Liquidnet is a financial technology company that provides a global institutional marketplace for those seeking investment, performance, and capital-raising opportunities. Brian Walsh, the head of Liquidnet for Good, joins the podcast to discuss the strategy for using the resources of Liquidnet to make a positive impact around the world. Walsh takes us through a range of social finance initiatives, as well as discusses the podcast he co-hosts, Returns on Investment.
Accion Venture Lab is an initiative of Accion International that invests in innovative financial inclusion start-ups that improve financial access for people living in poverty. Because of their high risk level and remoteness, these start-ups traditionally lack access to capital and assistance that fosters experimentation and innovation. Venture Lab provides this flexible and patient capital along with non-financial support tailored to the needs of each of its portfolio companies. Venture Lab typically invests $100,000 to $500,000 in equity or quasi-equity instruments, and leverages the people and resources of the Accion network to give its portfolio companies the best chance of success. It selects these companies based on the talent and commitment of the team, the attractiveness of the market opportunity, and the potential of the company to provide transformational impact on underserved communities. Paul Breloff, Managing Director, joins the podcast to discuss his role in founding Venture Lab, and the challenges and opportunities associated with venture impact investing in emerging markets.
I-DEV International is a business strategy and investment advisory firm that specializes in growing small and medium sized enterprises in emerging markets. I-DEV has worked in over 45 countries across Latin America, Africa and Asia, and supported more than 250 high-impact businesses with strategy and capital raise support. I-DEV also focuses on building profitable, high impact partnerships between corporations, investors, and SMEs in these markets. It does this through 2 core business groups: Insight & Strategy, focused on on management, growth, and impact consulting services to firms of all sizes working in emerging markets, and the Investment Advisory Group, which facilitates and structures investment transactions in local SMEs. By working to develop both the supply of quality impact businesses and access to capital, I-DEV takes a holistic approach to growing the impact investing and social entrepreneurship space. Hosted by Jesse Simmons.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) is the corporate and investment banking division of Bank of America, the second largest bank holding company in the US by assets. BAML provides a wide range of investment services, including mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt capital markets, lending, trading, and risk management. It is the third largest full-service global investment bank, and by far the largest player included in the podcast. In 2015, BAML added sustainable impact multi-asset class portfolios to its platform of impact portfolios in response to growing client demand for investing for social and environmental outcomes. These portfolios will consist of mutual funds and exchange traded funds, and seek to deliver a competitive risk-adjusted return in addition to a positive environmental, social, governance (ESG) profile. BAML also provides green bonds and social impact bonds, acting as the investor in the Pay for Success value chain by providing upfront capital for positive social interventions. The impact of these investment strategies is less direct than the provision of liquidity to social businesses, yet the movement of BAML into impact investing can be truly transformative as it educates its massive client base on the space. Hosted by Jesse Simmons.
The Wharton Social Impact Initiative advance the science and practice of social impact through research, consulting, hands-on training, and outreach. In the final part, Jacob Gray discusses founding a fund and an accelerator. Hosted by Jesse Simmons.
Acumen is a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of poverty. Acumen raises charitable donations to make patient long-term debt or equity investments in early-stage companies that deliver affordable goods and services that improve the lives of the poor. Prerna Khanna, Senior Business Associate, joins the podcast to discuss Acumen’s model, history, and the beneficiaries it serves. Hosted by Jesse Simmons.