ImpactAlpha Open | April 9, 2024

ImpactAlpha Open: Billion-dollar blended deals + ‘systems level’ stewardship

Dennis Price

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ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

Greetings, Agents of Impact! This week, catch ImpactAlpha’s Roody Senatus in DC at the Aspen Institute’s Employee Ownership Ideas Forum, Amy Cortese in New York at TIIP’s System-level Investing Symposium and David Bank at Elemental Interactive in SF. I’ll be in San Juan, Puerto Rico, at NEXA: Jobs Summit. Say hi!

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In this week’s Open:

  • Lessons from billion-dollar blended finance deals
  • First-time fund managers unlocking ownership 
  • ‘Systems level’ stewardship
  • World record nuclear fusion

Ok, let’s jump in. – Dennis Price

Must-reads on ImpactAlpha

  • Unlocking ownership. A group of mission-aligned investors is pooling philanthropic capital to help first-time managers launch funds to finance employee-ownership conversions and increase home ownership rates, reports Roodgally Senatus. Read more.
    • Ownership themes run through the more than 400 sessions proposed through SOCAP Open, reports David BankVote up your favorites!
  • ‘Systems level’ stewardshipIn proxy proposals at Meta and GoogleWalmart and TargetShell and others, investors are embracing a “systems first” approach that looks beyond individual company risks to focus on how company actions affect the broader health of the economy, and therefore their own diversified portfolios, reports Bill GridleyGet the details.
  • ‘Green bank’ launches. The Environmental Protection Agency awarded $20 billion in IRA funds to coalitions of green banks and community lenders to extend the green energy rollout to a wide swath of underserved US markets. Meet the winners.
  • What comes next. Agents of Impact are focusing on bringing in private capital “to magnify the impact of the once-in-a-generation federal funds,” Amy Cortese reports. Take a closer look.
  • Puerto Rico’s moment. At NEXA: Jobs Summit in San Juan this week, Platform for Social Impact is showcasing impact investment opportunities in Puerto Rico after years of natural disasters. “This is our moment,” writes PSI’s Ramphis Castro, pointing to record low unemployment and strong new business growth. Curtains up
  • Blending billions. Dalberg’s Kusi Hornberger and Marcos Paya analyze the 39 blended transactions of over $1 billion in Convergence’s deal database to learn how catalytic funding is being used to crowd in commercial capital. Dig deep.

Agents of Impact

🏃🏾‍♀️ People on the move

  • The IFC promoted Maiko Miyake to country advisory and economics manager for North, West and Central Africa.
  • LISC promoted Nadia Villagrán to vice president to Lead Rural LISC. 
  • The Tennessee Center for Employee Ownership named Ashley Allen, former community impact director for the Nashville Kats, as program director.

The Week’s Podcast

🎧 Host Brian Walsh dives into ImpactAlpha’s top stories, with commentary from editor David BankUp this week: Unpacking the EPA’s announcement of $20 billion from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to mobilize commercial investment in community infrastructure and climate solutions. Learning lessons from dozens of blended finance transactions. And how shareholder votes can spur companies to address economy-wide risks.

  • Listen to the new episode of This Week in Impact. Get the podcast in your feed by subscribing on Apple or SpotifyWhat are you waiting for? Search for “ImpactAlpha” wherever you listen and hit “subscribe.” While you’re at it, leave us a review.

Short Signals: What We’re Reading

 Fixed income transition finance. Bloomberg has launched a climate-tilted index of government bonds. The index weights countries based upon their “relative preparedness in the transition to a low-carbon world,” including progress on climate goals and investment in clean energy. (Bloomberg)

☢️ Fusion first. In the latest advance for nuclear fusion, South Korean scientists were able to sustain plasma temperatures of 100 million degrees Celsius – that’s seven times hotter than the core of the sun – for 48 seconds. That bests by 18 seconds the previous world record set in 2021. (CNN)

🌈 Proxy for inclusion. The comptroller of the state of New York, who runs the state’s $260 billion pension fund, is leading a proxy push to protect LGBTQ+, Gen Z and Millennial workers. The New York State Common Retirement Fund is asking International Paper and homebuilder Lennar Corp. to disclose their stances on employee support groups, nondiscrimination policies, and equitable employee benefits. (Fortune)

Community power. A ranking of state policies related to energy democracy and utility accountability suggests states have work to do. Just one, Illinois, got a B. Nine states received C’s; the vast majority of southern and western states received failing grades. (ILSR)

💰’Bizarrely high payouts.’ Executives at Climate Fund Managers, a Dutch fund that invests in renewable energy projects in emerging markets, were paid 60% more on average than their peers at other blended-finance funds, according to a journalistic investigation. The fund is backstopped by the Netherlands, US, Canada, and the EU. (Follow The Money)

Get in the Game

💼 Step up

  • The Aspen Institute is seeking a Senior Impact Associate in Washington, DC.
  • Global Green Growth Institute is hiring a Senior Associate, Adaptation & Climate Change in Mexico City.
  • The Open Society Foundations is hiring a remote Program Manager – Intersection of Finance, Climate and Equity.

Visit ImpactAlpha’s Career Hub for more impact investing jobs. Contact us for job posting rates.

🤝 Meet up

Don’t miss these ImpactAlpha partner events:

  • April 15-17MO Summit (Austin)
  • April 22 – 26: AVCA Conference & VC Summit (Johannesburg)
  • May 1-2: Total Impact Summit (Philadelphia)

Subscribe to access substantial discounts on partner events.

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