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Foundation leaders commit to U.S. impact investing push

Policies and other measures to advance impact investing in the U.S. will get a push from a new alliance of foundation presidents and investors, led by the Ford Foundation’s Darren Walker.

The U.S. Impact Investing Alliance, officially launched today, traces its roots to the 2013 G8 meeting in the U.K., which established “national advisory boards” to tackle country level obstacles to impact investing.

Even before the launch, the U.S. alliance co-hosted this month’s GSG Impact Summit in Chicago, a gathering of such bodies from around the world. “We will build on the momentum of recent policy advances — modernizing fiduciary duty, advancing outcomes-based funding, and empowering shareholder engagement — and we will seek out new opportunities to unlock impact capital,” Walker and the alliance’s executive director, Fran Seegull, wrote on LinkedIn.

The 11-member board is heavily weighted toward philanthropic foundations, including the presidents of the MacArthur, Kresge, Heron and Sorenson Impact foundations and the Omidyar Network.

The board also includes Ian Simmons, a principal of the Blue Haven Initiative, a family office, and Nancy Pfund, managing partner of venture capital firm DBL Partners.

“Investors are increasingly interested in aligning their investments with their values, so it is important the field continues to evolve to meet that demand,” said new board member, Andy Sieg, head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.

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