Yellow Brick Road to the Impact Economy

I’m from San Francisco, not Kansas, but when I stepped off the elevator at the Lexington Avenue headquarters of Bloomberg LP, it felt like Oz. Around the soaring 6th floor atrium, no walls or receptionists guard the newsrooms. Senior executives hold meetings on a Big Pink Couch.  Billionaires like Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google, visiting

Morgan Stanley Thinks Bigger…and Here Comes CalPERS

Morgan Stanley and the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) have taken important first steps to institutionalize a role for capital that, above and beyond maximizing financial returns, includes delivery of measurable, positive social and environmental benefits. The importance of the developments cannot be understated. Morgan Stanley is one of the largest wealth management companies

At 20, Investors’ Circle Gets Its Groove Back

Investor’s Circle, the 20-year-old network of mission-driven angel investors, has survived the long economic slowdown and a rough organizational patch and appears poised to have its best year since 2006. That’s good news for social ventures, for whom early-stage capital remains tough to obtain, despite the new conventional wisdom around impact investing that there’s somehow

‘Impact Alphas’ Stake Their Claim

Word on the Street: When pitching the big-money players, don’t lead with “impact.” Try “alpha” instead. That was the message from pension-fund advisors to leaders of the impact investing community who were gathered in San Francisco for the annual SOCAP conference. “If  you want a check, say, ‘We’re going to make you more money than

Exits: Method and GoodGuide Deals Offer Evidence

One of the enduring raps against impact investing is the scarcity of exits that return capital to investors. The acquisitions this summer of green cleaning brand Method Products Inc. and GoodGuide, a consumer products rating service, may help to allay such concerns. Both of the private-equity backed companies delivered solid cash-on-cash returns to their financial

E+Co Avoids Liquidation — Barely — and Emerges Persistent

Millions of dollars in bad loans have driven E+Co, one of the pioneers of impact investing, effectively out of business, offering a cautionary tale for those seeking to provide financing for large numbers of small and growing businesses as a strategy to accelerate sustainable development in low-income countries. After months of difficult negotiations with its

New Database of 50 Impact Fund Managers

You want to make some impact investments – who are you going to call? Impact Assets, a nonprofit financial services firm, has released the ImpactAssets 50, a compendium of fund managers with a demonstrated commitment to delivering social and environmental impacts along with financial returns. Fund managers must meet multiple criteria, have at least $5