The list of foundations beginning to move their endowment assets to align to their values and mission keeps expanding. As the universe of investable impact investing product grows and diversifies across asset classes, it is a natural progression for the asset allocation of foundations’ endowment to reflect their core values. This congruence of the investment allocation with the programmatic focus areas is an interesting trend to watch out for and the early findings will bolster the “no trade-off for impact” school of thought.
On the first day of Total Impact Boston, panelists focused on ESG and impact investing strategies across asset classes. The day started with a powerful statement from Ian Simmons quoting his co-founder and wife, Liesel Pritzker Simmons, “We don’t invest in products and companies that, when used properly, kill people.”
On Day 2, in addition to continuing to explore strategies and emerging opportunities across asset classes and sectors, Total Impact Boston featured key Boston stakeholders, local impact success stories, and innovative place-based opportunities. The importance of developing strong local ecosystems and fostering cross-sector collaboration was reiterated time and again over the day.
In May, members of the Good Capital Project team traveled to Jordan on the invitation of the Jordan country team of the United Nations on a fact-finding mission to study at close quarters the SDG investment landscape of Jordan. Over the trip, the leadership of the UN country team and GCP members, met a broad range of stakeholders at central government, local government, central bank, leading private corporations, international development agencies, accelerator programs, and entrepreneurs with the intent to understand the current initiatives underway to bolster the investment ecosystem, and the impediments to attract and retain private investments in Jordan.
As responsible investing gains momentum, the world’s most influential asset managers are expanding the application of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles as a strategic investment tool. Asset managers, such as Blackrock and Wells Fargo, are about to launch their first-ever ESG funds for retirement savings plans, in a validation of the remarkable growth in demand for responsible investment options.
Universities are ramping up impact investing curriculums.Education is a vital component to progress impact investing from a niche sector to the mainstream financial markets. Universities across the United States are developing curricula to train the next generation of financial professionals in the increasingly popular field of social impact investing.
GCP is now in the prototype stage. We are developing – in partnership and collaboration with other stakeholders – prototypes of initiatives to address some of the challenges that surfaced during the discovery phase.
From ImpactAlpha:We’ve been tracking locally-driven economic revival across the U.S.; Philly is testing approaches also taking hold elsewhere. Can local institutions and impact investors effectively direct capital to entrepreneurs and other agents of impact and change urban dynamics of economic dislocation, income inequality and racial division?…
We believe the financial services industry has the tools to solve some of the world's biggest challenges. Total Impact is an event is for all investment advisors and wealth managers who want to gain actionable, executable information on impact investment and investors who are interested in aligning their portfolios with their social values.
Brie is a Vice President of State Street Global Advisors and Head of Practice Management for the Global SPDR Business. She manages a team dedicated to the evolving needs of wealth management firms and financial advisors; developing business-specific insights to facilitate growth and efficiency beyond asset management.
Jennifer is a Director of Client Services for the United States and is based in Boston, Massachusetts. She is responsible for the execution of sales, marketing and business development initiatives for the region. Jennifer joins Arabesque with significant experience working with institutional clients in North America in sales and trading capacities while at Goldman Sachs & Co.
At Social Venture Circle, our strength as a merged entity is having a sense of local community with the advantages of a national network regarding peer-to-peer, investor, and national networking. In the non-profit and social impact space, we focus on supporting and empowering businesses with profit and purpose. Our goals relate to the way we support our membership companies and their networks of entrepreneurs, investors, service providers, thought leaders, and educators.
Our goal at Envestnet is to enable advisors to meet their clients’ specific needs and empower them to create deeper and more meaningful relationships. Having impact conversations with client’s shows that we care about their money and passions. In general, we see impact as a large opportunity.
Our approach is simple: avoid investing in the bad stuff and find opportunities for good stuff. The field is always evolving so it takes a commitment to being open to new opportunities. Impact investing is treated as novel, but most of it is traditional business strategies with more standards.
Greater adoption of impact is driven by a combination of value alignment, risk mitigation, and growth opportunities. Clients are motivated by holding corporations accountable, supporting specific issue areas, and having a positive impact. In our research, 8 out of 10 investors believe companies should seek responsible growth by making a profit while taking responsibility for impact.
Our work at BII sits at the intersection of activism and finance. Finance and capital have key roles in perpetuating economic disparities. We are using the tools of finance to redirect wealth into the hands of people from whom wealth has been extracted.
There is a critical and pioneering role for lawyers to play in advancing the field of social entrepreneurship and impact investing. As social entrepreneurship and impact investing become mainstream, as companies and investors look not only to financial performance, but also to social and environmental impact, there is a growing need for new legal systems, new legal structures, new legal thinking and innovation.
For any industry to grow, eventually lawyers need to be involved to create the legal framework and structures that allow an efficient market to flourish. There needs to be a rule of law, set of market norms, and legislated regulatory framework which is necessary for an industry to achieve scale. Otherwise, the sector will become the Wild West.
Toniic is proud to announce the Impact Terms Project (ITP), a free and publicly accessible resource that offers practical guidance to investors, entrepreneurs, and intermediaries seeking to generate social and environmental impact while achieving financial returns.
The SIILK (Sustainable & Impact Investing Learning and Knowledge) Network is coordinated by The Intentional Endowments Network to help connect stakeholders including students, faculty, administrators, trustees, and financial professionals on campuses across the country that are involved with student-managed funds pursuing sustainable investing strategies and sustainable investing curriculum development. Participants share best practices, resources, curricula, and undertake other activities to support sustainable investing funds and education.
On July 11th, ImpactPHL and The Philadelphia Citizen hosted Citizen Speakers - Business for Good. Over 150 innovators, entrepreneurs, and social impact stakeholders gathered to discuss how businesses can influence positive social change in local communities. The panel included entrepreneurial leaders from Landit, B Corporation, Sundial Brands, and La Colombe Coffee. After thought-provoking panel discussions and Q&A, the event ended with Emmet Dennis, Chief Community Officer of Sundial Brands, inspiring attendees to work towards an impactful legacy. “All great entrepreneurs go after problems that we are not going to solve in our lifetime. Our legacy is to build a framework for our children and their children to follow.”
From JUST CAPITAL: JUST Capital is thrilled to announce a critical new step in our mission to create a more just marketplace. On June 13, Goldman Sachs Asset Management launched the JUST U.S. Large Cap Equity ETF (Ticker: JUST) – the first ever exchange-traded fund designed to align with the American public’s priorities for just business behavior, based on JUST Capital’s research.
The US SIF Foundation released a guide for financial advisors on how to incorporate sustainable, responsible and impact investing into their practice. The Financial Advisor Roadmap was prepared with insights from financial advisors and other industry professionals.
Total Impact Philadelphia was proud to host the launch of the PhilaImpact Fund. Click here to learn about this innovative investment solution, jointly developed by The Philadelphia Foundation and Reinvestment Fund.
This article was originally posted by Alliance Bernstein, here by Dan Roarty
Tackling global poverty requires more than just charity. Investors can contribute to the effort—and find good sources of return potential—by focusing on companies that behave ethically or provide solutions to key poverty-related challenges.
Social enterprises represent a new kind of venture, dedicated to pursuing profits for owners and benefits for society. Social Enterprise Law provides tools that will allow them to raise the capital they need to flourish.