ImpactAlpha Open | May 28, 2024

ImpactAlpha Open: Trillion-dollar impact opportunities + employee ownership in private equity

Dennis Price

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ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

Greetings, Agents of Impact! Welcome to the latest ImpactAlpha Open. The Memorial Day holiday in the US is behind us, but there’s still time to save 25% on an ImpactAlpha subscription. Join thousands of other Agents of Impact and grab the summer savings

In this week’s Open:

  • Tapping trillion-dollar opportunities in the global mass market
  • Blackstone embraces worker ownership
  • Boosting workers’ pay – and portfolio performance
  • MacArthur Foundation’s John Palfrey is long on the inclusive economy

Ok, let’s get to it. – Dennis Price

Must-reads on ImpactAlpha

  • An EPIC Agents of Impact call. More robust market, business and customer information is busting myths about investing in what we’re now calling ‘EPIC’ communities. “EPIC is the economic power of industrious communities,” Elevar’s Amie Patel said on the latest Agents of Impact Call. “And they are the largest segment across the globe.” Watch the replay.
    • Background reading. As a guide to the Call, ImpactAlpha’s Jessica Pothering laid out the trillion dollar investment opportunity in high-quality, low-cost goods and services that enhance the lives and livelihoods of such entrepreneurial households. 
  • Blackstone embraces employee ownership. The asset manager will implement broad employee ownership across its future buyouts, signaling a shift in private equity – and in the power of workers, ImpactAlpha’s Roody Senatus reported this week. Get the details.
  • Universal ownership, in practice. Paying retail workers a living wage to secure themselves and their families boosts the whole economy, and by extension, shareholders’ portfolios, even if it costs Walmart, Kroger and Target a few dollars per hour, argues The Shareholder Commons’ Sara Murphy in a guest post. Her case.
  • MacArthur Foundation’s John Palfrey is long on the inclusive economy. The agenda to create a more inclusive form of capitalism “is going to be successful and it’s going to bring a lot of people along,” MacArthur Foundation’s John Palfrey told me in a revealing Q&A. Dig in.
  • Seizing impact investing’s moment. In a guest post, Common Future’s Sandhya Nakhasi said the constellation of ready solutions and appetite for change had widened the “Overton window” for impact solutions. “The world is ready for us now,” writes Nakhasi. Read more.
  • New impact productsImpactAlpha’s David Bank surfaced a trio of new impact investing products that aim to shift portfolio allocations in bonds, private credit and cash. Check them out.

Agents of Impact

🏃 On the move

  • Elizabeth McGeveran was promoted to a newly created vice president of investments role at McKnight Foundation.
  • Kieron Boyle will step down as the Impact Investing Institute’s chief executive in October later this year to become 100x Impact Accelerator’s CEO and director. The Institute’s current executive directors Bella Landymore and Sarah Teacher will replace Boyle as co-CEOs.
  • The Impact Seat Foundation appointed Velveteen Ventures’ Betsy ForeJonah Seiger of Broadscale Group, and Women in Cloud’s Chaitra Vedullapalli to its board of directors.

The Week’s Podcast

🎧 This Week in Impact

Host Brian Walsh takes up ImpactAlpha’s top stories with editor David BankUp this week: a new crop of impact products aim to shift portfolio allocations in bonds, private credit and cash; the billions of “entrepreneurial households in industrious communities” and trillions in investment opportunities; and worker empowerment and ownership as a value-creation strategy.

Short Signals: What We’re Reading

💰 Impact at family offices. As concern over climate change grows, the 320 single family offices with $600 billion of wealth surveyed by UBS say they are treating sustainability and impact as matters of risk and opportunity for their investments, as well as their operating businesses. (UBS)

⚡🚗 Ethiopia is leapfrogging ICE vehicles. The nation of 126 million people spends over $5 billion a year to import gasoline and diesel to fuel some 1.2 million vehicles despite local, cheaper renewable electricity. Government incentives for EVs and a possible ban on ICE vehicle imports could put half a million EVs on the road by 2030. (CleanTechnica)

🧐 Obvious in hindsight. The 10-year-old venture fund co-founded by Ev Williams is adding AI Ethics and Generative Science to its “world positive” investment theses of planetary health, human health, and economic health. Among the VC’s lessons: A few breakout companies can start the flywheel spinning for investments in new areas like plant-based meat and lab-grown diamonds. (Obvious Ventures)

💲 Public revenue, not just private capital. Global development financiers have been too focused on leveraging philanthropy and public funding to mobilize trillions in private capital for development finance, argues economics professor Jayati GhoshMore effective: boosting the revenues of low-income countries with sovereign-debt reductions and effective taxation. (Project Syndicate)

🌱 State of climate bonds. Last year’s issuance of $870 billion in climate-aligned green, social, and sustainability bonds represented a 3% increase from 2022. Europe was the largest source of climate debt instruments, with $405 billion, while issuance in Latin America and the Caribbean jumped nearly 50% to $52 billion, or 6% of total volume. (Climate Bonds Initiative)

Get in the Game

💼 Step up

  • Capshift is looking for an impact investment associate near Boston.
  • Local Initiatives Support Coalition is hiring a senior investment officer in New York, as well as a number of other positions in cities across the country.
  • CommonSpirit Health seeks a community investment program manager in San Francisco.

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

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