Family offices move beyond philanthropy

“Once the markets offer investors the opportunity to understand and choose their impact, nothing will ever be the same again,” says Matthew Weatherley-White, managing director of the Caprock Group, in a Q&A that takes up three of the 30 pages in Bloomberg’s new family office “investing for impact” brief (which focuses largely on philanthropy).

Weatherley-White on mispriced risk: “Most diversified, public-debt, investment-grade portfolios are going to be yielding somewhere south of 3 percent now. Micro-finance? You can get 4.25 percent with a similar or somewhat lower default rate.”

On the familiarity of impact investing portfolios: Impact aside, Caprock’s portfolios “look like a totally conventional portfolio — public fixed income, a layer of public equities, some private debt, early-stage venture capital, private equity, hedge funds, some real assets.”

On what mainstreaming impact investing means: “Overcoming this embedded, institutional resistance to this notion that capitalism and the capital markets can be harnessed to create non-financial value.”

On the challenges of scaling impact investing: “It’s one thing to have the first off-grid solar-power leasing company; what happens when there are 10 of them all competing for market share in Uganda?”

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