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Making More Informed Impact Investments

| Justin Rockefeller Industry

Justin Rockefeller is Addepar’s Global Director of Family Offices and Foundations. Over the coming months, you can catch him in one of several cities across North America during Addepar’s new event series, The Path to Impact Investing. Learn more about and participate in Addepar’s The Path to Impact Investing. And make The ImPact!

The wealth management industry is in the midst of a notable shift.  Many family offices are exploring impact investing as a way to unite families around values and legacy, more closely involving family members in responsible, long term investing.  Yet very few wealth managers are equipped to serve these families.

If wealth managers want to win and retain clients in the decades to come, they need to offer solutions for those seeking to align their values with their money.  Impact investments intend to generate financial return and measurable social or environmental impact; they span every asset class, sector, geography, return profile, and impact strategy.  The Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy estimates that $59 trillion (2007 dollars) will be passed down to American offspring and philanthropies from 2007 to 2061, and a 2015 Deloitte Millennial Survey notes that 72% of future inheritors believe the purpose of business is to create social value.

Addepar has been listening to families and their needs.  We can help change the nature of impact investing conversations from largely anecdotal to highly nuanced and data driven.  Through transparency and highlighting outcomes, we help values-aligned investors make more informed investment decisions, and thus drive capital to better impact managers and impact entrepreneurs.

One concrete way that Addepar helps is by powering, pro bono, data aggregation, analysis, and reporting for The ImPact, which is a social enterprise empowering families to make more impact investments more effectively.  The ImPact provides families with a peer-based on-ramp to impact investing that offers them educational services, data-driven insights, and a global community of families embarking on the same journey.  This partnership can benefit not only the field of wealth management, but also the broader effort to address seemingly intractable social and environmental challenges.

If The ImPact, Addepar, and others helping the field of impact investing are successful, we’ll make significant progress in two notable ways:

  1. We’ll improve probability and pace of solving big problems such as climate change, global poverty, and geopolitical instability.  Such daunting challenges require the scale of global capital markets, and for money owners to work with all the tools on their tool belts: philanthropy; impact investments; responsible business practices; etc.
  2. Measurement and accounting of social and environmental impact becomes the norm (not the exception) for businesses across sectors.

For these reasons, we’re excited to shine a light on the field of impact investing and bring the discussion to you through this nationwide event series.

What do you think is needed to move the conversation from one that is anecdotal to one that is data driven?  We want to hear from you; join the conversation by participating in The Path to Impact Investing or by making The ImPact!  Additional resources about impact investing are available here.