Duke Fuqua School of Business Logo

Fuqua Faculty Conversations

Cathy Clark

Cathy Clark on Impact Investing and Tri-Sector Leadership

March 17, 2015

Pre-Reading Video

Live Session Recording

Cathy Clark

In our April 2015 Fuqua Faculty Conversation as Cathy Clark, Adjunct Professor at the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) and Director of the CASE i3 Initiative on Impact Investing, presented:

Impact Investing and Tri-Sector Leadership

You will learn about:

  • The emerging field of impact investing and its relationship to the future of finance
  • How the millennial and boomer generations are driving this trend across financial institutions like BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, DeutscheBank and others
  • How investors around the world have succeeded at creating social impact and financial returns at the same time
  • The skills needed to advance impact across business, nonprofit and policy sectors
  • How you can get engaged in impact investing, with as little as $20, today

Check out Professor Clark’s new book, The Impact Investor.

View Professor Clark’s Bio

9 Comments

  1. Dear proffessor Clark,

    I am co-founder and leader of the socially-motivated MFI in Russia. We provide access to finance for low-income self-employed and micro-entrepreneurs, migrants, diasporas. We work in remote rural areas or where the traditional banks don’t operates.
    I would like to raise the issue about impact investments in emerging economies with authoritarian regimes. Poverty, lack of basic financial services for socially vulnerable people – it is a reality in developing economies, regardless of the political regimes.

    How socially-motivated investors around the world mitigates the political risks when they operates in the countries with authoritarian regimes? Should the public and private funds, private investors develop different approach for country’s risk management compared with traditional investment approaches?

    Andrey Chernyavskiy
    GEMBA’13

  2. Professor Clark:
    How long do you think it will be before we see institutional investors involved in this? Could a firm try and re-brand itself by hedging its own activity with impact investments?

  3. Dear Professor Clark,
    In the pre-video you mentioned B Corporation formation. Has your research uncovered unexpected impact drivers for privately held firms to switch over to being this type of corporate structure? Also, what does the growth trajectory for “impact investing” as a product offering category (by personal financial advisory firms) look like, and which advisory firms seem to be the most heavily invested in this topic for their clients?

    Thanks,
    Nancy Shepherd
    Shepherd Research
    WEMBA 2003

  4. Hi Cathy,

    A great conversation. As always, insightful.

    Thanks!

  5. Kristina Guiguet

    Hi Professor Clark, Is there any work done or pending, that you know of, on the (net) potential impact of social enterprise and social finance on tax revenues?
    Thanks!
    Kristina Guiguet

    • Thanks,all, for the questions!

      A few more quick answers:

      Kristina – yes the UK has just passed some regulation that gives individuals a tax break if they make impact investments. There is no reporting yet on the impact on tax revenues, but does imply there is a notion that it is a public good they want to reward people for. Here in the US, there are no tax implications as of yet.

      Ellen – thanks!

      Nancy – we have some researchers looking at the motivations for B Corp certification. Everything is anecdotal so far. Most entrepreneurs I’ve spoke to feel they were already doing things that were mission-oriented and the certification protects them. The growth trajectory of product offerings is on the rise. Look at the recent USSIF report for more details.There are many advisory firms looking to help clients with this – Sonen, Imprint, ICAP, Arabella, etc.

      Brian – institutional investors are involved in this already. Banks, asset managers like BlackRock, etc. and yes, it could be used for ” impact-washing” if we don’t have clear standards!

      Andrey – political risk is another risk that needs to be understood. Often, philanthropists may want to get things started in a market that is very risky, much as Soros did in a lot of eastern european markets. he worked on infrastructure first, and largely through grants.

  6. Hi professor Clark,
    It was great watching your video. I’m interested in learning more about this topic. I have 2 questions: 1) What are the main indicators for measuring the social impact from a impact investment perspective? How is it compared or analised among funds and the projects/objects of the investment. I’m asking this because I find it hard to compare the social impact of a vaccine development and a education program for example….both are great n relevant. How to evaluate this social return? 2) How is impact investing developing around the world, specially in emergent markets?
    Thanks and looking forward to the class next week.
    Paula Quiroga.
    CCMBA 2011

  7. Professor Clark,
    I greatly enjoyed your video presentation on impact investing. This is a fascinating topic. During the coming 6 months to a year, I will be formally collaborating in an institutional asset management business with a leader in the smart alpha strategy investing field. He is currently leading this initiative at a multi-billion dollar university endowment. After watching your video and having read several articles about the momentum growing in impact investing, I am discussing with my partner the viability of adapting his smart alpha model to best accommodate the requirements of environmental sustainable investing. I am curious if through your research if you have come across any smart alpha strategies in the impact investing field. My next purchase is your new book.
    We would welcome the opportunity to begin a dialogue with you as we move forward.
    Thank you.
    Best,
    Jim Ackerman (Fuqua ’88 – Health Administration program)
    President
    Ackerman Asset Management, LLC
    ja@ackermanasset.com
    http://www.ackermanasset.com

  8. Stephanie Larson

    How do you see this field of impact investing impacting the traditional corporate structure/world/financials?

Leave a Reply