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Families wrangle with impact investing

“We are on the verge of a Golden Age in impact investing,” said Josh Mailman, founder of Serious Change. Mailman, a longtime impact investor, kicked off the Impact Summit hosted by Family Wealth Report last week in New York.

Enthusiasm from younger members in some intergenerational family offices is meeting resistance from older decision-makers who are skeptical about financial results.

Mailman highlighted the positives: growing assets, greater availability of investment products and a surge of investor interest. Liz Luckett from the Social Entrepreneurs’ Fund highlighted Pigeonly, part of the fund’s portfolio, which seeks to reduce the destructive impact of incarceration by lowering the cost of communication to and from correctional facilities.

Comparable data on both financial and impact performance is needed. Without impact benchmarks, “we are giving up on the meaning of money in the market,” Benjamin Bingham of 3Sisters Sustainable Management told summit attendees.

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