New US impact investing body launches to mobilise pension and foundation capital

Impact Investing Alliance chaired by Ford Foundation’s Darren Walker

A new US body has been launched today with the aim of mobilising the supply of impact capital from foundations and pension funds.

The U.S. Impact Investing Alliance has launched with Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation as Chair and Fran Seegull as Executive Director.

It builds on the efforts of the U.S. National Advisory Board on Impact Investing and will convene the Presidents’ Council on Impact Investing, which comprises leaders from 20 private foundations, with a combined $60bn in endowed assets, who are engaged in impact investing.

It has also launched an Industry Advisory Council of leading impact investing network organisations, including the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and US SIF.

In a blog post introducing the alliance, Walker and Seegull, formerly the Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of ImpactAssets, say the estimated cost of achieving the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 has highlighted the role of private capital.

They say the new body will champion the cause of impact investing with federal policymakers and seek to mobilise the supply of impact capital, with an initial focus on institutional investors such as foundations and pension funds (link impact investing movement is a growing force in driving social and environmental change in the U.S. and around the world,” said Walker. “In philanthropy, we are moved to lead this effort, but ultimately it is about engaging with everyone from Wall Street to Main Street. We can accomplish more in partnership than we ever could achieve on our own.”

The Ford Foundation recently committed $1bn of its $12bn endowment to impact investing.

The Alliance’s 11-member board comprises:

· Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation

· Tracy Palandjian, CEO & Co-Founder, Social Finance (Vice-Chair)

· Matt Bannick, President, Omidyar Network

· Ray Chambers, President, MCJ Amelior Foundation

· Clara Miller, President, Heron Foundation

· Nancy Pfund, Managing Partner & Founder, DBL Partners

· Rip Rapson, President & CEO, Kresge Foundation

· Andy Sieg, Head, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

· Ian Simmons, Principal & Co-Founder, Blue Haven Initiative

· Jim Sorenson, Chairman, Sorenson Impact Foundation

· Julia Stasch, President, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation