How can foundations and family offices invest for impact? - Technical.ly

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Jan. 21, 2021 7:55 am

How can foundations and family offices invest for impact?

Elizabeth Killough of Untours Foundation and Lauren Cochran of Blue Haven Initiative explore how to align mission and impact on the latest Off the Sidelines episode.

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Editor's note: This podcast episode is an updated version of an episode that originally published in December 2020.

The investment world is always changing and expanding, and in recent years, that has been partly due to growing pools of money passing through organizations like foundations and family offices.

A family office is an organization (or collection of entities) that leads financial management for ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families. So a family office might even include or work alongside a family foundation. Foundations can range from a small tax strategy for an individual to massive billion-dollar philanthropic institutions like the Ford Foundation or Knight Foundation.

These vehicles for managing and distributing capital often have a stated mission or goal, usually toward some public good — but ensuring that their investments align with that goal is not always easy, especially when trying to maximize returns.

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That’s the focus of the latest episode of Off the Sidelines, an investor education podcast produced by us at Technical.ly and sponsored by Project Entrepreneur, a program by UBS. Project Entrepreneur aims to improve the enabling environments for women founders and advance inclusive capital, as well as diversify the pipeline of investors and supporters. Foundations and family offices, with their mission-driven focus and eye for impact, have an opportunity to be leaders in this effort for change.

For perspectives in this episode, Technical.ly Assistant Editor Stephen Babcock spoke with Elizabeth Killough, co-CEO of the Untours Foundation, and Lauren Cochran, managing director at Blue Haven Initiative. In their conversations, they touched on different approaches to impact investing, and how these types of organizations evaluate companies differently than traditional venture firms.

Listen to the full episode to hear what factors investors at foundations and family offices look at in addition to expected returns, and to find out what the acronym “ESG” stands for.

Stay tuned to Off the Sidelines for more conversations with notable figures throughout the investing world. Click below to subscribe and keep up to date with all our episodes.

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