by Betsy Moszeter, Chief Operating Officer of Green Alpha Advisors
The evidence now shows that diverse investment teams make better long-term decisions.
The lack of gender diversity of financial services professionals is finally being talked about, but not sufficiently. It should be discussed more and in deeper ways, and – importantly – remediated in practice, because of the well-documented fact that heterogeneous teams outperform homogenous teams, across disciplines, and not by an insignificant amount.
by Sallie Krawcheck, CEO of Ellevest and former Head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
One thing I hear loud and clear from our community of female investors at Ellevest is the desire to help each other during this crisis. Some of us will donate our time, others our money. I think there’s another thing to consider doing: continue to shift capital to investments that are better for women. Because as we come out of this crisis, the same global issues that existed before COVID-19 will exist afterward — and in some cases, in a more pronounced way.
by Julie Gorte, Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing, Impax Asset Management LLC and Pax World Funds
Climate change is a story that encompasses everyone — believer, denier, rich, poor, black, brown, white, majority, minority, male or female. It’s an equal opportunity wolf at the door. But, as is the case with diversity in almost every pursuit, more diverse groups bring more to the table, and considering that climate change is the most important problem humans must solve, diversity has a contribution to make to climate change.
By Tami Kesselman, LOHAS Advisors and Aligned Investing Global
Within the impact investing community, the value of gender diversity as an investment evaluation screen is rarely questioned because we know a secret that mainstream private equity and venture capital investors have failed to identify. What’s that? We’ve discovered that investing in women-led companies is not only exceptionally impactful, but it is also an excellent alpha strategy!
by Jessye Waxman, Green Century Capital Management
As a shareholder advocate for an environmentally-responsible mutual fund company, I directly engage companies on their supply chain strategies and have successfully convinced them to adopt practices that have real-world impacts that protect a triple bottom line. I’ve collaborated with Aramark and Tyson Foods to develop robust no-deforestation commitments, and have successfully pressed Kroger, the largest grocery chain in the US, to adopt a no-deforestation policy that will cover its private label products.
Following my time in the military and as a regulator with the FDIC, I made my way into financial services in an investment capacity, with an intention to help people navigate their financial challenges. I wanted to help build a better outcome for their financial goals. Part of that was development of a process around investing in companies that support a more sustainable world as a whole, and not just companies that are financially sound.
by Benjamin Bailey, CFA, Praxis Mutual Funds & Everence Financial
Praxis Mutual Fund shareholders expect us to invest with their values in mind. The Praxis Impact Bond Fund turned 25 this year and through the first half of the fund’s tenure we diligently focused on screening out holdings contrary to those shared values. In 2006, our eyes were opened by a public bond offering that showed us what positive impact bonds (those bonds that make a positive impact on the climate and/or communities) could do.
by Leslie Samuelrich, President of Green Century Funds
The climate crisis is precipitating a sustainable investment revolution, and I think that revolution will endure in 2020.
When the environmentally-responsible mutual fund company that I lead was founded in 1991, the average investor was not concerned about sustainability. Times have changed. Nearly 80 percent of respondents to a recent study said that they “love the idea of investing in companies that care about the same issues” as them. This isn’t just lip service.