TIIP October Newsletter

Partnership Updates: Columbia SIPA and SIRI, and TIIP

2nd Semester of the System-level Investing Course is Underway

The second class of the graduate course on system-level investing at Columbia SIPA is a wrap! A fair amount of ground was covered during this session. Co-instructor Jon Lukomnik brought his book “Moving Beyond Modern Portfolio Theory: Investing That Matters” (Routledge, 2021) with James Hawley to life – dramatizing the “why” of system-level investing. Central to their argument is that investors’ focus on outperformance of the market misses the point. The following excerpt from an interview they gave to CFA Institute sums it up:

“This is what we call “the MPT paradox.” There are two major elements to the paradox. The first is that systematic risk determines 75–94% of your return, leaving as little as 6% of risk able to be diversified. So, in effect, MPT tells us that you can affect what matters least. The second part of the paradox is that MPT is wrong about systematic risk: Yes, systematic risk affects portfolios, but contrary to MPT, portfolios and investing activity also affect systematic risk, for better or worse. Feedback loops abound.”

Read the full interview here.

Piers Hugh Smith – the Head of Stewardship, Global at Franklin Templeton – made a return appearance from last semester and once again reflected on systemic risks and market failures, and the role stewardship can play to address them. He offered some truly thoughtful and fully formed perspectives on systemic stewardship. Someone get this guy a TED talk.

The course, which TIIP CEO William Burckart co-created and co-instructs, and the event detailed below are just some of the activities resulting from the strategic partnership between TIIP and SIPA’s Sustainable Investing Research Initiative (SIRI). This partnership is aimed at advancing the field of system-level investing and fostering greater cross-disciplinary scholarship, education, research, and dialogue on system-level investing.

John Lukomnik, Piers Hugh Smith, and Bill Burckart

Register now: Forthcoming Event on Inclusive Capital

LGBTQ+ founders frequently find themselves outside the circles of connection and acceptance when seeking venture capital. The landscape is fraught with exclusion, and the path to raising capital is often blocked when no lead investor emerges. Despite significant challenges, the LGBTQ+ startup community is growing and making strides.

Otho Kerr of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and a member of the Advisory Group of Colorful Capital, Marisa Hodgdon of Ember Ignite and Sidelines, Fabrice C Houdart of the Association of LGBTQ+ Corporate Directors and Fabrice Houdart Consulting, and William Burckart of TIIP, are four of these leaders.

Join us on November 7th at Columbia Universisty for what promises to be a compelling discussion on inclusive capital, moderated by Caroline Flammer, the director of SIRI.

Panel topics will include:

  • Unlocking strong financial returns for investors, founders and advisors
  • Increasing founder and team diversity
  • Improving access to economic mobility and income across the LGBTQ+ community.

Registration for the panel is available here.

Upcoming Thought Leadership

The coming months promise more big things from TIIP!

  • Our next report on measuring the progress of system-level investing, which is supported with grant funding by the Tipping Point Fund for Impact Investing, will be published soon. We’re happy to offer “key findings and implications” info sessions for folks in our community when we get closer to the release. Email us if you’d like to organize such a conversation.
  • New case studies on institutional investors that are integrating a system-level focus are also on the horizon, and we are in early days of planning for our next SAIL cohort (reach out let us know you’d like more details).

Follow us on LinkedIn to keep up with the newest TIIP news and find out how to join the system-level investing movement. And reach out to [email protected] if you would like to learn more.

SAIL Updates

SAIL is a SaaS platform that provides practical tools, templates, guidance and deep research on systemic issues to help investors implement or refine system-level investment strategies with the goal of reducing costs, winning business, preserving long-term returns, and staying informed.

SAIL is now open for subscribers. Ask us about our fall promotion!

In addition, beta users asked us to allow other consultants to use the platform with their clients, and we delivered!

Launchpad is the plug-and-play solutions for investors to create an action plan to become system-level investors. It equips subscribers with the knowledge and tools to adapt their existing practices to take them to the system-level.

Want to subscribe or receive a live demonstration? Contact TIIP at [email protected].

TIIP + Friends About Town

Upcoming Events

On Tuesday, November 14, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York will be hosting an in-person event Intermediating Impact: Financial Innovations that are Creating Opportunity-Rich Neighborhoods. The event will focus on how joint efforts by impact investors and the community development finance sector can foster opportunity-rich neighborhoods and lead to a stronger economy.

Discussions will include the Federal Reserve’s role in past financial innovations; opportunities for community development financial institutions and impact investors to work as partners; and laying the groundwork for impact financing to meet community needs.

Additional information and registration is available here.

On November 8 at 4:30pm, join Omidyar Network, The Sunrise Project, and Wallace Global Fund for Beyond ESG: Why Corporate Accountability Matters for Communities of Color.

This event will celebrate the collaborative work of civil rights leaders, labor unions, investors and community organizers in advancing racial equity, and look ahead to a future where businesses and the financial sector better serve communities of color.

Panelists include Renaye Manley of SEIU, Courtney Wicks of Investor Advocates for Social Justice, and Anandi Somasundaram of Racial Justice Investor Initiative.

Register here to join by Zoom from 4:30-5:30pm, or register here to join the panel in person in Washington D.C.

Past Events

Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) gathered recently in Tokyo for the annual PRI in Person event. William Burckart, TIIP’s CEO, penned a summary entitled “Did someone say systems?” published by ImpactAlpha.

Monique Aiken, TIIP’s Managing Director, joined a recent Impact Alpha Agents of Impact Call, which continued a tradition started a decade ago by Fran Seegull of the US Impact Investing Alliance. They were joined by Cathy Clark of Duke University to round up the state of the impact investing field and assess where impact investing goes from here. “I’m actually an optimist,” Aiken said. “Because on the other side of risk-identification is clarity about the things we need to do and the work we need to collectively prioritize.”

Check out the video at ImpactAlpha.

Monique was also one of two keynote speakers at Cambridge Associates 9th Annual Impact Investing Forum which took place October 17-18, 2023 in Toronto.

Publications and Podcasts

Bhakti Mirchandani‘s recent article at Forbes discusses legal challenges to DEI Initiatives.

Monique was quoted in Mitra Kalita’s latest in Time.com , “The Chief Diversity Officer Was Never Enough“.

Majority Action‘s latest report: Racial Equity & Stewardship: How the Largest Asset Managers Stack Up sets out standards for proxy voting policies regarding key topics with clear racial equity impacts, and benchmarks BlackRock, Fidelity, State Street, and Vanguard against those expectations.

Jon Lukomnik, Founder of Sinclair Capital and author of “Moving Beyond Modern Portfolio Theory”, joined the Business Pants Podcast. Listen to it here.

In case you missed it, Monique also launched a new podcast, called Into the Record. It’s one of a few projects from the nonprofit she co-founded, Make Justice Normal. You can check out the podcast here.

Marking the end of LGBTQ+ History Month this year, William helped celebrate Fabrice C Houdart as he made a bit of LGBTQ+ history of his own by ringing the bell at Nasdaq (see image below, photo credit: Nasdaq.Inc). In just one year Fabrice’s organization the Association of LGBTQ+ Corporate Directors has helped raise the volume on the importance of LGBTQ+ representation and overall diversity in leadership and board rooms–and the staggering lack of it. Read the Association’s report here.

April 18th Gathering Redux: Shannon O’Leary – CIO, St. Paul & Minnesota Foundation

On April 18th, 2023, TIIP hosted a gathering entitled “The Next Evolution in Finance: System-level Investing”. Over the coming months, we will be featuring video clips from the event.

In the below video, Shannon O’Leary, CIO of the St. Paul & Minnesota Foundation discusses the foundation’s efforts to increase racial equity through their investing practice and influence the field.

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