Director of Investment Solutions Nana Francois explains why Membership has become Investment Solutions
Welcome to the newly renamed Investment Solutions team! The new name reflects our focus as we continue to work on issues relevant to faith-based asset owners and support them to align faith beliefs and values with investment actions and outcomes.
As we have got to know members' priorities, and the key performance indicators they care about, this year we are focusing on solution-building in two main areas – Faith-consistent Investing and Impact Investing.
We’ve already had a wonderful start to the year with a multifaith gathering that included our good friend Professor Atul Shah, taking us to the heart of faith-based beliefs and motivations in this age of modern economics and hyper-consumerism.
The upshot of this gathering is described by Professor Shah in his blog post, Faith and Finance - A Reunion. It is from this foundation that we are building our efforts in the year ahead. Looking forward, on the Faith-consistent Investing (FCI) side, we are focused on deep engagement and solution-building, working as a friendly financial partner with various groups, from Episcopalians in the US to Buddhists in the UK, as we develop the why, what, and how of faith-consistent investing, from short-term savings to long-term annuities.
We plan to share highlights of the journey as we go, so we encourage groups and individuals who want to learn or share to get involved in our faith-consistent investing events, with our next Working Group, on Sustainable Banking, scheduled for March 17. (Working Group meetings are member-only events, so please reach out to us with your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org).
White papers and toolkits
Faith-based asset owners should also look out for a Faith-consistent investing paper and a toolkit on understanding and assessing different areas where groups can potentially deepen their faith-aligned investing consistency.
On the Impact Investing side, some will have already seen our recently released Impact Investing Roadmap whitepaper, which presents three topics of interest to impact investors:
Understanding alignment versus impact
Private markets for impact investing
The tradeoffs between impact and investment outcomes
A series of research papers based on this report are planned for the coming months.
At the grassroots level, we are engaged in relationship-led ideas matching, and we have seen groups coming forward asking for specific impact investment themes and options as they define their strategic focus.
Investment Opportunities will be a key focus of our Global Investment Forum this year. Save-the-dates will be coming soon for the multiple locations where the Forum is to be held, and in the meantime, we invite you to share your asks.
Just Transition Fund
We continue to pursue the vision of low-risk, large-scale impact, and in March will be hosting a closed session with member groups and the World Bank Climate Investment Fund to explore the concept of a multifaith and CIF-supported Just Transition fund in detail, and move closer towards a design phase. If you are a faith-based asset owning institution (including foundations, endowments, development agencies) looking to find or create larger scale impact investing opportunities, do get in touch to discuss participation, and whether this session may be helpful as you set goals and indicators for what you want to achieve with your investments in this coming year.
Finally, to support this work in 2022, we are growing our team and invite you to see the Investment Solutions Officer details on our website, and spread the word to anyone who might be interested in working with us.