Impact Investing | November 17, 2023

Impact(ed): Steering pension funds toward impact with Tara Mei Smith and Marcela Pinilla (podcast)


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Pension funds, with hundreds of billions in long-term assets, can be a key source of capital for impact investors and entrepreneurs. Black, Indigenous, and other professionals of color are working from the inside to reorient these super tankers of finance towards sustainability, racial justice and gender equity. 

At their root, pensions are a way to give sanitation workers, teachers, firefighters and police officers a way to have a secure retirement. With hundreds of billions in assets, they’re also “this long promise and this long timescale of thinking of sustainable investing and value creation,” says Tara Mei Smith of the Office of the New York City Comptroller in the first episode of Impact(ed). 

Impact(ed) is a new podcast Eric Horvath and Lucas Turner-Owens that features interviews with BIPOC practitioners working across the capital spectrum to unlock the power of investing for good. ImpactAlpha has partnered with Impact(ed) to bring the podcast to our audience.

In the episode, Horvath and Turner-Owens chat with Smith and Marcela Pinilla of Zevin Asset Management (and a member of the Sustainability Stewardship Committee for Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management) about how they came to this work, how their identities as women of color have impacted their journeys in finance, and the power, potential and imperative of leveraging pension funds for good.

Says Pinilla, “Bring your lived experience forward wherever you go, because that’s what makes your contribution so unique and important.”

Listen to Impact(ed) on Spotify and Apple. Connect with Eric and Lucas on Linkedin, they’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode, your recommendations for future topics and guests, and be in community with you.