Prior to making a single investment recommendation, it is critical to understand how a client views society, our financial system and the roles capital and influence play in shaping lives. Early in the relationship, we collaborate with clients to help them articulate their vision for the world. We use a Values Exploration Survey to explore the most important themes to you, and establish the foundation for our work together.
Mission-aligned investing is an evolving discipline with many gaps. The ideal product or strategy may not exist to directly address the targeted outcomes a client seeks. Having our clients prioritize their values and desired outcomes helps to guide our team and determine where to focus our initial efforts. Using that definition as a framework, what does racial equity investing actually look like in practice? It can take several different forms.
After solidifying a foundation built on the client’s values and impact priorities, we begin to incorporate risk appetite as well as investment goals and constraints. While 100% mission alignment is the ultimate objective, we believe in doing so pragmatically as we map the asset allocation to an associated impact outcome. This is also the step where we begin determining how impact will be achieved in the context of traditional financial return objectives.
In some cases, gaps exist between investment products and impact objectives, leading to suboptimal solutions. We utilize shareholder and other forms of activism in many of these cases and categorize this as recalibration – a tacit acknowledgement that not all asset classes have caught up with clients’ impact objectives. We will collaborate with you on solutions that move you as close as possible to your goals by coupling imperfect strategies in some asset classes with more closely aligned solutions in others.