post-apocalyptic world.
6. If you had to describe Calvert Impact Capital in one word or term, what would it be?