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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
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Devin D. Thorpe

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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.

US SIF Statement on House Approval of The Financial CHOICE Act

Press Release – Said Lisa Woll, CEO of US SIF, “Today $8.72 trillion dollars, more than one in five dollars of professionally managed assets in the United States, are engaged in sustainable, responsible and impact investing practices—a 33 percent increase since 2014, according to the US SIF Foundation’s 2016 Report on Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends. These investors understand that the capital markets are most efficient when rules and regulations address systemic risk, allow for robust oversight of corporate directors and management, and provide access to information about the environmental and social policies, practices and performance of companies among other important priorities.

“The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act addressed the systemic risks that contributed to the financial crisis. The law helped protect hard working Americans from a repeat of the financial crisis and ensured a more transparent and accountable framework for investors and consumers.

“The Financial CHOICE Act will not rebuild confidence and trust in the U.S. markets. Instead it will tarnish the reputation of the US markets by rolling back systemic risk protections, killing effective regulations, imposing onerous hurdles for new regulations, starving market regulators of appropriate funding, shuttering market transparency and eviscerating the ability of most shareholders to file resolutions. The Senate should not take up this bill.”

The CHOICE Act will undermine the health and confidence in the markets by:

  • Adding unnecessary and burdensome processes to an already cumbersome rulemaking process and damaging the independent structure of regulatory agencies by requiring major rules to be approved by both chambers of Congress.
  • Disenfranchising all but the very largest institutional investors by raising the amount of stock needed to file a shareholder resolution from $2,000 to holding at least 1% of a company’s stock – halting the extraordinary progress—including more independent and diverse boards, enhanced disclosure practices, and stronger investor rights and protections—that have resulted from shareholder engagement.
  • Rolling back effective disclosure rules including conflict minerals and pay ratio disclosure that address issues of potentially material risks to companies and their shareholders and which warrant the sunlight of disclosure.
  • Repealing or weakening key corporate governance reforms including revoking the SEC’s authority to adopt a proxy access rule, and rolling back the say-on-pay vote – a direction which is inconsistent with the clear preferences of companies and investors.
  • Weakening the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created in the wake of the financial crisis to fight on behalf of American consumers, protecting them from predatory lending and ensuring that all Americans have adequate access to capital to start small businesses and buy homes.

The Financial CHOICE Act is simply a bad choice for America.

US SIF’s detailed concerns with the CHOICE Act can be found in our letter to the House.

About US SIF

US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment is the leading voice advancing sustainable, responsible and impact investing across all asset classes. Our mission is to rapidly shift investment practices towards sustainability, focusing on long-term investment and the generation of positive social and environmental impacts. US SIF members include investment management and advisory firms, mutual fund companies, research firms, financial planners and advisors, broker-dealers, community investing organizations, nonprofit associations, and pension funds, foundations and other asset owners. Learn more at www.ussif.org.

Kathy Ko Chin and Cecilia Muñoz Appointed to Kresge Foundation Board of Trustees

Irene Hirano Inouye, Lee Bollinger complete board service after 16 years

Press Release – June 8, 2017 (Detroit) – The Kresge Foundation Board of Trustees has appointed Kathy Ko Chin and Cecilia Muñoz to serve as trustees on the 12-member governing body for the private, national foundation that works to expand opportunity for people living in America’s cities.

“Both Kathy and Cecilia have made it their life’s work to find solutions to the most pressing challenges affecting our democracy and the people most impacted,” said Elaine D. Rosen, Kresge board chair. “Their unwavering commitment to these issues is uniquely aligned with the strategic direction of the foundation and we look forward to their added perspective and contribution to Kresge’s work.”

Kathy Ko Chin
Photo Credit: http://kresge.org

Kathy Ko Chin is president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, which influences policy, mobilizes communities and strengthens organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. The daughter of immigrants from China, Ko Chin’s 40-year career has been committed to building community institutions that contribute to a just and multiracial society. Recognized as an authority on national health policy, she is a renowned voice for the Asian American community and served on President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. She has served on the boards of many nonprofit organizations, as well as leading and participating in the investment and financing committees for Blue Cross of California’s Investment in a Healthy California Program, the Cal-Mortgage program and Catholic Healthcare West. Ko Chin, a native of Cleveland, earned a master’s degree in health policy and management from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford University.

“I am honored and excited to join Cecilia Muñoz, whom I worked closely with when she was at the White House, on the Board of Trustees of The Kresge Foundation, an organization widely recognized for its keen insight into the complex issues facing low-income and minority communities,” Ko Chin said. “As communities grow and change, the Foundation’s efforts are even more relevant, and the road forward will require us all to be strategic, dynamic, and compassionate. I look forward to working with the entire board to expand opportunities for all individuals, families, and communities.”

Cecilia Muñoz
Photo Credit: http://kresge.org

Cecilia Muñoz is vice president of policy and technology and director of the national network at New America, a think tank and civic enterprise committed to renewing American politics, prosperity and purpose in the Digital Age. Previously she was the director of the Domestic Policy Council under President Obama from 2012 until 2017, and also served as the White House director of Intergovernmental Affairs. Muñoz is the daughter of immigrants from Bolivia. Prior to her work in government, she was senior vice president for the Office of Research, Advocacy and Legislation at the National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest Hispanic policy and advocacy organization. Muñoz was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2000 for her work on immigration and civil rights, and has served on the boards of the National Immigration Forum, the Open Society Institute and the Atlantic Philanthropies. A native of Detroit, she earned bachelor’s degrees in Latin American studies and English from the University of Michigan and earned a master’s degree in Latin American studies from the University of California, Berkeley.

“During my three decades of policymaking, I have learned to value The Kresge Foundation for its thoughtful investments, its focus on results, and its leadership in the philanthropic world; it gives me great pride to join the foundation’s board at this important moment,” Muñoz said.

Ko Chin and Muñoz will each serve a 4-year term, at which time, per the foundation’s governance rules, their board service may be extended to a maximum of 16 years. Cynthia Kresge, a trustee and the great-granddaughter of founder Sebastian S. Kresge, led the trustee search process and evaluated dozens of individuals before successfully recommending Ko Chin and Muñoz to the full board for approval.

In addition, two longtime trustees, Irene Hirano Inouye and Lee Bollinger, have stepped down from their Kresge trustee positions after 16 years on the board. Hirano Inouye, president of the U.S.-Japan Council, joined the Kresge board in 2001 and served as board chair from 2004 through 2006. Bollinger, president of Columbia University, also was appointed as a trustee in June 2001. During his service, he co-chaired the 2006 search committee that led to the hiring of Kresge President and CEO, Rip Rapson.

“It is hard to consider our board without Irene and Lee,” said Rosen. “Irene’s knowledge has brought Kresge to the forefront of good governance, and her grace and leadership has raised our board discourse to a superior level. Lee is an inspirational thought leader who has helped us realize the true breadth of the foundation’s philanthropic potential,” she said.

About The Kresge Foundation

The Kresge Foundation is a $3.5 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and social investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, and community development in Detroit. In 2016, the Board of Trustees approved 474 grants totaling $141.5 million, and made 14 social investment commitments totaling $50.8 million. For more information, visit www.kresge.org.

The Outcomes Road to a More Effective Social Sector

Resources for Media as National Dialogue Launches

Press Release – NEW YORK – May 30, 2017 – An important innovation is happening in the US social sector today – a shift toward an outcomes orientation, in which funding is tied to the ability to demonstrate that high-quality social services produce results for those in need.

On June 5, Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco kick off a nationwide dialogue around outcomes, with publication of a book of expert essays and a series of events with speakers including Linda Gibbs of Bloomberg Associates, Zia Khan of The Rockefeller Foundation, Andrew Plepler of Bank of America, Muzzy Rosenblatt of BRC, and Darren Walker of Ford Foundation.

Launch events take place June 5 in New York, June 13 in San Francisco, and September 12 in Washington, DC. Media interested in attending these events must obtain a confirmed reservation from one of the media contacts listed below by June 2 for New York, June 9 for San Francisco, and August 29 for Washington, DC. The June 13 San Francisco event will be livestreamed via investinresults.org. In addition, NFF can help connect you with speakers, authors, and other experts, as well as resources to explain and illustrate many aspects of this important field.

Some experts:

  • Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO, Nonprofit Finance Fund (impact investing; community investment; how nonprofits and their supporters can move toward an outcomes-oriented social sector)
  • David Erickson, director of community development, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (community investment, why the social sector works the way it does today, and it needs to move toward outcomes orientation)
  • Kerry Herlihy Sullivan, president, Bank of America Charitable Foundation (investing in nonprofit leadership and the skills needed for outcomes-based approaches)
  • Muzzy Rosenblatt, president and CEO, BRC (why and how a nonprofit serving the homeless shifted to an outcomes orientation, and how that shift serves their clients)
  • Terri Ludwig, president and CEO, Enterprise Community Partners (models and policy solutions to foster the shift to outcomes)
  • Tyler Norris, chief executive, Institute for Mental Health and Wellness (outcomes at the intersection of healthcare and community services, population health)
  • Zia Khan, vice president of initiatives and strategy, The Rockefeller Foundation (culture shifts needed to move to outcomes)

Some resources:

  • The contents of the book, What Matters: Investing in Results to Build Strong, Vibrant Communities, are available at investinresults.org
  • Learn more about the campaign at investinresults.org
  • Learn about the outcomes vanguard Pay for Success at payforsuccess.org
  • Using short-term data to justify spending cuts is dangerous, The Hill (4/10/17)

About Nonprofit Finance Fund

NFF advances missions and social progress in underserved communities through financing, consulting, partnerships, and knowledge-sharing that empower leaders, organizations, and ideas. A leading Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), NFF has $250 million in assets under management and has provided $620 million in financing and access to additional capital in support of over $2.3 billion in projects for thousands of organizations nationwide. Visit nff.org to learn more about our work and follow us on twitter.com/nff_news. Funding for the Invest in Results campaign is generously provided to NFF by Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Omidyar Network, The Robin Hood Foundation, and The Rockefeller Foundation.

About the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (SF Fed) promotes low inflation, full employment and financial stability and serves the Twelfth Federal Reserve District, which includes the nine western states—Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington—plus American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The SF Fed’s community development team works with a wide range of organizations to create economic opportunity for lower income Americans by developing and connecting best practices and emerging ideas with organizations positioned to make meaningful change in communities. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/sffed.

US SIF Statement on President Trump’s Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement

Press Release – June 1, 2017: US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment—the leading voice advancing sustainable, responsible and impact investing across all asset classes and representing 300+ members with more than $3 trillion in assets under management or advisement—released the following statement today in response to the Administration’s decision to exit the Paris Climate Agreement.

Lisa Woll, CEO of US SIF said:

“The exit of the United States from the Paris Agreement is unequivocally the wrong decision. It will harm the environment and damage the health and safety of the American people, our country’s international reputation, and progress towards a vibrant, innovative and low carbon economy.

“The United States is already paying a high economic price from the ravages of severe drought, wildfires and storms associated with increased atmospheric levels of carbon. This is not the time to retreat from the call to protect current and succeeding generations from the significant implications of further, unrestrained climate change and rising sea levels.

“Rising concern about climate change is well documented among the largest institutional investors in our country. The US SIF Foundation’s 2016 survey of sustainable and impact investment assets in the United States revealed that climate change was the most significant overall environmental factor in terms of assets. Money managers with $1.42 trillion in assets under management and institutional asset owners with $2.15 trillion in assets consider climate change risk in their investment analysis, more than three times the amounts affected in 2014. Moreover, shareholders concerned about climate risk filed 93 resolutions on the subject in 2016 and negotiated several commitments from target companies to disclose and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

“In addition to concerns about negative environmental implications, there is also widespread concern among business leaders and investors about political and economic risks that could result from the US exit from the Paris Agreement – risks to trade negotiations and to the international reputation and competitiveness of US companies doing business abroad. Many Fortune 500 companies have provided public support for the Paris Agreement since it was enacted, including 69 Fortune 500 companies, 33 Fortune 100 companies and 20 Fortune 50 companies.”

About US SIF

US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment is the leading voice advancing sustainable, responsible and impact investing across all asset classes. Our mission is to rapidly shift investment practices towards sustainability, focusing on long-term investment and the generation of positive social and environmental impacts. US SIF members include investment management and advisory firms, mutual fund companies, research firms, financial planners and advisors, broker-dealers, community investing organizations, nonprofit associations, and pension funds, foundations and other asset owners. Learn more at www.ussif.org.

Closed Loop Fund Releases Complete 2016 Results, Doubling Impact In Just 4 Months

Projects have diverted nearly 100,000 tons of material from landfill, reduced more than 230,000 metric tons of GHG, and created more than $530,000 in economic benefit to municipalities

Thanks to the participation of CLF investors including 3M, Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Dr Pepper Snapple Group Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies, Keurig Green Mountain, Nestle Waters North America, PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and the Walmart Foundation

Press Release – June 1, 2017 — Closed Loop Fund, an investment fund that finances recycling infrastructure and sustainable manufacturing technologies to advance the circular economy, has released its 2016 impact results (an update from a November 2016 publication).

“Our portfolio is rapidly delivering greater and greater impact, as more projects come online. In just the last quarter of 2016, tons diverted from landfill, greenhouse gas tons avoided, and economic benefit to cities doubled what we saw cumulatively in the year prior,” says Margot Kane, CFO and Chief Investment Officer of Closed Loop Fund.

According to Kane, “We are showing that municipalities and recycling companies have significant demand for impact investment dollars, and we are unlocking powerful co-investment. To date, the investments are generating revenues and paying back on time.”

Key Highlights and Statistics from the updated Report (as of Dec 31, 2016):

  • CLF committed nearly $25m in 11 projects, with 3x co-investment of over $64m from municipalities, banks and impact investors.
  • 8 live projects have already diverted 98,500 tons of material from landfill, reducing the equivalent of 232,000 metric tons of GHG emissions (like taking every car in Fort Myers, FL off the road for one year)
  • $533,000 in economic benefit accrued to municipalities (like educating 50 children in public schools for one year)
  • Activities represent recycling generated by nearly 1.2 million households (equivalent to a metro area the size of San Diego, CA)

Since the end of 2016, Closed Loop Fund has closed 2 additional loans:

  • Aero Aggregates: a lightweight aggregate manufacturing company creating a high value end market for recycled glass in road construction and other geotechnical applications
  • Escambia County Utilities Authority (ECUA): a new high-tech materials recovery facility (MRF) in Pensacola, FL serving a region that was previously a recycling desert

About Closed Loop Fund

Founded in 2014, Closed Loop Fund is a social impact investment fund that provides cities access to the capital required to build comprehensive recycling programs. Closed Loop Fund aims to invest $100 million by 2020 with the goal to create economic value for cities by increasing recycling rates in communities across America. Closed Loop Fund brings together the world’s largest consumer product, retail, and financial companies committed to finding a national solution to divert waste from landfills into the recycling stream in order to be used in the manufacturing supply chain. Key supporters include 3M, Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies, Keurig Green Mountain, Nestle Waters North America, PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. For more information, visit www.closedloopfund.com

New Report: Opportunities for Impact Investing in Employee Ownership

Press Release – With income inequality in the United States at record high levels, employee ownership is increasingly being lauded as a potential solution to spreading wealth more broadly. Most recently, research from the National Center for Employee Ownership released in May shows that employee owners have a household net worth that is 92 percent higher than non-employee owners. They also make 33 percent higher wages, and are far less likely to be laid off.

But employee ownership requires new investment in order to get to scale. A new report by Mary Ann Beyster, president and trustee of the Foundation for Enterprise Development (FED), published by the Fifty by Fifty initiative of The Democracy Collaborative, examines the investing landscape for potential opportunities in employee ownership. The report, “Impact Investing and Employee Ownership,” released today, reports on the results from six months of research, showing that the opportunities for impact investors to support employee ownership are limited, but that an investing infrastructure is beginning to emerge across asset classes. Among the key leading opportunities for investment are community development financial institutions (CDFIs), private equity funds, and one mutual fund.

“Employee-owned companies ground wealth locally, stabilize communities, and offer impact investors a direct way to benefit their own communities,” Ms Beyster said. “We found that what is needed is more awareness of the benefits of employee ownership and more attention to building the needed investment infrastructure.”

Among the leading investment opportunities highlighted in the report are:

CDFIs: Among roughly 800 community development financial institutions nationwide, the study found six that focus on financing employee ownership: Capital Impact Partners in Washington, DC; the Commonwealth Revolving Loan Fund run by the Ohio Employee Ownership Center in Kent, OH; Cooperative Fund of New England, which loans to cooperatives throughout New England; Local Enterprise Assistance Fund in Brookline, MA; Shared Capital Cooperative in Minneapolis; and The Working World in New York City.

Private equity: The study also found two private equity funds focused on financing mid-market firms (revenues of $15 million up to $350 million) that are employee-owned or are transitioning into employee ownership. These two funds are Mosaic Capital Partners in Charlotte, NC, which has a $165 million fund; and Long Point Capital, with offices in Royal Oak, MI, and New York City, which has $550 million assets under management. Particularly noteworthy about these two investment options – appropriate primarily for institutional and high net worth investors – are that market-rate private equity returns are likely available. A similar fund is in formation by American Working Capital, headquartered in Chicago.

Mutual fund: Among mutual funds – open to even small investors – no option with an explicit focus on employee ownership was found. But the study did discover one fund, Parnassus Endeavor Fund, which invests in 26 companies identified as great places to work, where Beyster’s research found that all of the companies on the list have some kind of broad-based employee ownership. The fund has returned 32.46 percent over the past year and 15.39 percent over the past three years. It was named in 2016 by US News and World Report as the No. 2 fund among Large Growth stocks, in its annual ranking of mutual funds.

Bank: There is one bank dedicated to supporting cooperatives of all kinds, which has lent to worker-owned cooperatives and employee stock ownership plan companies for decades; it is National Cooperative Bank. Investors can open a variety of accounts with this bank, with FDIC insurance; these include checking, savings, IRAs, and certificates of deposits.

About Mary Ann Beyster

Mary Ann Beyster is president and trustee of the Foundation for Enterprise Development (FED), a private, nonprofit operating foundation established in 1986 to advance entrepreneurship and science and technology innovation through broad-based ownership.

About The Democracy Collaborative:

The Democracy Collaborative is dedicated to developing new ways to build community wealth and stronger local economies, including through networks like Fifty by Fifty, a collaboration driving towards fifty million employee owners in the US by 2050.

For more information, visit: http://democracycollaborative.org and http://fiftybyfifty.org

Twitter: @democracycollab

Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation Selects Threshold Group as Investment Advisor

Press Release – NEW YORK, NY— (May 31, 2017) — The Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, a pioneer in the field of investing for social justice, announces the selection of Threshold Group as its investment advisor as the result of its recent open call for letters of interest (LOI). Threshold Group will work with Noyes to demonstrate how capital can drive positive social and environmental change by advancing the Foundation’s impact investing and mission-aligned investing strategies for its $55 million endowment. Through its role as an investor, Noyes aims to drive systemic impact in the areas of social justice, equality, human rights, health, and diversity.

“We were pleased to see 35 responses that presented Noyes with several partnerships, business models and investment strategies that could help us maximize our endowment’s impact to bring about a more just, equitable and sustainable world while providing attractive financial returns,” said Steven Godeke, Board Chair of the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation. “The submissions represented a range of approaches from ESG integration to deep impact investment advisory. The results of this search confirmed our belief that, over the past 25 years since the Noyes began this journey, the partners and resources available to mission-aligned investors have increased dramatically.”

In response to the evolution of sustainable, responsible and impact investment, the Noyes Foundation is revisiting its endowment’s investment strategy to move beyond mission alignment. With the announcement of the engagement with Threshold Group, Noyes seeks opportunities to expand its social justice impacts by harnessing the power of public and private markets.

“We look forward to partnering with Threshold Group to increase the social justice impact of Noyes’ endowment with disciplined, objective portfolio management,” said Lenora Suki, Chair of the Finance Committee. “We are enthusiastic to work with Threshold’s team for their experience, knowledge and values alignment. Noyes looks forward to advancing our, and the industry’s, understanding of the intersection of social justice and investing, as well as working with Threshold’s impact investment research and impact measurement tools and reporting.”

Noyes will share key takeaways from its search process in a forthcoming white paper. The white paper aims to contribute to industry dialogue on impact investment advisor searches, including lessons learned on the current state of the investment advisor community’s integration of social and environmental impact into the investment process across asset classes and strategies.

Threshold Group, headquartered in Seattle, is a Registered Investment Advisor with approximately $3.2 billion of assets under management (AUM) with roughly $1.2 billion allocated to impact investments.

About Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation

The Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation was established in 1947 by Charles F. Noyes as a memorial to his wife, Jessie Smith Noyes. The Foundation’s mission is to support grassroots organizations and movements in the United States working to change environmental, social, economic and political conditions to bring about a more just, equitable and sustainable world.

It envisions a socially just and environmentally sustainable society in which all people are able to gain the knowledge and build the power they need to exercise their rights and participate fully in the economic, social and political decisions that affect their lives and communities.

First Impact Investing Fund Listed On Italian Exchange

Mainstreaming impact investing through a liquid, scalable impact driven investment strategy

Press Release – On May 31, 2017, the “Investimenti Sostenibili” fund, managed by Sella Gestioni (Banca Sella Group) working exclusively with MainStreet Partners as sole investment advisor, marks nearly the half year point as a listed fund on the Italian Stock Exchange. Investimenti Sostenibili was the first listed fund that enabled Italian retail investors to directly access impact investments. The fund is managed according to MainStreet Partner’s Sustainable Growth strategy, which targets capital appreciation via a flexible and broadly diversified portfolio of highly liquid thematic bonds and equity investments, which intentionally create positive social and environmental impact.

This listing is the end result of MainStreet Partners’ long term effort to deliver investment strategies to its banking partners that provide end investors with daily liquidity, positive returns and clear, measurable impact. The Sustainable Growth strategy has been implemented in various accounts during the past 5 years and was originally conceived in 2010 when MainStreet began researching the first thematic bonds being issued by the Development Finance Institutions. Equities screened for impact were later added to the strategy to provide a global, balanced approach. The listing of this fund is an important step forward in mainstreaming of impact investing by reaching the retail investor market with suitable and sustainable investment products. As of the end of April 2017, the fund has reached €77.1 million.

Rodolfo Fracassi from MainStreet Partners said: “Historically, impact investing has been open predominantly to wealthy individuals and institutional investors. We are delivering an impact strategy that is accessible to retail investors. This strategy provides easy access, transparency and traceability of impact with liquidity and diversification in terms of geographies, asset classes and sectors. Most importantly, it allows retail investors, who care about people and our planet, to materially contribute to social development and environmental protection.”

Achieving tangible impact

Regarding the fund’s social and environmental results, in 2016 its investments contributed to providing 40,000 loans to low-income individuals, the reduction of Co2 emissions equivalent to those produced by 760 cars in 1 year, the reduction of waste production by 6 tons and the saving 18 million litres of waters, which is equivalent to the consumption of 1,400 families in a year. Banca Sella Group and MainStreet Partners have partnered with Lifegate, a one-million member network focused on promoting sustainability, to help raise public awareness of the fund’s availability on the stock market.

About the Investimenti Sostenibili fund:

Sella Gestioni began working with MainStreet Partners in January 2015, when MainStreet Partners became the sole investment advisor to a fund named Nordfondo Obbligazionario Etico. After a review of the investment strategy and portfolio by MainStreet Partners, the fund’s portfolio was completely rebuilt based on MainStreet’s investment strategy. This globally diversified and flexible balanced strategy, which mixes thematic fixed income investments and impact listed equities, generates financial returns alongside positive and measurable results on society and the environment. The fund was subsequently renamed Investimenti Sostenibili.

About Banca Sella:

Banca Sella Holding S.p.A., whose origins date back to 1886, is one of the oldest Italian private banks. The bank engages in banking and other financial service businesses primarily in Italy. Sella Gestioni SGR S.p.A, the asset management company fully owned by Banca Sella Holding S.p.A., is the fund manager of Investimenti Sostenibili.

About MainStreet Partners:

MainStreet Partners, a London based investment advisor, was created to provide any investor with a transparent and easy access to companies and funds that achieve consistent financial returns while improving people’s lives and protecting our planet. Where and how capital is deployed has a strong influence in shaping our future world. For this reason, we want our clients to know exactly where their capital is invested and what financial, social and environmental results they are achieving.

About Lifegate:

The mission of the Lifegate network is to create the largest international network of information and services for persons, companies, NGOs and institutions working for a sustainable future. LifeGate wants to be sustainable innovation hub, incubate ideas based on new paradigms, connecting minds, projects and companies. Overseeing all of the most promising growth areas in the world with targeted investments in tools, media and technology, with an approach aimed at identifying the different needs of people and businesses that share a commitment to a better world.

DRI Fund (“DRI”) Launches A Social Impact Fund Aimed At Providing Innovative Financing To Communities That Are Underserved By Mainstream Banking

DRI is the rare combination of an investment manager that is also certified by the US Department of Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (“CDFI”).

Press Release – As an investment manager specializing in the acquisition and management of non-performing mortgage loans, DRI noticed that many of the communities they invested in were lacking access to loans from banks and other traditional sources of credit.

“We realized that many folks from low and moderate income communities just don’t fit into the standard underwriting box needed to obtain a mortgage,” says Steven Kirsch, Managing Director of DRI. “We set out to develop an investment offering that would address this issue and provide access to financing for people who are creditworthy, but don’t meet all the requirements that most lenders need to originate a loan. DRI Mortgage Opportunity Fund was set up to attract private capital to this opportunity by providing attractive risk-adjusted returns and having a social impact.”

DRI received CDFI certification in 2017. To earn CDFI certification, DRI has provided direct financing for its affordable housing and micro lending initiatives in low and moderate income areas. As part of their services, they provide borrowers with intensive financial education counseling, debt management planning, business plan development, and strategies for reducing monthly homeownership costs. DRI also managed a HUD sponsored NSP program designed to create affordable housing by rehabilitating foreclosed home for eventual lease or resale. DRI’s social impact goals include reducing foreclosures, stabilizing distressed neighborhoods, creating jobs and providing financing to underserved communities.

ABOUT DRI FUND

DRI’s professionals have extensive experience in mortgage loan investing and have generated a strong investment track record, while successfully promoting community development. DRI was formed in 2011 to manage a project sponsored by HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program on behalf of the private equity real estate firm American Residential Equities (“ARE”). ARE was in the business of acquiring, managing, and liquidating pools of distressed mortgages as well as originating non-conforming loans and successfully resolved $2.2 billion worth of mortgage transactions. DRI’s management team consists of former executives from ARE and distinguished community development banking executives, who have significant experience in non-performing and performing mortgage loan acquisitions.

For more information visit: DRIFUND.COM

DuPont invests R100 million into the Africa Regional Technology Hub

Investment includes multi crop drought research center in Hoogekraal

Press Release – DELMAS, South Africa, May 23, 2017 – DuPont leaders joined together with public, private sector and government leaders to officially open the Africa regional technology center in Delmas, South Africa. This technology center will accelerate new product development across multiple crops for farmers. With construction recently completed, the center comprises a network of strategically placed research facilities and testing locations across the continent.

“The global network of research facilities and testing locations demonstrate DuPont’s ongoing commitment to research and development to accelerate seed product development for African farmers, helping them better manage pests and crop disease, climate volatility and soil fertility,” said Alejandro Munoz, Vice President, Global Commercial Business, DuPont Pioneer.

DuPont invested 100 million Rand in the Africa technology center, which currently employs African scientists and skilled technicians to support local research efforts, across testing locations in South Africa and, for the continent. DuPont’s investment in R&D in Africa includes:

  • The Delmas technology center; which focuses on major Eastern region research activities, with breeding programs in Maize and Sunflowers, that incorporates key Pioneer and PANNAR research and testing locations, combined germplasm, talent and experience to improve cultivar breeding and development for Africa.
  • A multi-crop research center in Hoogekraal that will conduct multi-crop research for DuPont Pioneer and PANNAR with a focus on drought tolerance.
  • Africa’s biggest private Insectary, critical to the development of traits to combat local yield robbing pests, some of which are unique to the continent.
  • Training and education opportunities for staff and academic institutions every year to host a plant breeding symposium to foster research skills development and to work with smallholder farmers to improve the livelihoods of families in rural communities.

DuPont has similar technology centers in the US, Brazil, India and China as part of the company’s global research network. Delmas will serve as the central hub of the Africa regional technology center, which is comprised of a network of existing research facilities and testing locations throughout Africa. The network of research centers will enable collaboration between crop researchers, maximize resources and advance research locally. South African research information adds to the global DuPont knowledge while the facilities in Delmas, Hoogekraal, Greytown, and other locations in Africa also draw on the global DuPont expertise from colleagues in other parts of the world.

“Better-performing seed products will lead to greater yields for farmers, including small holder farmers – and will help enhance farm productivity,” said Prabdeep Bajwa, Regional Director for the DuPont’s agricultural business in Africa and Middle East. “Africa has untapped potential to boost its agricultural output if the continent increases investment in agricultural research and development to adapt global technology to local needs.”

“With nearly 35 million hectares available with grain yields of less than 2 tons per hectare, Africa is a key agricultural growth area for DuPont and with sufficient investment in technology, represents tremendous opportunities for productivity gains,” said Bajwa at the official opening of the Africa technology center in Delmas.

The regional technology center boasts advanced technologies, such as doubled haploids, ear photometry and the proprietary Pioneer Accelerated Yield Technology (AYT), as well as marker-assisted selection. These technologies help shorten crop breeding cycles and improve accuracy toward breeding targets – including improved drought tolerance, insect and disease tolerance, as well as improved yields with limited inputs.

The technology center incorporates key research and testing locations, combined germplasm, talent and experience to improve cultivar breeding and development in Africa.

“Africa will be a major contributor to feeding the world population and the technology center will increase our breeding and testing capacity, as well as enable the continent to leverage the most advanced breeding technologies and germplasm pool to develop a high-performing maize, sunflower and soybean products for farmers,” said Bajwa.

DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders, we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit www.dupont.com.

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