Beats | May 22, 2018

KL Felicitas Foundation delivers solid impact and modest returns

Dennis Price
ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

ImpactAlpha, May 22 – Toniic, the impact investor network, is set to release on Thursday anonymized performance data from 76 private portfolios (with $2.3 billion in capital deployed) that are part of its “100% Impact Network.” Two mainstays of the network, Lisa and Charly Kleissner, have taken a further step toward transparency, with a new report documenting the financial and social performance of their KL Felicitas Foundation.

Since moving 2% of its assets into impact investments in 2006, the allocation toward responsible, sustainable and impact investments reached 99.4% of the foundation’s $9.5 million assets by the end of 2016. That effort made the Kleissners leaders among the growing set of investors pointing 100% of their assets (or at least their philanthropic assets) toward impact investments.

The results? More than 20,000 households cook with BioLite’s HomeStove, up from 4,000 in 2014. Companies supported by Core Innovation Capital I are serving more than 25 million financially underserved customers in the U.S., up from 19 million in 2014. Lyme Forest Fund III protected more than 117,000 acres by the end of 2016, up from 62,000 in 2014.

Overall, the foundation’s impact-invested cash equivalents, global fixed income, global public equity and hedge funds have returned 2.75% per year since inception. Note: that figure covers about 71% of the foundation’s assets, and excludes the returns of asset-classes commonly associated with impact: program-related investments, private equity and real-asset investments. (ImpactAlpha flagged the same exclusion from the foundation’s 2013 report.)

  • Performance-related investments: The foundation’s program-related investments have registered a loss of 2.5% per year since inception, missing a target of 0% returns, because of “their intentional risk-taking … prioritizing social impact over financial return,” according to NPC consultants, the authors of the report.
  • Sustainable Development Goals. KL Felicitas Foundation investments aim at 16 of the 17 U.N. 2030 global goals. The highest weightings: SDG No. 7 (affordable and clean energy), SDG No. 6 (clean water and sanitation) and SDG No. 8 (decent work and economic growth).