ImpactAlpha Open | November 28, 2023

ImpactAlpha Open: Private equity’s sustainability billions + Ceniarth’s inconvenient truths

Dennis Price

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ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

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In this week’s Open:

  • Ceniarth’s inconvenient truths
  • Return to values investing
  • Private equity’s sustainability billions
  • Indigenous VC alliance

Let’s jump in. – Dennis Price

Must-reads on ImpactAlpha

  • Ceniarth’s inconvenient truths. For years, the roster of family offices willing to provide lower-return catalytic capital for the sake of higher impact has featured Ceniarth… and not many others. Going into its next decade, write Ceniarth’s Diane Isenberg and Greg Neichin, the now-$650 million family office’s mission remains the deployment of investment capital to improve livelihoods in underserved and marginalized communities around the world. Ten lessons from the last 10 years.
  • Return to values investing. Prevailing thinking in asset management and academia is that asset managers need not choose between social responsibility and profits. But what if they do need to choose? “Start with, and actually invest in, what we believe in,”  ImpactAlpha contributing editor Imogen Rose-Smith writes in her latest Institutional Impact column. “Not because it is always profitable, but because it is where we want the world to go.” Dig in.
  • Private equity’s sustainability billions. Private equity firms have amassed hundreds of billions of dollars in capital from institutional investors looking to juice their returns. As they put that fundraising bonanza to work, they have an historic opportunity to create financial and societal value through sustainability, writes the Stern School’s Tensie Whelan and Julien Marchese and Florent Nanse of Arthur D. Little. Get the details.
  • Big bets on large-scale change. The daily drumbeat of negative news can cause people to become cynical, detached or apathetic. Raj Shah, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, calls that creeping feeling of helplessness the “aspiration trap.” The antidote, he argues in an excerpt from his new book: betting big. Shah’s insights.

Agents of Impact

🏃🏾‍♀️ People on the move

  • Ownership Works appoints Mason Cabanas, ex- of TripleLift, as an ownership culture and employee engagement manager.
  • Calvert Impact adds Lisa Winslow of Morgan Stanley Investment Management to its board of directors.
  • Natalie Fredman, ex- of Dalus Capital, joins Social Finance as an associate.

Short Signals: What We’re Reading

☀️ Energy demand grows faster than clean energy supply. A boom of cheap renewable power in Europe and natural gas in the US has helped replace coal-fired generation. But global demand for electricity, especially from rapidly-developing countries like China and India, is outstripping even the rapid growth of clean energy, leaving fossil fuels to fill the gap. (New York Times)

🤝 Indigenous VC alliance. The Native American Capital and Investment Alliance, a new group of Indigenous investors, will help equity investors, alternative lenders and investment advisors identify investment opportunities in Native-founded companies. (Venture Capital Journal)

⚾ Diamondbacks share postseason purse with support staff. The unexpected World Series champion Arizona Diamondbacks will distribute their championship winnings more broadly than usual, voting to share “postseason shares” with younger players and support staff, including food-room attendants. (The Athletic)

⚡ Falling price of batteries. Following unprecedented price increases in 2022, battery prices are falling again this year, driven by raw material and component price drops as production capacity increased across all parts of the battery value chain. (Bloomberg)

👩🏽‍🦱🧑🏼‍🦱👨🏾‍🦲👩🏻‍ Data-driven diversity, equity and inclusion. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s affirmative action ruling, few companies have in place best practices to attract a diverse pool of candidates, according to new data from Paradigm. The DEI strategy firm recommends tracking data throughout the hiring funnel among other recommendations. (Paradigm)

🍏 Food innovation in Appalachia. Local innovators are responding to food insecurity in the mountainous region. Among the solutions: Mountaineer Food Bank in West Virginia is using mobile pantries to transport food to remote regions and Greater Good Grocery is using an innovative sourcing strategy to provide affordable and healthy food options on the north side of Binghamton, New York. (Appalachian Regional Commission)

Get in the Game

💼 Step up

  • New York State Insurance Fund has an opening for an ESG and sustainable investing associate.
  • Reinvestment Fund is looking for a commercial loan portfolio manager in Atlanta.
  • Glenmede seeks a sustainable and impact investing intern for next summer.

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