As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, Impact Investing: Southeast Asia Gets a Helping Hand, today I’m profiling a few top impact investment fund managers ranging from $250MM to $10MM in assets under management
Bridges Ventures LP: >$250MM AUM
Headquarters: London, UK
Managing Partners:Sir Ronald Cohen, Michele Giddens, & Philip Newborough
How does Bridges think about impact? According to the website, its focus on sustainability and societal impact is core to its success. The methodology is ‘impact-driven,’ because impact is a lens to select and engage with every one of its investors. The starting point is specialist focus on four impact themes, (see image to the left).
What is the firm currently investing in? Vegetarian Express, the leading specialist plant-based food ingredient supplier to the UK food service sector, founded in 1987 by David Jonas. Plant-based food ingredients are an important part of the solution to some of the serious environmental challenges posed by high-meat diets. Livestock now account for more than 14% of all global greenhouse has emissions. Plan-based proteins are considerably less resource-intensive and are increasingly popular with health-conscious consumers. Plant-based diets are scientifically linked to reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Bridges was attracted to this high-growth sector as part of its focus on sustainable living.
Calvert Investments: >$250MM AUM
Headquarters: Bethesda, MD
President & CEO: John Streur
How does Calvert think about impact? According to their website, it seeks to invest in companies that provide positive leadership in the areas of its business operations and overall activities that are material to improving societal outcomes, and follows “The Calvert Principles for Responsible Investment” guide. Calvert focuses on companies with superior corporate responsibility and sustainability. Its investment guidelines are: Advance environmental sustainability and resource efficiency, contribute to equitable societies and respect human rights, & accountable governance and build transparency.
Who is the firm currently investing in? Women. In March 2016, Calvert launched its International expedition to Antarctica, where it sponsored women from Afghanistan and Iran. Participants shared their stories and experiences through videos, photographs, and writings.
The Reinvestment Fund: >$250MM
Headquarters: Philadelphia, PA
President & CEO: Donald Hinkle-Brown
How does the Fund think about impact? A nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution, TRF achieves its mission through investing in affordable housing, health and wellness, education, and small and medium business development. Its CEO is widely recognized as an expert in mission investing and capacity building. He spearheaded ReFresh, a network of community lenders committed to improving access to healthy food for all Americans, the first of its kind in the nation.
What is the firm currently investing in? Affordable housing. The firms new study focuses on how to produce affordable housing in West Philadelphia based on the findings of the “scattered-site model.”
Vox Capital: $26-50MM
Headquarters: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Co-founder & Executive Director: Daniel Izzo
How does vox think about impact? As Brazil’s pioneering impact investing firm it fosters a world where businesses drive positive social transformation. Vox invests in innovate technologies and ecosystems which covers health, education, and financial services.
How is the firm currently investing? Daniel Izzo supports the impact investing ecosystem in Brazil through ANDE (Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs), a global network of organizations that propel entrepreneurship in emerging markets, which he launched in 2009. Comprised of more than 240 members in more than 150 countries, based in Washington, D.C., ANDE develops unique initiatives to address systemic challenges and opportunities that can only be approached through a collaborative effort. The program includes advocacy and education, funding opportunities, networking, metrics, research, and training, among others.
Shared Interest: $10-25MM
Headquarters: Newcastle, England
Founding Executive Director: Donna Katzin
How does Shared Interest think about impact? As the world’s only 100% fair trade lender, the organization guarantees Southern African bank loans to low-income communities and their own financial institutions to create businesses, jobs, affordable homes and services.Since 1994 Shared Interest has been a catalyst for change. The investment focus is small and growing businesses, small-holder farms and co-ops, microfinance corporations, and low-cost housing and infrastructure providers.
What is the firm currently investing in? Since 2012, Shared Interest has invested almost $2.5 million for Comic Relief in African businesses and a new office in West Africa.