Guide to Place-Based Impact Investing
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Impact investing is a rapidly growing field. Lauryn Agnew, President of Seal Cove Financial and the Bay Area Impact Investing Initiative, points out that focusing on a place provides opportunities for collaboration, increased impact and market returns.
Lauryn and I met will participating in a panel discussion at Sustainatopia in San Francisco last month. She is a recognized thought leader in impact investing, focusing on helping institutional investors make place-based investments with an outcomes focus.
She has provided me with three insights to serve as a primer on place-based impact investing. I’ll share them here:
Creating a financial intermediary that can channel a small portion of the institutional assets in any region to local investments can provide capital to local needs and challenges, promoting a long term sustainable and a more prosperous future for the region. Collaboration, professional due diligence, high fiduciary standards and mission alignment would be the benefits we share in our co-investing efforts.
Impact investing with a place-based focus, using a small portion of the portfolio, can provide market rates of return and local impact, if designed properly, without increasing risk or sacrificing returns.
Each asset class has a unique risk and return profile, as well as a unique impact, and building impactful portfolios around asset classes will demonstrate how each part of a portfolio can contribute to long term sustainability and prosperity in the region.
On Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 2:00 Eastern, Lauryn will join me here for a live discussion about these insights, allowing to go deeper and gain a better understanding about how investors can deploy capital for impact and market returns with a place-based focus. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Seal Cove Financial:
Seal Cove Financial is a specialty firm helping investment firms develop marketing strategies and providing research and fiduciary education to trustees of non-profit and public investment funds. The Bay Area Impact Investing Initiative is a research and outreach effort to promote the ideas behind place-based investing for institutional investors, particularly in the Bay Area, with a focus on promoting sustainable prosperity in the Bay Area with investments aross all asset classes.
Lauryn Agnew, courtesy of Seal Cove Financial
With nearly three decades of experience in developing and implementing strategies in the institutional investment industry, Lauryn Agnew serves as a resource to non-profit organizations for investment consulting services and provides fiduciary education and trustee training for public fund and non-profit board and committee members.
Lauryn Agnew leads the Bay Area Impact Investing Initiative (www.baiii.org) in developing customized model portfolios across all asset classes for mission alignment under fiduciary standards of due diligence and performance expectations. She has authored the research paper which is posted on the website of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco: Impact Investing for Small Place-based Fiduciaries: The Research Study Initiated by the United Way of the Bay Area. Her next in-depth research paper into regional impact investing model portfolios will be released in mid 2016 by Oxford University. She is a frequent participant on institutional investment panels and educational seminars on impact investing and presented her research at the Social and Sustainable Finance and Impact Investing Conference in Oxford, England in April, 2015.
For over 15 years Lauryn served as a trustee and was twice Board Chair for the San Mateo County Employees’ Retirement Association (www.SamCERA.org), a defined benefit plan with $3.5 billion in assets. She has chaired both the investment committee at the United Way of the Bay Area and the investment committee of the Girl Scouts of Northern California for many years and continues to serve on the committees. She also serves on advisory committees for the Girl Scouts of the USA Pension Plan, Cornerstone Capital, and the Community Bank of the Bay’s Bay Area Green Fund.
Lauryn was born in Wyoming and grew up in Montana. She has a BA degree in Economics from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington and an MBA in Finance from the University of Oregon. She has been a long-time member of the CFA Society of San Francisco and the Financial Women’s Association of San Francisco.
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