CAREER CASE STUDIES
by Kelsey Clair - Vice President, NY Green Bank
24 NOV 2021
Can you share about your career so far and the route you took into the alternatives industry?
My career started in commercial banking at JPMorgan Chase. During this time, I passed the CAIA exams and joined the NY Chapter; it was then that I knew I wanted to focus on alternatives. The industry is dynamic and encourages innovation. I've met so many impressive people through the CAIA network who are pioneering new ways of thinking and investing. With this inspiration, I moved to MUFG to join the Commodity Finance team where I used my knowledge of real assets and derivatives to structure esoteric loan products for global energy trading firms.
Why did you decide to move into the ESG space and what about working in ESG motivates you?
I recently joined NY Green Bank as a transaction lead for investments and portfolio management. NY Green Bank is a state-sponsored investment fund that provides capital to support clean energy at the commercialization stage, to accelerate the deployment of clean energy in New York State. Our focus is to transform the financial market to support the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and to benefit disadvantaged communities in New York State.
My prior experience in providing capital to the energy market ultimately drove me toward the ESG space. It became very clear to me that we needed to deploy immediate and significant capital towards fighting climate change, and I wanted to start working toward that objective. It is incredibly motivating to know that the projects I now invest in, on behalf of NY Green Bank, are directly responsible for creating a positive impact in support of the state's climate and clean energy goals.
What does your day look like as a Vice President at NY Green Bank?
My day is spent on the usual tasks for running an investment process – due diligence questions, financial models, credit proposals, and loan documentation. However, I now work for an organization that first asks, “how will this investment create a positive impact”, and then second, analyzes the risk/return profile – that is really powerful.
What advice can you give to early-career professionals navigating their first roles in finance?
First, put your head down and develop a skill. Take pride in your work and excel at providing value to your senior managers. Second, pick your head up and start talking to people. Once you have experience, networking becomes very natural – seek to learn from every person you meet. Last, look within. Figure out what it is you really want to do with your life and go do it. Use your skills and your network to make it happen. And once you make it, don't forget to look back and help someone else.
NY Green Bank is a State-sponsored, specialized financial entity working with the private sector to increase investments into New York's clean energy markets, creating a more efficient, reliable and sustainable energy system.
To learn more about ESG, explore our lesson titled What Is ESG?
Go back to Preqin Academy.