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Impact Investor Shares Lessons Of Over 100 Investments
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
John Goldstein of Imprint Capital is one of the rare breed of impact investors who has logged some real miles on this path and has some lessons to share as a result.
“In impact investing, people often find themselves stuck at the drawing board – asking broad, sweeping questions as a prelude to determining what to do. In our experience, the drawing board is a great place to ask questions, but a lousy place to answer them. The right question is not whether to do it (or any of the related sub-questions), but what to do and how to do it well,” he says.
He goes on to say, “People perpetually want to make sweeping generalizations about impact investing – does it have good returns or lousy returns? Lots of impact or no impact? In my experience the answer to most of these questions is the much more reasonable (albeit less satisfying) ‘it depends.’”
On Friday, January 9 at noon Eastern, we’ll have an opportunity to explore Goldstein’s insights further during a live discussion about his experience making impact investments. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.
More about Imprint Capital:
Imprint Capital creates custom impact investing programs and portfolios for leading foundations (have worked with 10 of the US’s largest 25 foundations), family offices, and financial institutions. We have made over 100 impact investments across mission areas and asset classes and have over $500 MM under advisement as of September 30, 2014.
Mr. Goldstein co-founded Imprint Capital in June 2007. He leads the firm’s business development initiatives, works closely with many of Imprint’s clients particularly on strategy formation, and directs continuous improvement of impact monitoring and reporting. Previously, Mr. Goldstein was a co-founder of Medley Capital Management (MCM), a private investment firm that invests in corporate and asset-based financing opportunities globally. Prior to forming MCM, Mr. Goldstein served as Senior Managing Director of Medley Global Advisors, a leading independent policy intelligence firm for the world’s largest financial institutions that was sold to private equity firms in December of 2005. During that time, Mr. Goldstein co-founded and served as the Executive Director of the Medley Institute, where he worked with a variety of development actors globally as a board member, senior advisor or team member, including Global Giving, Distributed Capital, the International Interfaith Investment Group (3iG), Keystone/Access, the Sustainable Food Lab, Synergos/Generon/Monitor’s Social Capital Market Accelerator, Aquaya, Triple Bottom Line Institute, the Global Exchange for Social Investment, and the United Nations Capital Development Fund. Additionally, in that capacity, Mr. Goldstein has been a presenter at a range of conferences and events in the U.S. and Europe. Prior to that, Mr. Goldstein was a management consultant in the strategy practice of Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), working with senior executives around the world in a number of industries on issues such as brand strategy, “buyer values” market research, global M&A, scenario planning, and new product development. Mr. Goldstein was an honors graduate of Yale University where he was awarded the Richter Fellowship and the Townsend Prize.
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