ImpactAlpha Open | March 19, 2024

ImpactAlpha Open: Munis for The Great Deployment + spoofing Vanguard on climate

Isaac Silk

Get a weekly pulse on news and trends in impact investing with our free newsletter.

*I agree to receive marketing emails from ImpactAlpha, its affiliates, and accept our terms of use and privacy policy.
By signing up you agree to receive marketing emails from ImpactAlpha Inc. and accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
ImpactAlpha Editor

Isaac Silk

Greetings, Agents of Impact! 

Isaac Silk here, welcoming you to the latest ImpactAlpha Open, our free weekly newsletter on the news, deals and people powering impact investing and sustainable finance (Dennis Price and his family are on spring break this week). As I was sifting through the (new!) site to put this newsletter together, I was surprised by the breadth of our team’s coverage across geographies, asset classes and impact sectors – in a single week. If you’re ready to get access to all of it, it’s time to grab a monthly, annual or enterprise subscription. Subscribe today (and save 25%).

☎️ Happening Tomorrow:The Call, “The Great Deployment runs through the muni bond market.” Join Damon Burns of Finance New Orleans, Doug Coward of Florida-based Solar and Energy Loan Fund, Cleveland-based Growth Opps’ Michael Jeans, Calvert Impact Capital’s Beth Bafford and other Agents of Impact, tomorrow, Wednesday, March 20 at 10am PT / 1pm ET / 5pm London. Subscribe to RSVP.

In this week’s Open:

  • Muni’s and the green transition
  • Climate activists spoof Vanguard
  • The trials of Muhammed Yunus
  • Racial equity in tech

Ok, let’s get after it. – Isaac

Must-reads on ImpactAlpha

  • Munis and the green transition. Court Street’s Matt Posner calls out the need to leverage the municipal bond market to take the local green buildout to scale. Learn howAnd, don’t forget to subscribe and join tomorrow’s Call!
  • Merry climate pranksters. Stressed out by profiting from fossil fuels but unwilling to give up the returns? David Bank introduces the climate activists who launched a comprehensive, and entirely fake, emotional support toolkit for anxious investors. Breathe in, breathe out.
  • ImpactAssets 50 – or is it 155? The highly anticipated ImpactAssets 50 list of the top impact funds open to US investors is out – and it features 155 impact fundsrepresenting $97 billion in assets under management. A focus on climate and impact-linked compensation are among the trends, reports Amy Cortese. Who’s who.
  • Blood feud in Bangladesh. The decade-long vendetta against microfinance trailblazer and Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus by the prime minister of Bangladesh is headed toward a showdown that could send the Nobel Peace Prize winner to jail, writes Peter S. GreenGet the story.
  • Catalytic risk mitigation. Impact investors can amplify the Inflation Reduction Act’s green bank funds with loan guarantees and catalytic capital, explain Kresge Foundation’s Aaron Seybert and Jim Baek of the Community Investment Guarantee Pool. Read more.
  • Responsible exits. Courageous Capital Advisors’ Laurie Spengler looks at the role of private equity in fostering resilient, inclusive and sustainable economies. Can private equity move beyond extraction to actually enhance value? Hear her out.

Agents of Impact

🏃🏾‍♀️ People on the move

  • Eliza Erikson, formerly with Omidyar Network and Calvert Impact Capital, joined Brown Advisory as partner and head of impact investing and advice.
  • Low Carbon Investment Management named Annabel Wiscarson, previously with IFM Investors, as CEO of its investment management arm.
  • RUNWAY’s Jessica Norwood joined Potlikker Capital’s investment committee.

The Week’s Call

⚡ Plugged In: Upskilling and reskilling Black talent for tech’s next wave (video)

Access to jobs in the tech industry has historically been less than equitable. ImpactAlpha contributing editor Sherrell Dorsey spoke with Google’s Rachelle Olden, who leads the company’s Tech Equity Collective about their efforts to help underrepresented groups gain access to tech training and jobs. “You don’t have to be a certain age. You don’t always have to have this specific skill set,” Olden told Dorsey. “We want to make sure that we are creating a variety of pathways into this space.”

Short Signals: What We’re Reading

💚 Going green. Federal clean energy and transportation incentives, grants and loans totaled $34 billion in the 2023 fiscal year. Households and businesses took advantage of $8.3 billion in tax credits for green energy, storage and heat pumps, and another $6.2 billion for electric vehicles. (Clean Investment Monitor)

🔻 Energy emissions. Global energy emissions increased 1.1% in 2023 to hit a record high, but growth slowed from 1.3% growth in 2022. If it were not for droughts across the globe that throttled hydropower, emissions would have fallen as clean energy additions outpaced fossil fuels. (IEA)

Impact investors ❤️ the creative economy. India’s Upaya Social Ventures, the Impact Fund for African Creators, Colombia’s Coolture Investments and US-based Upstart Co-Lab are among the “culture and creative impact funds” cited in Deloitte’s latest “Art and Finance” report. (Deloitte)

🏦 Hybrid structure. The African Development Bank has pioneered a hybrid capital structure that is interest-bearing but equity-like, to help multilateral development banks expand lending in their target markets. AfDB’s $750 million hybrid capital issue at the end of January was oversubscribed by $6 billion. (CGD)

🌆 Climate-resilient cities. With more than two-thirds of the global population projected to live in urban areas by 2050, companies from BMW Group’s MINI to IBM are supporting accelerators to find AI-powered climate solutions for resilient cities. (Urban-X)

Get in the Game

💼 Step up

SUBSCRIBER BENEFIT: Visit ImpactAlpha’s Career Hub for more impact investing jobs. Contact us for job postings.

🤝 Meet up

Don’t miss these upcoming ImpactAlpha partner events:

SUBSCRIBE (save 25%) for discounts on partner events.

  • Partner with us, including by sponsoring this newsletter. Get in touch.
  • Get ImpactAlpha for Teams. Save with substantial group discounts. Start here