This category includes articles about people, firms and foundations that invest in social good by investing in social entrepreneurs, social impact or pay-for-success bonds, etc.
This category includes articles about people, firms and foundations that invest in social good by investing in social entrepreneurs, social impact or pay-for-success bonds, etc.
The Environment and Climate Change are Key Areas of Focus as Most Mission-Related Investors (Often Called Impact Investors) Intend to Increase These Allocations
Press Release – BOSTON, MA–(Marketwired – February 15, 2017) – Mission-related investing, which includes impact investing and environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing, is gaining significant momentum among non-profit institutional investors, according to a survey by global investment firm Cambridge Associates. The most common thematic focus among impact investors is the environment and climate change, with healthcare, housing, job creation, and education also cited as areas of interest by respondents in Mission-Related Investing: Current Practices and Views of Non-Profit Investors.
In a survey of 159 non-profit institutional investors around the globe, 31% say they’re currently engaged in mission-related investing — making investments designed to align with or advance institutional goals or values as well as provide financial returns. Of that group, 44% say they have increased their mission-related allocation over recent years, and 62% expect to grow their mission-related allocation in the coming five years. None of the institutions that currently make mission-related investments expect to decrease their allocations.
“This data confirms what we have observed among our clients over the past decade — that mission and impact investing has gained significant traction, and that many of our mission-focused clients view it as a core investment discipline with plans to deepen their commitment over time,” says Jessica Matthews, Managing Director at Cambridge Associates and head of the firm’s Mission-Related Investing Practice, which works with institutions to design and implement their mission related investing programs.
The respondents to the survey, fielded in 2016, include foundations, colleges and universities, religious institutions and pensions around the world, including in the United States, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and the UK.
Growth in Mission-Related Investing Driven Largely by Environmental and Climate Change Concerns
Overall, about three-quarters (74%) of nonprofit mission-related investors expect to increase investments to ESG and climate change-related investment strategies. Cambridge Associates found that more than three-quarters (76%) of colleges and universities that make mission-related investments either currently consider climate risk when making investment decisions (41%) or anticipate doing so in the future (35%). Among foundations, 30% already consider climate risks, and 30% anticipate doing so going forward.
Among MRI strategies, the largest portion of investors reported employing negative screens; however, the survey found that investors anticipate proactively seeking ESG and environment/climate change opportunities more so than negative screening going forward.
Challenges and Opportunities for Implementing Mission-Related Investing Strategies
Non-profit mission-related investors say the biggest challenge in implementing their strategies is a lack of adequate mission-related investment options, followed by their own resource constraints.
“The good news for mission-related investors is that we’re seeing a proliferation of ESG and impact investing strategies coming to market, so this product supply problem is becoming less of a barrier to entry over time,” says Matthews. “Across asset classes, we track over 1,000 MRI funds in our manager databases, and that number has steadily increased since we started tracking the data in 2008. That said, manager diligence and selection is increasingly important in this space just as it is within any other investment strategy.”
Matthews adds that an appropriate and well-constructed governance model — including setting a well-defined investment policy — can add to the success of an impact or mission-related investment program. “Institutions can lay the groundwork today that will help them arrive at better investing decisions in the future, regarding both risks and opportunities across the entire portfolio,” she says.
“Colleges, universities, foundations and family offices are increasingly paving the way in implementing thoughtful mission-related investing programs,” she adds. “Investors are truly starting to recognize that social and environmental goals can be effectively integrated alongside their investment objectives.”
For additional information and insights into the mission and origins of the Mission-Related Investing practice at Cambridge Associates, read an exclusive panelist Q&A featuring Jessica Matthews on The Economist’s Impact Investing blog. Matthews is participating in a discussion titled “Seeking Impact: The Measurement Challenge” at today’s The Economist’s Impact Investing Conference in New York.
About Cambridge Associates
Cambridge Associates is a global investment firm founded in 1973 that builds customized investment portfolios for institutional investors and private clients around the world. Working alongside its early clients, among them several leading universities, the firm pioneered the strategy of high equity orientation and broad diversification, which since the 1980s has been a primary driver of performance for these leading fiduciary investors. Cambridge Associates serves over 1,100 global investors — primarily foundations and endowments, pensions and family offices — and delivers a range of services, including outsourced investment (OCIO) solutions, traditional advisory services, and access to research and tools across global asset classes. Cambridge Associates has more than 1,300 employees — including over 150 research staff — serving its client base globally. The firm maintains offices in Arlington, VA; Boston; Dallas; Menlo Park and San Francisco, CA; London, UK; Singapore; Sydney; and Beijing. Cambridge Associates consists of five global investment consulting affiliates that are all under common ownership and control. For more information about Cambridge Associates, please visit www.cambridgeassociates.com.
Grier’s Appointment Signals Leadership Role For Prudential Among Institutional Investors In Impact Investing
Press Release – February 15, 2017. The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) today announced the appointment of Mark Grier as its new Board Chair. Grier serves as Vice Chairman at Prudential Financial Inc. Grier’s appointment marks a milestone in the advancement of the GIIN, which will benefit from Prudential’s more than 40 years of institutional impact investing experience.
“We are honored to welcome Mark as the new Board Chair of the GIIN,” said Amit Bouri, CEO and co-founder of the GIIN. “Mark’s extensive knowledge and expertise in financial services, coupled with his passion for impact investing, make him a great asset to the GIIN and to its members. We are confident that Mark’s leadership will help to propel the GIIN and the impact investing movement forward.”
As Vice Chairman at Prudential, Grier is a member of the Office of the Chairman and its Board of Directors and oversees the Chief Investment, Finance, Risk Management, Corporate Actuarial and Investor Relations functions, along with several other key functions. He also leads the Global Strategic Initiatives group that oversees Prudential’s international retirement and China strategies. Grier joined Prudential as Chief Financial Officer in 1995 and was named its Vice Chairman in 2002. Previously, he was co-head of Chase Global Markets and an Executive Vice President of The Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A.
“I am thrilled to join the GIIN to help further mobilize the investment community to address the major challenges of our time,” Grier said. “Since our founding, Prudential has been guided by a commitment to creating shared success for all members of society, including those traditionally underserved by the capital markets. The GIIN’s work is well-aligned with that purpose of delivering social impact alongside economic value.”
Prudential was an original member of the GIIN’s Investors’ Council, a leadership group for large-scale impact investors. Prudential’s public commitment to building a $1 billion portfolio of impact investments by 2020 paved a natural path for Grier’s appointment. Prudential was founded in Newark, NJ in 1875 as a social purpose business providing burial insurance to working families. The company remains headquartered in Newark and its founding mission is an essential part of the company’s purpose.
Effective immediately, Grier assumes the role of Chair from GIIN’s founding Board Chair, Antony Bugg-Levine, who will remain on the GIIN’s Board of Directors. Bugg-Levine played a pivotal role in launching the GIIN in 2009, and has served as Board Chair for the past seven years.
“The impact investing market has reached a point of inflection,” said Antony Bugg-Levine. “The growing involvement of ‘mainstream’ investors has brought large sums of capital to the industry and new commitments are being made at an increasing tempo. Mark’s experience will be incredibly valuable as the industry accelerates and welcomes more investors, helping to onboard them to ensure the integrity of the industry is preserved and the community remains committed to the impact ethos.”
Press Release – WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Omidyar Network announced today that it has invested in Landmapp BV, an Amsterdam-based property rights company that enables smallholder farmers to document and protect their land holdings. The investment will help Landmapp to grow its customer base in Ghana, where the company is providing this unique service primarily to cocoa farmers. The transaction also involved participation by HERi Africa, an existing investor in the company. Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Landmapp was established in 2015 by two Amsterdam-based entrepreneurs, Simon Ulvund and Thomas Vaassen. Landmapp offers a mobile platform that provides smallholder farmer families with documentation of their land. Their first country of operation is Ghana, and Ulvund and Vaassen have plans to expand into other countries following this successful rollout.
Many of the world’s 500 million smallholder families face two interrelated challenges: they hold little, if any, rights to their land and lack formal documentation; being restricted to the informal sector, they often cannot access technical and financial services to improve their livelihoods. Documented property rights enable them to plan for their future, including by investing in their land and property, insuring the health of their families and sending their children to school. This has a highly positive impact on the economic wellbeing of the farmers, their families and their communities.
For smallholder farmers, securing their land is often a large and very complex challenge. Landmapp provides an end to end affordable service, from the time the farmer signs up, till they hold a legal land certificate in their hands.
Landmapp has a field-based team of surveyors who use handheld GPS devices to map each farmer’s plot. The team verifies the farmer’s identify, validates the land claim with neighbours, submits the claim to the authorities for legalisation and delivers a final land certificate to the farmer. Already, the company has sold more than 2,000 documents to smallholder farmers in Ghana, demonstrating that farmers are willing and able to pay for this valuable documentation.
“We are delighted to be investing in Landmapp and its exciting model,” said Omidyar Network Venture Partner Peter Rabley. “They have clearly shown that farmers in Ghana understand the value of land documentation and are willing to pay for the legal protection they offer. We believe this model can be replicated in other countries.”
“Land and property rights is a complex sector, requiring significant knowledge and deep relationships in order to succeed. Omidyar Network has both, so we really couldn’t have a better partner on board,” said CEO Simon Ulvund. “And with HERi Africa, we have an investor with a thorough understanding of agriculture value chains and smallholders.”
“We’re now able to focus on growing our business in Ghana, first looking at scaling the number of land documents sold, while also partnering with complimentary businesses such as financial service providers, unlocking new products and services for smallholder farmers,” said Thomas Vaassen, the company’s CTO.
About Omidyar Network
Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. Omidyar Network has committed more than $1 billion to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple initiatives, including Education, Emerging Tech, Financial Inclusion, Governance & Citizen Engagement, and Property Rights.
Press Release – San Francisco, CA (February 7, 2017) – Impact Community Capital (ICC) today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Jeff Brenner as President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Brenner previously served as the firm’s interim President and CEO.
Established in 1998, ICC has provided more than $1 billion in financing for affordable multifamily housing, community healthcare facilities, childcare centers, and other community facilities serving families and communities in 38 states plus the District of Columbia. It was founded by a consortium of insurance companies to facilitate their investments in projects that benefit low-income families and communities.
“The Board is excited to have Jeff leading Impact as it implements its new, five-year growth strategy,” said Tony Tomich, ICC Board Chair. “During his time as interim CEO, Jeff has demonstrated the passion, commitment and leadership to achieve our vision of growing the company. We have every confidence Jeff will help ICC and its investors make large scale investments that will provide opportunities for low income communities and families.”
Mr. Brenner has built an impressive career in community development finance over the past 23 years. Prior to joining ICC, he served as CFO of Capital Impact Partners. During his tenure there, the firm was a leading innovator in building a bridge between the capital markets and investing in underserved communities. Mr. Brenner raised more than $600 million in new capital to finance facilities for housing, healthcare, education and fresh foods. He grew assets under management from $255 million to over $800 million. Since joining ICC in 2012, the firm has provided nearly $400 million of financing for affordable multifamily housing and securitized over $300 million dollars of mortgages in two securitizations consisting solely of loans for affordable housing projects.
“ICC is a true industry pioneer, and I am excited about the opportunity created by the growing interest in impact investing to reach new investors and to make investments that will help communities reach their economic and social potential,” said Mr. Brenner. “I’ve spent the past 30 years working to invest capital to improve the lives of people and communities and in doing so, demonstrating that these investments can be suitable for institutional investors seeking investment safety while making a significant impact in the communities they serve.”
About Impact Community Capital LLC
Impact Community Capital LLC is a for-profit company founded by leading insurers to promote socially responsible investments in underserved communities. The company was an early leader in making investments that facilitate social change long before “Impact Investing” began its move to the mainstream. Impact pioneered the pooling and securitization of community investment portfolios to direct large amounts of capital for affordable housing and used federal New Markets Tax Credits to invest in community childcare and healthcare facilities. It is owned by the following insurance companies: Allstate Insurance Company, Farmers Insurance Exchange, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Pacific Life Insurance Company, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America, and 21st Century Insurance Company. For more information, call (415) 981-1074, or visit www.Impactcapital.net
Announcement kicks off Surdna’s celebration of its centennial year
Press Release – NEW YORK – The Surdna Foundation today made the first of its centennial year announcements. The Foundation will allocate $100 million of its endowment to impact investing as a way to advance its social justice mission and grow the field. The commitment will focus on a combination of mission-related investments (MRI) and program-related investments (PRI), along with a variety of other impact investing strategies.
As one of the oldest and largest family-governed foundations in the U.S., Surdna is not just investing to further its mission, but also to build up the field of impact investing. In 2014 when the Foundation made the decision to allocate the $100 million, there was not a wide breadth of funds and tools available. As part of its investment, Surdna seeks to share its experience with others thinking about impact investing through its “Mapping the Journey to Impact Investing” publication and to support funds like the Business Outreach Center (BOC) Network, which helps build up women and minority-owned contracting businesses. Surdna’s 2014 investment in BOC leveraged an additional $2.8 million in capital from Goldman Sachs’s 10,000 Small Businesses program.
“Surdna’s current focus on impact investing – alongside many of our peer foundations and an increasing number of pension funds and university endowments – is illustrating a desire by more institutions to align their assets with their values,” said Shuaib Siddiqui, Director of Impact Investing at the Surdna Foundation. “Leveraging our endowment for impact investing will enable us to demonstrate how to invest to achieve positive social, environmental and financial returns. We hope this will lead to the creation of more funds and tools. In turn, growing the field will create more options for impact investors.”
The “Mapping the Journey to Impact Investing,” report charts the journey from the time the Board of Directors and staff began exploring impact investing in 2014 to the decision-making process and experience of implementing impact investing policies. “The Surdna Foundation’s founder, John E. Andrus was committed to inclusion, social justice and sustainability,” said Peter Benedict II, Surdna Foundation’s Board Chair. “By sharing our experience and some of the lessons we learned in this report this centennial year, we will contribute to collective learning in the fields of mission-related investing and family philanthropy and celebrate these core values.”
A few examples of recent impact investments the Surdna Foundation has made to explore impact investing include the following.
Surdna will continue with impact investing to reach the full commitment of $100 million through 2017 and into the future.
Five successive generations of the Andrus family have pursued innovation and new ideas, sometimes taking bold risks to advance effective solutions to contemporary social challenges. In 2008, the Foundation redefined its mission to include a deeper focus on Surdna’s social justice goals. This $100 million investment is yet another example of this forward thinking from the Foundation. “As we celebrate our centennial, we continue to reach for new ways to advance our mission of fostering sustainable communities and charting the path to social justice,” said Phillip Henderson, President of the Surdna Foundation. “Our decision to embark on impact investing is core to who we are. The question for our board and staff was how to align our endowment practices to advance the Foundation’s mission.”
Throughout its centennial year and beyond, the Foundation will continue to support other foundations and individuals looking into impact investing to build the field and honor the values of John E. Andrus.
Surdna will share news regarding several special reports and grantmaking initiatives on its centennial landing page.
About the Surdna Foundation
The Surdna Foundation seeks to foster sustainable communities in the United States – communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures. For over five generations, the Foundation has been governed largely by descendants of John Andrus and has developed a tradition of innovative service for those in need of help or opportunity.
For more information, visit the Surdna Foundation’s website.
Investors Call on World’s Largest Social Network to Review the Impact of Fake News Policy Issues and Related Hate Speech on its Business and Our Democracy
Press Release – BOSTON (February 2, 2017) – Concerned that long-term shareholder wealth may be at risk if Facebook and Google do not do enough to “address fake news and hoaxes,” Arjuna Capital, in partnership with Baldwin Brothers, Inc., is asking the two tech giants to evaluate the impact fabricated content is having on their platforms and businesses. Arjuna Capital is being assisted in the effort by the nonprofit organization Open MIC.
The shareholder resolution filed today at Facebook urges the company to issue a report reviewing the public policy issues associated with fake news (and related hate speech) enabled by the company. Arjuna Capital filed a similar resolution on December 29, 2016 with Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google.
Specifically, Arjuna Capital, et.al. ask Facebook to provide detailed information regarding the impact of current fake news flows and management systems on the democratic process, free speech, and a cohesive society, as well as reputational and operational risks from potential public policy developments. The full text of the Arjuna Capital shareholder proposal now before Facebook is available online at: http://arjuna-capital.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Fake-News-Proposal_Facebook.pdf.
In 2016, Arjuna Capital, in partnership with Baldwin Brothers Inc., made major waves in the tech world when it targeted the issue of gender pay equity. On April 27, 2016, eBay became the sixth major U.S. tech company to respond to shareholder calls for pay equity, following a 51 percent shareholder vote. As of that point in time, Arjuna Capital had achieved success in its shareholder engagements at six of nine companies it engaged: Intel (February 3rd), Apple (March 2nd), Amazon (March 23rd), Expedia (March 24th) and Microsoft (April 11th), all of which reported the gender pay gap is closed, near closed, or was to be closed shortly. Since that time, Adobe (July 25) has also reported its gender pay gap.
Natasha Lamb, managing partner at Arjuna Capital, said, “Fake news is not about spin or confirmation bias. It’s about fabrication. And when fabrication is disseminated so easily at scale, the way we have seen through social media, it represents a threat to our democracy. If Facebook maintains a platform of confusion and distortion it will lose the trust of its users, in which case they will simply move on to the next thing. At one point, we all thought that MySpace, Napster and other once-dominant online platforms would be around forever. Not the case. Few continue to get mail through AOL. That’s what concerns long-term investors. We need to know this is being handled responsibly over time.”
“Fake news isn’t a fake problem – it’s very real, and the major online platforms need to exercise real leadership in dealing with it,” said Michael Connor, Executive Director of Open MIC, a non-profit organization that works with investors on media and technology issues. Connor predicted that companies like Facebook and Google will increasingly need to “defend the integrity of the information and services they provide to their users, or else confront the risk that consumers will lose trust in them, no matter how popular those companies seem today.”
The “fake news” controversy undermines a core tenet of US democracy — an informed electorate. A December 2016 Pew Research survey found 64 percent of Americans say fabricated news stories cause a great deal of confusion about basic facts of current issues and events. This view was shared widely across incomes, education levels, and partisan affiliations.
As Facebook debates the distinctions between filtering and censorship internally, one analysis shows that false headlines generated more shares, reactions and comments than the 20 best performing mainstream news stories during the presidential campaigns.
Over the past two weeks, the fake news crisis has evolved into an international debate. On Monday, January 30, the British Parliament announced an investigation in the UK. The German government is contemplating a law to levy fines if Facebook does not promptly remove fake news posts. Handling of such content has profound implications for Facebook’s brand and reputation. If the company becomes synonymous with fake news, it poses enormous risks to investors, since it has the potential of becoming the most important cultural issue of the decade.
The full text of the Arjuna Capital/shareholder proposal submitted to Google in December 2016 is available online at: http://arjuna-capital.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Fake-news-Proposal_Googl.pdf.
Arjuna Capital is an investment firm focused on sustainable and impact investing. For more information, visit www.Arjuna-Capital.com.
Fund provides a “high impact, high growth” private equity impact investing option.
Press Release – Bethesda, February 2, 2017 – ImpactAssets, a leader in the democratization of impact investing, announced today that it is expanding investment opportunities for clients in The Giving Fund, its donor advised fund*, with the addition of the Sarona Frontier Markets Fund 3 (SFMF3).
Managed by Sarona Asset Management, SFMF3 invests in frontier and emerging markets, including Sub-Saharan Africa and Central Asia, and is focused on small to mid-market companies (SMEs) which provide goods and services for the growing needs of the rising middle class in these markets. The fund utilizes a “fund of funds” strategy to invest in local private equity firms who identify and help grow high-quality companies that are operating to the highest business, ethical, social and environmental standards.
SFMF3 is available at a minimum investment of $25,000 on ImpactAssets’ Global Impact Ventures, a curated platform of impact private debt and equity options for clients of The Giving Fund.
“We are excited to tap into the experience and expertise of a leading institutional impact asset manager at a lower minimum,” said Tim Freundlich, President of ImpactAssets. “The Sarona Frontier Markets Fund 3 represents a unique opportunity for our donor advised fund to directly access a growing and profitable market segment and make a positive impact.”
Environmental & Social Impact
Each investment opportunity is assessed not only on financial potential but also on social and environmental impact. To ensure a positive impact, Sarona sets environmental targets to impact air pollution, climate change, water pollution and resource/biodiversity depletion. It also measures jobs created, reviews management policies and practices, purchase of supplies from poor producers and distribution of life enhancing products to poor consumers and communities.
“Sarona views itself as a bridge between private investors and the increasingly important entrepreneurial sector in the emerging markets. The Sarona Frontier Markets Fund 3 helps enable more investors to gain access to this sector through a diversified impact investing portfolio,” said Vivina Berla, Co-Managing Partner, Sarona Asset Management.
ImpactAssets is a nonprofit financial services firm that increases the flow of capital into investments delivering financial, social and environmental returns. ImpactAssets’ donor-advised fund (“The Giving Fund”), impact investment notes, and field-building initiatives enable philanthropists, other asset owners and their wealth advisors to advance social or environmental change through investment
About The Giving Fund:
The Giving Fund is an innovative donor advised fund that empowers donors to increase the impact of their giving by combining it with strategic sustainable and responsible investing to build a sophisticated philanthropic endowment. Donors recommend how The Giving Fund’s assets are invested across a range of leading impact investment options including community investment, turnkey portfolios, private debt and equity funds, seed venture and custom investments. The Giving Fund currently has $350M in total assets.
*A Donor Advised Fund is a philanthropic vehicle that allows organizations, families or individuals to make a charitable contribution, receive an immediate tax benefit and then recommend grants from the fund over time.
Press Release – SALT LAKE CITY — A world-renowned group of more than 120 experts have converged in Salt Lake City, along with 500 guests, for the third annual Winter Innovation Summit from January 25 to January 27 at the Salt Lake Convention Center. The conference is hosted by the Sorenson Impact Center in partnership with Salt Lake County and the Sundance Institute.
Jeremy Keele, President & CEO of Sorenson Impact, remarked, “The Winter Innovation Summit has become the preeminent convening in the social impact and innovation space. We welcome the most forward-thinking people working to solve social problems across the globe—from policy leaders, investors and nonprofits, to social entrepreneurs, community leaders and academics. The central theme of Sorenson Impact and the event itself is to explore how data, evidence, and innovation can be leveraged to solve difficult social problems like homelessness, chronic unemployment, incarceration, and poverty.”
Last year, David Wilkinson, then director of the White House Office of Innovation and Civic Participation, lauded the Summit as “the largest gathering of leaders committed to using measurable outcomes to change the way government works.”
Notable speakers today will include the following:
Fostering Innovation in the State of Utah with Governor Gary Herbert
Effective and Accountable Government: How City Administrator Rashad Young Runs D.C. with Rashad Young
An Innovation Update from Washington with U.S. Congressman John Delaney
Many more mainstage speakers and panelists will share their knowledge and expertise on a range of subjects that touch on this year’s theme—innovation for social change. Select topics will include finding scalable solutions to social problems, data science for social good, impact investing, social entrepreneurship, social impact bonds / Pay for Success, correction reform, performance management, educational outcomes, measuring meaningful impact and impact investing through a gender lens—among others.
“Salt Lake County is leading the way in the use of data and evidence in local governance to achieve results and hold ourselves accountable to the public for spending scarce tax dollars,” said Mayor Ben McAdams. “Whenever a homeless teen or an impoverished child participates in a social program that doesn’t succeed, rather than one that does, that represents a human cost. Our Pay for Success initiatives are showing us how to deliver measurably better lives for the people that we serve.”
To learn more about the third annual Winter Innovation Summit, explore http://www.innovationsummit2017.com. Press passes will be available at check in.
Press Release – REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Jan. 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Omidyar Network announced today it is renewing and expanding its investment in the Lagos-based government transparency organization BudgIT. The new up to $1.5 million, three-year grant follows an initial grant from the Omidyar Network in 2014, and will be focused on enabling BudgIT to grow its organizational capacity, especially at state level, and to expand its work with government and institutional stakeholders into Abuja.
Since its inception in 2011, BudgIT has established itself as a premier government transparency organization in Nigeria through its work to make the budget more accessible to ordinary citizens, and to empower citizens to track public projects. Using a mix of both online and offline strategies, BudgIT has helped more than one million Nigerian citizens understand how their federal and state budgets are spent and what role they can play in ensuring this money is allocated correctly.
BudgIT has also played an instrumental role in the Nigerian government joining the Open Government Partnership (OGP) working through the Open Alliance.
Ory Okolloh, director, Investments, Omidyar Network comments, “BudgIT stands out as a great example of an organization that is deeply committed to ensuring that citizens have the information they need to hold their government accountable. Oluseun and his team stand out as individuals who are working tirelessly to ensure that the government works for citizens rather than the other way around. We are delighted to support them on their next phase of growth and impact.”
Central to BudgIT’s success, and subsequent growth, is its unique ability to connect citizens with information about budgets and public projects that affect them, and to work with all levels of government to improve their ability to transparently serve their constituents. In addition, BudgIT plays an important role in supporting civil society organizations, media, and multi-sector initiatives like the Open Government Partnership as they advance their governance agenda.
“This investment in BudgIT by Omidyar Network is highly welcome as we work to scale access to information across all levels of education and socio-economic class on matters related to use of public funds. Systemic changes through the Open Government Partnership mechanism are also crucial to our work. We are glad Omidyar Network and other partners see this opportunity at this phase of our organization,” says Oluseun Onigbinde, Co-Founder, BudgIT.
About Omidyar Network
Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. Omidyar Network has committed more than $1 billion to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple initiatives, including Education, Emerging Tech, Financial Inclusion, Governance & Citizen Engagement, and Property Rights. To learn more, visit www.omidyar.com, and follow on Twitter @omidyarnetwork #PositiveReturns.
Press Release – NEW YORK, January 23, 2017 – Fred Alger Management, Inc. (“Alger”) is pleased to announce the introduction of the Alger Responsible Investing Fund. Formerly the Alger Green Fund, the Alger Responsible Investing Fund is broadening its investment criteria and has added Gregory S. Adams, CFA as Portfolio Manager alongside existing portfolio manager, Christopher Walsh, CFA. Both managers draw upon Alger’s fifty-plus year-old investment philosophy based upon Alger’s in-depth proprietary research process. Greg and Chris augment this process by identifying dynamic, growth-oriented companies that conduct their business in a responsible manner reflecting positive Environmental, Social or Governance (ESG) characteristics.
“We think innovative companies that embrace sustainable ESG practices can improve the bottom line for shareholders and broader society as well,” said Chris Walsh. “These companies can have a positive impact across a range of factors, including climate change, resource depletion, corporate board diversity, and a long-term orientation to sustainable growth.”
The Fund has the flexibility to invest across all U.S. industries, sectors, and market caps, whereas, under its previous mandate, the Fund maintained a more singular focus on environmental sustainability. By expanding its criteria to include the full spectrum of ESG factors, the Fund now offers investors the potential for a more diversified exposure to Alger’s fundamental investment analysis.
“The demand for ESG investing has increased in recent years, with many of our clients asking for ESG options. Coincidental with this changing dynamic, Alger’s research team has increasingly identified more companies solving economic, social, and environmental challenges that are benefitting from positive dynamic change. Alger’s investment approach is a natural fit for many investors seeking a mutual fund which identifies companies that are striving to achieve stronger ESG recognition” said Alger Chief Investment Officer and CEO Dan Chung, CFA.
The Fund remains grounded in Alger’s philosophy that companies embracing Positive Dynamic Change as a competitive advantage can make attractive investments. Positive Dynamic Change can refer to innovative market leaders in a particular niche realizing High Unit Volume Growth, or companies undergoing Positive Life-cycle Change brought about by a regulatory change, a new product, or a management change.
Alger continues to provide socially responsible offerings that use negative ESG screens for investors wishing to adhere to specific ESG restrictions. Alger has been managing socially responsible investments since 1987.
About Fred Alger Management, Inc.
Alger was founded in 1964 and as of December 31, 2016, managed more than $19.5 billion. Alger’s investment philosophy is focused on discovering companies undergoing Positive Dynamic Change, which we believe offer the best investment opportunities. Alger investment strategies are available to institutional investors through separate accounts and mutual funds and to retail investors through Alger mutual funds. Fred Alger & Company, Incorporated, a broker-dealer and the parent company of Fred Alger Management, Inc., offers mutual funds as well as institutional funds for defined benefit and defined contribution plans. For more information, please visit www.alger.com.