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- This session highlighted that many see conventional investing and social impact on different poles but in fact asset owners should consider aligning their full portfolio with their values, leveraging various asset classes to achieve different goals. On one side of this spectrum there is conventional public securities using ESG-integration, then there are impact funds that can offer deeper impact with still competitive risk-adjusted returns, and on the other end of the spectrum there is concessionary capital for social enterprises or more impact-first funds and finally philanthropy which of course would focus only on impact returns with no financial return expected.
- Panelists discussed tips for family offices starting out in impact investing which included setting clear goals and expectations and identifying where to invest based on where the principles have expertise and can contribute beyond financial capital. The advice was to start small but eventually build out a portfolio of investees and to engage partners and learn from friends. The session also discussed looking at one’s own business operations to make these sustainable too, not just demand this of investees.
- With responsible investing, the investment evaluation criteria are largely the same as with conventional investing. Looking for a passion, credibility and grit of the enterprise’s management team tops the list and assessment of the financials with corresponding due diligence remains critical as well.
Family offices are best positioned to pursue social impact activities because they have the ability to adopt a long-term approach in managing their assets and often possess the flexibility to integrate social impact along the entire returns continuum from philanthropic grantmaking to investments. This session will explore how family offices are re-examining their purpose and strategies by catalysing capital deployment towards addressing social challenges and scaling impact.
- Explore how families are deciding on their focus areas amidst the many opportunities and needs out there. What are the themes that resonate with them and how did they get started?
- Translate passion into action – How do family offices develop an action-oriented approach to maximise impact? How do they allocate investments and resources and measure impact? What are some learning points from their successes and failures?
- The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked deep reflection among the social investment community. What are the implications of COVID-19 on the family office’s investment thesis and allocations and will there be a shift in focus areas after the crisis?