Greetings, Agents of Impact!
What a year! We’ve arrived at the final human-powered Brief of 2021. But our algorithmic elves will be working next week to deliver your holiday lists of ImpactAlpha’s most popular podcasts, Impact Voices and Agents of Impact. We’ll see you back here Monday, Jan. 3, ready to amplify your impact in 2022. Until then, here’s to a joyous and restful holiday.
– David Bank
Featured: Looking Ahead
Capitalism Reimagined in 2022: Building a multi-movement engine to shift practices, policies and power. That our economic system and social contract is due for a reset is by now conventional wisdom. Still left to work out: how to drive that reset, and what comes next. In our Capitalism Reimagined series produced in partnership with Omidyar Network, ImpactAlpha convened leaders and changemakers to take up the policies (Call No. 29), investment practices (Call No. 30) and movement-building (Call No. 35) needed to shift power and share the wealth. “What we need to do is design markets to serve the well-being of society,” Omidyar Network’s Chris Jurgens told me in an Agents of Impact podcast in June, “and to stop designing our society around serving the well-being of markets.”
As our roundups and look-aheads to 2022 this week have shown, reimagining capitalism is central to all of ImpactAlpha’s coverage (collect the whole set). Diverse leaders and organizations, representing particular constituencies, are pursuing both outside-game and inside-game interventions, bringing “heat on the street” to bear on policy and governance. One big idea: a “multi-movement engine” to bring together workers, customers and communities, as well as shareholders, in coordinated campaigns to hold corporations accountable, starting with major asset managers like BlackRock and Vanguard. Other signs of capitalism reimagined:
- Power shifts to workers. Elevating the power (and wages) of low-income workers is not typically at the top of investors’ agenda. But investors, along with capitalism itself, need a fairer distribution of productivity gains and economic growth. “Unless we have an economy that treats workers fairly, it’s not going to help the investor class either,” says Leo Strine, ex- chief justice of the Delaware Supreme Court.
- Stakeholders stake their claims. Agents of Impact “must proactively engage with the public sector to create an enabling environment for truly impactful business and investment decisions,” Fran Seegull wrote to kick off the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance’s collaboration with ImpactAlpha. Our new Policy Corner, sponsored by the Alliance, with dozens of posts and op-eds, is sharpening the focus of impact investors on efforts to strengthen stakeholder capitalism and to renew community investing.
- We’re all universal owners now. When you own everything, you don’t want everything to go to hell. The emerging doctrine of “universal ownership” is upending traditional asset management and laying the foundation for more active stewardship to mitigate systemic risks to the economic system as a whole.
Keep reading, “Capitalism Reimagined in 2022: Building a multi-movement engine to shift practices, policy and power,” by David Bank on ImpactAlpha.
- Looking Ahead to 2022. Collect the whole set. Thanks to subscribers like you, we are able to make this year’s roundups freely available. Give your friends and colleagues the gift of a link to ImpactAlpha’s industry-leading coverage of climate finance, impact in emerging markets, The Reconstruction, catalytic capital and Capitalism Reimagined. You can find all of the roundups on our Looking Ahead to 2022 landing page.
Dealflow: Investing in Health
FFL Partners and Two Sigma Impact acquire Community Medical Services’ opioid treatment program. Less than half of the 4.6 million opioid users in the U.S. are diagnosed, and less than half of those receive treatment. Community Medical Services, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based opioid treatment provider, operates 45 clinics in nine states with a commitment to “changing the way society views addiction and addiction treatment.” Private equity firm FFL Partners and Two Sigma Impact, the impact investing arm of Two Sigma, acquired majority ownership in the firm. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- Treatment gap. CMS’ Nick Stavros said the gap between the number of people who need high-quality treatment is growing exponentially. “We believe our focus on data science and workforce development can help drive value at the company,” especially in therapist recruitment and retention, Two Sigma’s Geoff Lieberthal said.
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Agents of Impact: Remembering Harry Halloran
The impact investing community is remembering Harry Halloran, the Philadelphia energy entrepreneur who founded Halloran Philanthropies with his best friend, Tony Carr. Halloran Philanthropies was an early backer of B Lab, Echoing Green, Village Capital, SOCAP, the Latin American Impact Investing Forum, or FLII, and many other first-movers in the field (for context, see “Early money is like yeast for social enterprises and impact, too”).
“It was good to be around Harry. He believed in people. He marveled at their ingenuity and he deeply enjoyed their company,” shared Halloran’s son, Brian. “With Harry, the big questions like, ‘How do we make the world a better place?’ were never cold, academic or theoretical.”
Happy early birthday to ImpactAlpha’s Roodgally Senatus!… Stripe is looking for a head of science for its Stripe Climate division in New York, San Francisco or Seattle… The U.S. International Development Finance Corp. is hiring a vice president for its office of equity and investment funds in Washington, D.C… SJF Ventures has openings for an associate in Durham, N.C., a senior analyst in San Francisco, and an analyst for portfolio acceleration in New York or Durham.
Thank you for your impact!
–Dec. 23, 2021