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Values-Aligned Investing for Faith-Based Charities

Last week we co-hosted another popular and thought provoking event at the RSA.

The event consisted of a fascinating discussion by the following panelists:

  1. Suzie O’Brien, Managing Director of The Bishop Radford Trust

  2. Reuben Coulter, Managing Partner at Ignis Global and Senior Advisor at Faith Driven Investor

  3. Fred Kooij, Chief Investment Officer, Tribe Impact Capital

  4. Carli Baldasare, Head of Charities, Tribe Impact Capital (host)

5 Key takeaways:

1. Can UK charities make investments aligned with their faith or values? Absolutely.

2. The Bishop Radford Trust highlighted the success that a charity can have by applying an impact lens to their portfolio (more on this here).

3. We busted 3 common myths around impact investment for charities:

  1. Myth 1: Impact investing is legally at odds with trustees’ fiduciary duties. Incorrect, UK Charity Commission allows trustees wide discretion in determining investment style (as recently clarified by the Butler-Sloss case).

  2. Myth 2: Impact investing yields concessionary returns. Not true, 90% of surveyed UK impact investors report returns in-line or exceeding targets (according to the Impact Investing Institute). The profile of an impact portfolio can mirror that of a traditional portfolio in key characteristics, such as: performance, yield, liquidity, and risk metrics.

  3. Myth 3: Impact investing comes with higher risk and smaller product selection. Incorrect, you can access impactful investments in both private and public markets which are diversified with global exposure and multiple themes.

4. Only focussing attention on the small percent that you grant for impact misses a big piece of the equation, investing your larger endowment in the right way can create impact in healthcare, environment, social housing and many other critical areas.

5. Gaining consensus with trustees is important when establishing new ways of investing, this is best done via the creation of a responsible investment policy for your charity.

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