Foss & Company is comprised of a group of experienced professionals, representing a great depth of knowledge within their respective fields. In this blog series, we highlight different Foss & Company team members to shine a light on the diverse and dedicated people that help make us who we are.
With 16 years of experience in financial services, Adam Rutherford specializes in directing investment capital towards impactful projects like renewable energy, carbon capture, and real estate, in collaboration with institutional investors and corporations. His previous roles include serving as a Financial Education Consultant and Investment Analyst at J.P. Morgan. At Empower, he demonstrated excellence in institutional sales for Fortune 500 companies and skillfully managed corporate and nonprofit relationships while overseeing Advisory Services solutions. Adam holds a B.A. in Business Administration with a focus on Finance and Real Estate from the University of Missouri – Columbia, and he obtained an MBA from Columbia University in New York.
Learn more about Adam in our latest Spotlight Series:
How did you get started in the tax credit investing industry?
I was in the financial services industry at the same firm (through a merger) for 16 years before I got a call about an opportunity with Foss & Company, I loved what I was doing and the people I worked with. Only something as interesting and impactful as what we do at Foss & Company could have prompted a change. I was hooked on the value proposition and the clear positive impact of the investments we take part in.
When did you join Foss & Company and what interested you about the company?
I joined in 2022 to support clients in the Northwest (AK, WA, OR, ID, MT, WY and the Northern half of CA). The dynamic at Foss & Company is very unique: we’ve been in the industry for 40 years, but it still feels like a nimble, exciting start-up. Foss & Company has been a part of some major solar and historical real estate projects over the last few decades that I thought were truly impressive and it still felt like they were just getting started.
What do you find important or interesting about tax credits?
Tax credits have played an important role in our economic ecosystem for decades. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) turbo-charged the credits for key technologies that will fundamentally change our domestic energy profile. If you are a tax credit investor/purchaser, you can easily see that capital go to work in a specific project. Creating a tangible and substantial impact on communities while promoting affordable clean energy is truly remarkable. Tax credits make sure that everyone is working together in pursuit of that common goal.
What is one thing people may not know about tax credits?
They come in so many forms! Timing, structure, the projects that generate them, size, etc. The good news is that we at Foss & Company navigate those nuances on behalf of our investors and are a valued partner for so many companies because of it. I would want everyone in a corporate tax department, Treasury/Finance department or ESG function to know that these are very accessible and achievable with the help of a partner like Foss & Company.
How has the tax credit investing industry evolved and where do you see it going?
The IRA was certainly a big deal and we’re already seeing the additional activity as a result. The next frontier seems to be around the concept of transferability. Traditional tax equity partnerships will likely remain the dominant format, but transferred credits will fill in some important gaps and may open the market to additional investors. It will be exciting and dynamic for several years while these projects take flight and investors take advantage of these newer provisions.
Any other insights you would like to add?
Every company should at least be aware of their ability to monetize these credits and related benefits. It might be a strategy to mitigate the impact of a particularly high tax year or, as we see with many of our clients, an ongoing part of their tax and ESG strategy year after year. Even if the direction of tax dollars to these projects is not currently feasible, it remains important to be well-versed in the process and prepared for when the opportunity eventually arises.