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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
and corporate social responsibility.

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Impact Investing

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.

FAU Tech Runway and Angel Resource Institute Release 2017 HALO Report Analyzing Angel Investment Activities in U.S.

Press Release – BOCA RATON, Fla. (April 20, 2018) – The Angel Resource Institute (ARI) and Florida Atlantic University’s Tech Runway® have released the 2017 HALO ReportTM analyzing investment activities of angel investors in the U.S.

The report also notes data in many other countries and hints at more global perspectives to come. The HALO Report was generated from deal data submitted by angel investors, with a focus on the analysis of investments by angel groups. The HALO Report does not reveal individual investors’ identities and does not reveal the terms of any specific investment, but instead aggregates all data for analytical insights.

This is the seventh annual release of the HALO Report, whose benchmarks are closely followed by the angel investor and venture capital communities alike. ARI has also produced several “Returns Studies” in concert with Rob Wiltbank, Ph.D., CEO of Galois. ARI is well versed in analyzing investment performance by angel investors in structured groups and provides insight into the asset class as a whole.

The 2017 HALO Report notes a continuing trend of geographic dispersion of angel groups investing outside of their headquarter states; the sustained (though narrowing) dominance of both software and healthcare IT as angels’ preferred investment sector; an increased ratio of initial investments versus follow-on financing rounds; an increase in the number of deals funded where female entrepreneur(s) also have founder status; consistency in deal structures, with a noted increase in the use of convertible notes for first-time investments; and a slight decline in the valuations companies received from angel groups.

This was the first time that ARI and FAU Tech Runway have collaborated on producing the HALO Report.

“Working with researchers and staff from Florida Atlantic University provided an analytical depth and rigor to the HALO Report that was impressive,” said Gwen Edwards, chair of ARI. “ARI is thrilled to be partnering with FAU in setting the research bar ever higher, to the benefit of both angel investors and entrepreneurs alike,”

Rebel Cole, Ph.D., Kaye Family Endowed Professor in Finance at FAU’s College of Business, said: “The ability to expand and extend our findings in future releases of the HALO Report on angel investment activity and on the profile of the entrepreneurs they back financially should break new ground in our understanding of this critical sector of the innovation economy.”

Kevin Cox, Ph.D., assistant director of FAU’s Adams Center for Entrepreneurship, said ARI has amassed an impressive amount of data on early-stage, angel, and angel group investment activity.

“Given the private nature of these transactions, available data is generally and historically scarce,” Cox said. “Undoubtedly, the data and our partnership will yield new and original insights into the understudied and often misunderstood context of angel investing.”

Rhys L. Williams, managing director of FAU Tech Runway and ARI trustee, said the quality of the partnership between ARI and FAU producing this year’s HALO Report provides an important tool for angel investors and entrepreneurs alike.

“We are exceptionally grateful to the staff, researchers, and board members of both organizations, who labored selflessly to produce quality research in such an important area,” Williams said. He added special thanks is due to Troy Knauss, ARI trustee and professor of entrepreneurship at High Point University, who continues to be a critical source of continuity in methodology and insights, and also to Pinar Yildirim, investor relations and research administrator for FAU Tech Runway, for research and production support.

For trends and analysis, download a free copy of the HALO Report at www.angelresourceinstitute.org.


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Calvert Research and Management engages Hermes EOS

Press Release – WASHINGTON and LONDON, 18 April 2018 – Calvert Research and Management (“Calvert”), a subsidiary of Eaton Vance Corp., and Hermes Investment Management (“Hermes”) today announced that Hermes EOS (Equity Ownership Services), the stewardship and engagement unit of Hermes, has entered into an agreement with Calvert to supplement Calvert’s in-house corporate engagement program.

Hermes EOS is a global leader in providing corporate engagement services to asset owners and asset managers across equity and fixed income asset classes on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. Hermes EOS will provide engagement, consultation and reporting services to Calvert.

Dr. Hans-Christoph Hirt, Head of Hermes EOS, said: “Hermes EOS has one of the largest global stewardship resources in the world and we are excited to be working with Calvert to effectively engage corporates worldwide. Driven by our team of highly experienced and skilled multi-national professionals, our engagement program seeks to increase and protect the value of companies Calvert invests in on behalf of its clients by addressing the full range of sustainability issues they are facing.”

John Streur, President and Chief Executive Officer of Calvert, said: “Calvert’s advocacy efforts outside the U.S. are expanding as we increase investments in non-U.S. companies. Our agreement with Hermes EOS provides Calvert immediate access to engagement activities outside the U.S. and further strengthens our current engagement in the U.S. By enhancing our global engagement program, we help Calvert clients achieve their responsible investing goals.”

Calvert is a leader in Responsible Investing, with approximately $14.0 billion (USD) of mutual fund and separate account assets under management as of 31 January 2018. The company traces its roots to Calvert Investments, which in 1982 launched the first mutual fund to avoid investing in companies operating in apartheid-era South Africa. Today, the Calvert Funds are one of the largest and most diversified families of responsibly invested mutual funds, encompassing actively and passively managed strategies, U.S. and international equity strategies, income strategies and asset allocation funds. For more information, visit calvert.com.

Hermes EOS is one of the world’s leading stewardship services, currently advising on $454.7bn [1] on behalf of its clients. In 2017, the Hermes EOS team engaged with 659 companies on 1,704 environmental, social, governance, strategy, risk and communication issues and objectives.

Follow Hermes Investment Management on twitter: @hermesinvest

Follow Hermes EOS on twitter: @HermesEOS

[1] As of 31 December 2017


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Evidence For Competitive Financial Performance Of Impact Investing Through Private Debt Highlighted By New Study

Press Release – NEW YORK & GENEVA, APRIL 17, 2018 – Private debt or fixed income instruments comprise the largest asset class in impact investing, accounting for 34% of impact investors’ reported assets under management (AUM), according to the 2017 GIIN Annual Impact Investor Survey. A new report by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and Symbiotics, which analyses the performance of impact investing through private debt, finds that private debt funds seeking positive impact can offer very stable returns across various risk-return strategies.

Amit Bouri, GIIN CEO says, “This report offers the most definitive evidence for private debt investors still not sure if impact investing is right for them.” He added, “Impact investments in private debt are an attractive option that can yield a stable return and drive capital toward powerful global progress.”

This is the first comprehensive industry report on the financial performance of impact investing through private debt. In addition to financial performance, it sheds light on the investment strategies, fund structures, and impact measurement practices of two types of funds: Private Debt Impact Funds (PDIF), investing primarily in emerging markets and Community Development Loan Funds (CDLF), investing exclusively in the United St­­ates.

Key highlights of the report:

  • Both sets of funds studied offer stable returns. Weighted net returns of PDIFs averaged 2.6% per annum since 2012, with the 90th percentile registering 10% return in 2016. CDLFs paid an average of 2.9% on their notes, with the 90th percentile registering 3.6% return in 2016.
  • PDIFs have a Sharpe ratio of 0.77, which compares favorably to other traditionally stable asset classes such as bonds or cash, and also offer an uncorrelated asset for portfolio diversification.
  • Fixed income funds demonstrated extremely high portfolio quality overall, with average write-off ratios in both sets of funds below 1%.
  • Both types of funds seek impact through a range of themes, including financial inclusion, affordable housing, and employment generation, among others.

“Interest and activity in impact investing has grown rapidly in recent years. This has been aided by the growing body of evidence on financial performance, which has shown that impact investments can generate returns that are competitive with conventional investing,” says GIIN Research Director Abhilash Mudaliar. He added, “This report shows that the same is true in the private debt asset class. Continued investor willingness to share performance data will be essential to drive exponential industry growth and ensure the channeling of capital towards critical social and environmental challenges.”

Download the full report (US-format) here

Download the full report (A4-format) here


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XpertSea Raises $10 Million CAD in Series A Financing to Transform Aquaculture With Technology

Obvious Ventures, Aqua-Spark and Real Ventures invest in new methods for tracking and managing aquatic populations, making aquaculture more profitable and sustainable

Press Release – MONTREAL, April 17. 2018 — XpertSea, a Canadian company which develops technologies to make aquaculture more profitable and sustainable, announced today that it has raised $10 million CAD in Series A financing. The financing is a co-investment led by Obvious Ventures and Aqua-Spark, as well as Real Ventures, which previously invested in the company’s seed round.

By 2050 our planet will be home to 10 billion people, requiring a 70% increase in food production. The aquaculture industry supplies more than half the seafood consumed worldwide and is growing at 6% per year. But the use of outdated technologies like hand-counting of aquatic organisms results in major financial losses and waste, as aquaculture producers overspend by an average of 20% in feed alone, and seafood survival rates can be as low as 50%.

XpertSea solves this technology gap so that farms and hatcheries can track and manage their aquatic populations with greater speed, accuracy and insight than ever before. XpertSea’s platform uses artificial intelligence and computer vision to count and size early-stage aquatic organisms such as shrimp larvae and live feed. The XpertCount is a smart IoT device that connects to a portal where customers can access data and analytics from any device, anywhere. As of 2017, XpertSea’s customers in 48 countries have counted more than 17 billion organisms and uploaded over 100,000 counting and sizing sessions to the data portal.

“This investment will help XpertSea take the guesswork out of aquaculture inventory management, which will drive profits for aquaculture producers and deliver positive environmental returns for our planet,” said Valerie Robitaille, CEO and Co-Founder of XpertSea. “Precision aquaculture technology is the key to bringing transparency to transactions and standardizing practices across the industry, which benefits everyone along the aquaculture food chain.”

With this injection, that combines resources from a leading purpose-driven fund and a fund designed exclusively to support sustainable aquaculture, XpertSea will expand its technology offerings and continue to build its team. The company is currently hiring for positions in Quebec City, Montreal and in its international markets.

“Valerie and her team have the expertise necessary to bring transparency and efficiency at a critical time to this industry,” said Andrew Beebe, Managing Director at Obvious Ventures. “They are digitally upgrading the world of aquaculture in a way that will benefit all players – farmers, retailers, and consumers.”

“The smartest route to excellent aquaculture and healthy fish is reliable data, which has been sorely missing in the industry to date,” explained Mike Velings and Amy Novogratz, co-founders of Aqua-Spark. “Farmers can’t make accurate judgments, particularly about feed, if they don’t know the number of organisms in the water or distribution size. Aqua-Spark takes an industry-wide approach, meaning we investacross the value chain. XpertSea is the first company with a successful product to focus on smaller organisms suitable for hatcheries, which is where the farming process begins. Their ability to solve production challenges in aquaculture is limitless and makes them a key value-add for our portfolio.”

About Aqua-Spark:

Aqua-Spark is the first investment fund focused exclusively on sustainable aquaculture. By investing in the companies, technologies and practices that are contributing to making the rapidly-growing fish farming sector sustainable, Aqua-Spark is transforming the industry. Learn more at www.aqua-spark.nl.

About Obvious Ventures:

Founded in 2014 and with over $300M under management, Obvious Ventures has partnered with over 40 world positive entrepreneurs building disruptive solutions to systemic challenges. The Obvious team brings entrepreneurial experience and capital to startups combining profit and purpose for a smarter, healthier, and more sustainable world.

About Real Ventures:

Real Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm that backs entrepreneurs and builds the ecosystems in which they thrive. Established in 2007, they have invested in over 200 companies across five funds, with $330M under management.

About XpertSea:

XpertSea is a Canadian technology company that’s transforming how the global aquaculture industry farms seafood. Combining artificial intelligence, computer vision and machine learning, our solution empowers hatcheries, farms and research centers to track and manage their aquatic populations with greater speed, accuracy and insight than ever before. With customers in over 48 countries, we’re using Canadian ingenuity to help feed the world. See our video at bit.ly/xpercount and visit our website at www.xpertsea.com.


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Good Returns Group Secures $1 Million Funding from Inverdale Capital Management

Asset Manager Backs Social Enterprise’s New Model of Philanthropy

Press Release – Dallas, TX – April 10, 2018 – Good Returns Group, the Dallas-based social enterprise whose unique philanthropic model for businesses helps create sustainable social impact, has secured $1 million of funding from Inverdale Capital Management, an asset management firm focused on alternative investments. The capital will enable Good Returns to serve the needs of its larger clients and strategically grow its impact programs.

This backing from one of Dallas’ leading asset managers highlights the significant potential of Good Returns’ approach to funding the growth of “impact organizations,” organizations that address social challenges using financially and operationally sustainable models. It also demonstrates a higher level of engagement from North Texas individual and institutional investors in the impact investment movement.

“Good Returns’ vision aligns with our aim to elevate the role that capital can play in helping the world become a better place,” says Ryan Small, Inverdale’s Managing Partner. “Good Returns is creating new channels for corporate philanthropy through its innovative model, and we’re excited to partner with them to equip socially-conscious companies with the tools they need to make a difference without cutting into profits.”

Good Returns’ revolutionary Cycle program enables companies to meaningfully participate in supporting the growth of solutions to humanity’s most pressing challenges. Through Good Returns, a participating company provides capital in the form of a one-year interest-free loan, or “cycle.” Good Returns insures and deploys the funds to vetted impact organizations that have proven they are ready to scale their current sustainable models. Good Returns helps cycling companies create and share powerful stories of this impact, further raising awareness of the impact organizations’ work. The guaranteed loan is repaid a year later, at which point companies may choose to engage in another cycle.

“Companies want to do more good, but they have a responsibility to shareholders,” said Kyle Lukianuk, President of Good Returns’ cycling program. “Our combination of capital investments and storytelling generates value for all participants in the model and allows us to access previously untapped resources to help build a better world.”

Good Returns selects both local and global impact organizations that address issues identified by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as extreme poverty, water access and education.

Good Returns Group co-founder Salah Boukadoum says, “Observant investors like Inverdale are serious about Dallas-Fort Worth’s potential to be an impact leader. We are home to many great organizations that are both creating new value and have the potential to play a significant role in solving the most pressing challenges of our time.”

The partnership with Inverdale will also enable Good Returns to develop additional relationships with interested foundations and guarantors, as well as expand its presence in the humanitarian storytelling community.


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Who Earns An “F” On Equal Pay?: Arjuna Capital Gender Pay Scorecard (GPS) To Rank Top Tech, Finance And Retail Firms.

Facebook, Goldman Sachs, Nike and WalMart Among Firms to be Graded; Arjuna Capital is National Leader in Driving Gender Pay Shareholder Movement.

Press Release – BOSTON///News Advisory/// Following major success generating gender pay gap disclosures from leading tech, financial, and retail companies, Arjuna Capital will release a comprehensive report grading gender pay disclosures, performance, and commitments among corporate leaders and laggards across the 3 industries.

The Gender Pay Scorecard (GPS) will examine equal pay at some of the world’s largest corporations, and serve as a guide to navigate which companies are taking a leadership role on transparent disclosures in the US, UK, and globally. With a heavy emphasis on quantitative reporting, versus qualitative assurances, GPS will score companies based on performance, commitments to report annually, coverage, and goals for achieving 100% pay equity.

In 2018, Arjuna Capital filed nine gender pay equity shareholder proposals at leading financial institutions: Citigroup, J.P. Morgan, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, American Express, Mastercard, Reinsurance Group, and Progressive Insurance. Over the past three months, eight of the nine companies have responded positively to the engagement and made public announcements to close their gender pay gaps.

In the tech sector, Arjuna Capital led a successful campaign pressuring seven tech companies — eBay, Intel, Apple, Expedia, Microsoft, Adobe, and Google — to upgrade their standards and transparency on gender pay disparity in the workplace. Facebook remains a holdout. Google will face a shareholder proposal for the 3rd time this spring as recent disclosures fell short of investor expectations.

In the retail sector, Arjuna Capital has filed five gender pay equity proposals: at Amazon, Nike, Starbucks, Costco, and WalMart. All but WalMart were withdrawn for company commitments and equal pay disclosures. WalMart is attempting to block a vote on gender pay proposal by appealing to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

ABOUT ARJUNA CAPITAL

Arjuna Capital is an investment firm focused on sustainable and impact investing. Lamb and Arjuna Capital have been recognized for using shareholder resolutions to promote gender pay equity in the tech, banking, and retail sectors. Natasha Lamb was named to the “Bloomberg 50” list of influencers who defined global business in 2017. For more information, visit www.Arjuna-Capital.com.


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CleanCapital Announces $250 Million Equity Partnership with CarVal Investors

New partnership, supports growing clean energy marketplace with up to $1 billion available to acquire and invest in solar projects

Press Release – NEW YORK, NY- [April 9, 2018]CleanCapital, a fintech company that makes it easy to invest in clean energy, and CarVal Investors, a leading global alternative investment fund manager, today announced a new $250 million equity partnership that, including debt financing, enables the acquisition of up to $1 billion of clean energy assets. This partnership harnesses CarVal’s expertise across different asset classes and creates an opportunity to define clean energy as an investment-ready opportunity. To date, the CleanCapital team, founded by Jon Powers, Thomas Byrne, and Marc Garrett, has acquired nearly $100 million of operating solar projects. Their proprietary platform streamlines and expedites due diligence and analysis, allowing complex deals to close in less than 60 days.

The solar industry is on track to reach over 100GW of capacity by 2023; however, the flow of capital within the space remains largely stagnant. CarVal has a successful track record of leveraging the securitization market to enhance returns and tapping capital markets to broaden investable opportunities. This expertise will allow CleanCapital to bring much-needed liquidity to the historically capital-inefficient clean energy marketplace.

“CleanCapital’s approach is game-changing for accelerating investments in a sustainable energy future for America,” said Jerry Keefe, principal at CarVal Investors. “Their proprietary methodology to acquire solar assets takes what was once a complex and cumbersome process and makes it simple and secure for developers. We believe these assets have the potential to be solid, high-performing investments with predictable cash flows for investors. We’re excited to partner with CleanCapital as they continue to grow the clean energy economy and bring much-needed capital to the sector.”

“As the investment needs in renewables grow, broader participation from institutional investors is critical to transition from fossil fuels to a clean energy economy. This substantial capital commitment multiplies our ability to provide project owners with opportunities to successfully exit their portfolios. I’m convinced that the flow of capital into clean energy is irrepressible, and this deal is one more step in unlocking the billions of dollars of untapped capital sources that have been absent from this sector,” said Thomas Byrne, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of CleanCapital. “Partnering with CarVal Investors, one of the most dynamic and innovative capital partners in the market, increases the resources and experience to accelerate toward that goal.”

CleanCapital was connected to CarVal through Finitive, a financial technology platform providing institutional investors with access to alternative lending investments.

“Using its proprietary financial technology platform, CleanCapital has established a leadership role in the acquisition of solar renewable assets. We are excited that CleanCapital and CarVal have partnered to further accelerate the growth of CleanCapital’s portfolio. With this partnership and the capital provided by CarVal, CleanCapital will be able to achieve its acquisition goals for the near and medium term,” said Jon Barlow, Executive Chairman and founder of Finitive.

CleanCapital is a financial technology company that makes it easy to invest in clean energy. They deliver technology solutions to all aspects of the transaction process—from lending to capital raising, origination to diligence. The proprietary technology platform identifies, screens, and manages clean energy projects enabling project owners an opportunity to exit their portfolios while providing accredited investors, including institutional investors, family offices, and investment funds, unique access to the clean energy investment market.

About CleanCapital:

Founded in 2015, CleanCapital is a financial technology company that makes it easy to invest in clean energy. CleanCapital has built a proprietary technology platform that identifies, screens, and manages clean energy projects enabling project owners an opportunity to exit their portfolios while providing accredited investors, including institutional investors, family offices, and investment funds, unique access to the clean energy investment market. Stay up to date on the evolving market of clean energy finance by following the company on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting via LinkedIn. Learn more at http://www.cleancapital.com.

About CarVal Investors

CarVal Investors is a leading global alternative investment fund manager focused on distressed and credit-intensive assets and market inefficiencies. Since 1987, CarVal has invested $103 billion in 5,300 transactions across 79 countries. CarVal has a history of successful energy and power investments and is innovative in structuring partnerships in the renewables industry. For more information, visit www.carvalinvestors.com.

About Finitive

Finitive is a financial technology platform providing institutional investors with turnkey, zero-fee access to alternative lending investments. Its highly selective process, world-class investment team, and unique platform efficiently deliver capital to its originator partners. Through Finitive, institutional investors access a multi-trillion-dollar market that encompasses a broad spectrum of non-bank lending sectors, including specialty finance, online lending, marketplace lending, and private credit funds. Finitive’s originator partners gain efficient access to a global network of investors who are actively allocating to alternative lending. All regulated activities are conducted through North Capital Private Securities, member FINRA/SIPC. For additional information, please visit Finitive’s website at www.finitive.com.


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Arjuna Capital: Reinsurance Is 8th Financial Company, 1st Insurer, Closing Gender Pay Gap In Shareholder Campaign

8 of 9 Targeted Financial Institutions Agree to Share Information and Adjust Salaries; Reinsurance Group of America is First Insurance Company Committed to Act.

Press Release – BOSTON AND NEW YORK CITY (April 3, 2018) – Eight leading financial companies have announced proactive steps to erase gender pay inequity in response to shareholder proposals from Arjuna Capital. Reinsurance Group of America (RGA) is the 8th company since January 15th to agree to the terms of Arjuna’s proposal, committing to disclose its gender pay gap to shareholders by the end of 2018, with a goal of 100% pay equity. Arjuna Capital officially withdrew its shareholder proposal at RGA by letter on Thursday, March 29th. RGA is the first insurance company to commit to 100% gender pay equity in response to shareholder pressure.

An overwhelming majority of financial companies targeted by Arjuna Capital on gender pay equity (eight of nine in 2018) have now responded proactively to shareholder engagements, measuring and ameliorating pay practices on key measures to the vicinity of 99 percent.

Glassdoor finds an unexplained 7.2 percent gender pay gap in the insurance industry even after statistical controls accounting for role and seniority, the highest of 25 industries examined. Robeco Sam finds a 17 percent median pay gap for insurance company managers, while Insurance Journal’s 2016 Agency Salary Survey found female managers earned 79,531 dollars less than male managers on average.

Natasha Lamb, managing partner, Arjuna Capital said: “The RGA agreement represents a meaningful first step toward gender pay equity in the insurance industry. By committing to best practice disclosure and 100% gender pay equity, Reinsurance Group has now set the bar for an industry that has struggled with an outsized gender pay gap. We commend the company’s pledge to create pay equity in their workforce and report to shareholders by the end of 2018.”

On January 15th, Citigroup was the first US bank to disclose its gender and racial pay gap through an internal announcement and salary adjustments. Bank of America joined Citi on January 25th, becoming the second big bank to address shareholder concerns on gender and racial pay equity. Wells Fargo made a similar announcement on February 1st, trailed by Bank of New York Mellon on February 6th. Mastercard published an announcement online on February 12th, and the last of the banks engaged by shareholders, JPMorgan, agreed to terms on Feb. 23rd. On March 7, American Express (AMEX) committed to full disclosure and new action steps to adjust salaries by the end of 2018.

Similar to AMEX, RGA has officially committed to analyzing and disclosing to its employees and on its corporate website by the end of 2018 the Company’s gender pay gap, including base, bonus, and equity compensation, starting first in the United States and countries representing 83% of the Company’s employee base, with a commitment to expand globally over time.

Lamb continued: “Transparent accounting of pay disparities is a necessary first step toward eliminating the structural barriers women face in the workplace, but it is not sufficient. The larger goal is moving more women into leadership, and realizing the performance benefits such diversity affords.”

Women make up over half of the insurance industry workforce, but occupy less than 30 percent of managerial positions. Female executives are 20 to 30 percent more likely to leave financial services careers than other careers.

2018 marks an abrupt shift from 2016, when six of the originally targeted institutions (Bank of America, Mastercard, American Express, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo and Citi) rejected shareholder proposals filed by Arjuna Capital asking for detailed reports on the percentage pay gap between male and female employees.

The RGA gender pay resolution is available online at: (https://arjuna-capital.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/RGA-Shareholder-Proposal_Gender-Pay-Equity-12012018.pdf).

Arjuna Capital’s letter withdrawing the RGA proposal is available at: (https://arjuna-capital.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Reinsurance-Group-Withdrawal-Letter_03.29.18.pdf).

ABOUT ARJUNA CAPITAL

Arjuna Capital is an investment firm focused on sustainable and impact investing. Lamb and Arjuna Capital have been recognized for using shareholder resolutions to promote gender pay equity in the tech, banking, and retail sectors. Natasha Lamb was named to the “Bloomberg 50” list of influencers who defined global business in 2017. For more information, visit www.Arjuna-Capital.com.


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New Forests’ Tropical Asia Forest Fund Expands Investment in Malaysian Eucalyptus Plantation

Press Release – SINGAPORE and KOTA KINABALU, 27 March 2018 – Investment firm New Forests has announced an additional equity investment in its first Asian forestry investment, a eucalyptus plantation business in Sabah, Malaysia. At a ceremony in Kota Kinabalu last week, the new investment into Acacia Forest Industries Sdn Bhd (AFI) from New Forests’ Tropical Asia Forest Fund (TAFF) was welcomed by the Sabah Forestry Development Authority (SAFODA), which is a joint venture partner in the plantation business.

The additional investment comes nearly five years after TAFF’s initial investment in the Hijauan Group. The group’s subsidiary company Hijauan Bengkoka Plantations Sdn Bhd (HBP) is a joint shareholder of operating plantation company AFI alongside SAFODA, a Sabah State government agency involved in reforestation development. The additional investment will be made by TAFF via its majority ownership of the Hijauan Group. New Forests, on behalf of TAFF, has worked together with SAFODA to enable this further equity investment to continue to execute on AFI’s strategic plans for improving plantation quality and transitioning the company to a higher value sawlog production model.

Paul Speed, Director of Investments and Operations for New Forests in Asia and Chairman of HBP noted, “Since our initial investment in the Hijauan Group, we have worked towards improving the quality of the AFI plantations and ensuring AFI’s position as a leading plantation company in Sabah. We have already implemented significant capital investments, such as construction of a new state-of-the-art nursery, refurbishing facilities and housing, and supporting local water infrastructure projects. The further equity investment by TAFF over the next five years will ensure that strategic initiatives like these can continue to be implemented through the AFI business.”

AFI is headquartered in Kota Kinabalu with plantations located on the Bengkoka Peninsula of northern Sabah. Since 2015, AFI has switched from planting primarily Acacia mangium to Eucalyptus pellita, a crop that offers additional market versatility and better resilience to locally prevalent tree diseases. The new seedling nursery opened in January 2018 with a production capacity of 2.5 million seedlings per annum.

To meet New Forests’ environmental and social investment requirements, AFI has run a multi-year social engagement program culminating in a participatory mapping exercise that completed in 2016. AFI has since developed a new social forestry strategy based on the outcomes of engagement and the need to address land tenure and support local livelihood opportunities. With the additional investment from TAFF, AFI will continue to focus on re-establishment of its commercial plantations while also piloting new models for outgrower forestry in the Bengkoka Peninsula.

“AFI is pleased to welcome further investment from TAFF via its investment in the Hijauan Group,” said Mike Janssen, General Manager of AFI. “As a business we remain focused on being a leader in sustainable plantation management in eastern Malaysia. Ongoing equity investment into AFI will help ensure we realise our potential on the ground here in Sabah and that we can become a major supplier of certified eucalyptus to domestic and regional markets.”

New Forests’ TAFF is a USD 170 million fund that launched in 2012 as the first forestry fund dedicated to sustainable forestry in Southeast Asia. The fund has since taken equity positions in three forestry businesses in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Laos. These investments encompass more than 150,000 hectares of land with the target of managing and establishing more than 60,000 hectares of certified plantation forests.

Geoffrey Seeto, Managing Director for New Forests Asia remarked, “The AFI additional investment showcases how institutional investors can progressively work to support the development, recapitalisation, and professionalisation of the forest sector across Asia. Through TAFF’s investment in AFI we have seen steady growth in biological value and taken an active management approach to improving business systems and processes in line with international best practice. This positions our investments not only for improved return potential but also as examples of forward-looking investments that align with sustainable development objectives in growing Asian markets.”

About New Forests

As global demand for resources grows, there is a need to increase productivity while ensuring the conservation of the world’s remaining natural forests. New Forests seeks to create investment strategies that provide lasting solutions to this challenge. Through responsible management of forests and other real assets, we create shared benefit for investors and local communities alike. We believe that meeting the needs of a broad range of stakeholders will provide better returns over the long term. New Forests has international reach, with offices and assets in Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and the US. This gives us a global perspective combined with local expertise that allows us to understand and manage our assets more effectively. Wherever we operate in the world, our strength lies in our people and their drive to make investments that create the best possible outcomes. By investing with integrity and transparency we aim to generate strong returns while helping tackle some of the world’s great sustainability challenges. Learn more at www.newforests.com.au.


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Glenmede Sponsors Impactivate℠: The Impact Investing Exchange

New Website Offers the Latest in Impact Investing News and Trends

Press Release – March 21, 2018 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time: PHILADELPHIA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Glenmede Trust Company, a privately-held and independently owned investment and wealth management firm with $40 billion in assets under management (AUM), announced today the launch of Impactivate℠, a website that showcases articles from journalists and thought leaders on the environmental, social and governance continuum.

“An expanding body of research has resulted in the beginning of an exciting era in the discipline of impact investing, with a spectrum of approaches emerging, from identifying companies that adopt ESG-aware policies and practices to direct value-based investing,” said Casey Clark, Director of Sustainable and Impact Investing at Glenmede. “Given the tenured history we have implementing impact strategies for foundations and endowments, we saw an opportunity to sponsor a dedicated resource that has the potential to align values with investments.”

Impactivate is designed to be an independent, forward-thinking, and educational platform for readers and investors alike to stay abreast of impact investing news. The site features perspectives on four primary categories within impact investing:

  • Planet: Read about emerging trends in clean tech, food systems and sustainable agriculture, and natural resources and conservation.
  • Society: Learn how investors and practitioners are working toward solutions that advance human rights, employee welfare, healthcare, and financial inclusion.
  • Faith: Discover how faith-based organizations are bridging the gap to build a stronger future, help humanity and preserve the planet.
  • Investing Playbook: Understand the latest strategies individuals, institutions and shareholders are using to align their investments with their values.

Glenmede has a 15-year history implementing impact strategies on behalf of client portfolios and has witnessed significant growth in this area over the past five years. The Company partners with foundation trustees, school boards, faith-based organizations, and families to maximize financial returns as well as environmental and social outcomes. For more information on Impactivate and to sign up for the monthly newsletter, visit www.impactinvestingexchange.com.

About Glenmede

The Glenmede Trust Company, N.A., (“Glenmede”) is among the nation’s leading investment and wealth management firms with $40 billion of assets under management for high-net-worth individuals, families, family offices, endowment, foundation and institutional clients. Headquartered in Philadelphia, the firm has offices in Ohio, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Washington DC. For further information, please visit www.glenmede.com.


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