OPIC, Global Partnerships Bring Depth Of Experience To Impact Investing
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
Infrastructure to support global impact investing is maturing, improving the viability of the model.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Federal Government’s development finance institution, and Global Partnerships, a nonprofit investing in Latin America for over twenty years, are two examples of mature players in the impact investing space.
Elizabeth L. Littlefield, CEO and President of OPIC explains that, “Private capital is essential in development, and business can serve as a force for good in having a positive impact.” She adds, “OPIC has worked to create tools to address market gaps and support impact investors. These include established partnerships with private lenders, risk-mitigation for private investors to enter emerging sectors and regions, and innovative tagging to categorize our investments for impact.”
Rick Beckett, CEO and President of Global Partnerships, said, “Over the past 20 years, GP has achieved a double bottom line of social and financial return, making over $130 million impact investments in over 70 partners, touching 2.6 million lives.” Global Partnerships leverages charitable dollars to fuel its investing, explains Beckett. “Philanthropy is key to our success. It funds the research on initiatives and catalyzes our learning and progress.”
OPIC has partnered with Global Partnerships to address “large-scale global challenges,” according to Beckett. “Our partners deliver sustainable solutions to help their “clients” earn a stable income, save money and time, increase productivity, and have access to affordable health care.”
On October 22, 2014 at 5:30 PM Eastern, Littlefield and Beckett will join me here for a live discussion about impact investing. Tune in then to watch the interview live.
[At the time of the interview, I will insert a video player here. Bookmark this page and come back then to watch the interview live. Replays will be available here thereafter.]
More about OPIC:
OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds.
Elizabeth L. Littlefield was appointed by President Obama as the President and CEO of OPIC, an Under Secretary level position. OPIC, as the US Government’s Development Finance Institution, manages an $18 bn portfolio of financing and insurance to support private investment in sustainable economic development, especially in the world’s poorest countries. Under Littlefield’s leadership, OPIC’s annual commitments to renewable resources projects grew ten-fold in three years to $1.5 bn, while generating increasing income for the U.S. federal budget.
From 2000 until 2010 Ms. Littlefield was CEO of CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a policy and research center housed at the World Bank dedicated to advancing poor people’s access to financial services. Prior to joining CGAP in 1999, Ms. Littlefield was JP Morgan’s Managing Director in charge of capital markets and financing in emerging Europe, Middle East and Africa, among other positions.
More about Global Partnerships:
Founded in 1994, Global Partnerships (GP) is a 501©3 nonprofit impact investor whose mission is to expand opportunity for people living in poverty. We pioneer and invest in sustainable solutions that help impoverished people earn a living and improve their lives.
Global Partnerships currently invests in a portfolio of 46 microfinance institutions (MFIs), social businesses and cooperatives in 11 countries in Latin America and Caribbean. We are staffed by a team of 28 employees in offices in Seattle, Washington and Managua, Nicaragua. Our investments are focused around four impact areas: health services, rural livelihoods, green technology and microentrepreneurship. Across these impact areas, women currently comprise a majority (77%) of the people our partners serve. Through our partners, we continue our commitment to empowering women to improve their lives and the lives of their families.
Since our inception, GP has invested $132.7 million in 73 partner organizations who now bring sustainable solutions that help their clients save time & money, increase productivity, access affordable healthcare, and earn a stable income.
Rick Beckett with client, Adele
Rick Beckett is the president and CEO of Global Partnerships and has led the organization’s strategic expansion as a social investor since 2006. Prior to joining Global Partnerships, Rick was managing director of a $112 million private equity fund investing in middle-market companies and early stage ventures. Rick spent 10 years at McKinsey & Company where he served financial institution and healthcare clients on strategy and performance. He specialized in helping not-for-profit organizations achieve superior results in competitive markets. While at McKinsey, Rick co-authored the bestselling book Real Change Leaders: How You Can Create Growth And Performance At Your Company. He holds a B.A. with distinction in economics from Stanford University, and an M.B.A. as an Arjay Miller Scholar from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Rick has served on the boards of directors of numerous privately held portfolio companies and not-for-profit organizations, including Direct Relief International and The Initiative for Global Development.
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