We think it's important for readers to learn about some of our employees - their background, what led them to Leyline Renewable Capital, and what they do in their current role. We interviewed Jay Modi, Leyline's chief financial officer, back in January.
This month, we sat down with our developer relationship manager, E�in Cahill, to talk about their role at Leyline. E�in joined us in April 2020 following two years in operations and maintenance with solar energy company Ecoplexus. We are excited to have them on board and to share their passions, progress, and experiences at our company.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Growing up, I was always interested in and passionate about environmental protection and stewardship. That mindset led me to North Carolina State University, where I graduated in 2018 from the College of Natural Resources with a degree in sustainable materials and technology. Post-grad, I worked with Ecoplexus, a company that develops, owns, and operates renewable energy assets. My position focused on operation and maintenance for existing, operational solar projects and was a great starting point to jump into my passion for renewable technology.
What led you to Leyline?
When I came across my position at Leyline, I saw it as an opportunity to transfer the lessons from working in the operating side of the industry to the development stage side of asset management. I was interested to learn more about the inner workings of renewable energy, the financing required to get projects off the ground. I didn't have a background in finance, so moving into the lending environment was a bit of a learning curve, but I quickly picked up on the inner workings of the industry. Bringing an operations mindset gave me insight into how what we do at Leyline can impact things down the line, because I'm familiar with problems that may occur with projects and investment. Though everyone at Leyline has a different skill set and brings something of their own to the table, we all speak the same language when it comes to what it takes to do these development projects. I've really enjoyed this transition.
You serve as our developer relationship manager. Can you tell us more about your role?
I'm the main relationship liaison between Leyline and our borrowers. My role primarily focuses on deals post-closing - so managing what happens after everything has been underwritten, signed, etc. Day-to-day, my biggest responsibility is to monitor and manage the risk as we move through development with the client. I work very closely with borrowers, holding regular calls with them to check in and track how things are going on their end. Once I receive feedback from our clients, I work across various internal teams to help analyze and understand how investment progress relates to the initial underwriting, if the risk is changing, and to make sure the loan is managed to expectations. I balance those delicate relationships, while also making sure that needs are being met, both on the borrower's side and on our end.
How have you integrated into the Leyline narrative?
I interviewed at Leyline in early 2020, right before everything shut down because of COVID. It was a bit nerve-wracking to start a brand new job in a virtual space and try to find my footing. But everything went really well. Leyline is a young company, and that worked to my advantage. I was able to hit the ground running, pick things up, and run with them as everything developed. And, as someone pretty early in my career, working at a startup has been great for my personal growth. I've really enjoyed that Leyline just has this unrelenting commitment to employees chasing down growth opportunities. Leyline supports us [employees] not only in our personal development, but in how we want to give back to the company and the overall renewable energy, environmental, and equity arenas.
What's something you're proud to have accomplished in your first couple of years at Leyline?
Leyline has made strong commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), both within the company and in our external work. I'm proud to have been a part of really initiating and growing those efforts. Following George Floyd's murder and the civil rights and justice movements of summer 2020, I and two others at Leyline developed the company's initial statement for DEI. This led to our larger Leyline Addressing Racism Working Group and other important DEI initiatives.
The finance, environment, and energy industries are all pretty homogenous, so it's important that we make an effort to open up this space to create access and include diverse voices. It's also essential that we relay those commitments to DEI across our portfolio. We want to tackle projects that really will make a difference across issues of social and environmental justice. It can be pretty intimidating to come to the table as a new person at a company and say, "Things need to change; we need to be doing something about this." But it was well received, and it's been exciting to watch our efforts play out. I'm very proud of the work that we're doing.