Event Profile

CAIA San Francisco Educational Event: Impact and ESG Investing

June 15, 2017
All times listed are in local time
Impact Hub San Francisco
1885 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94103 
This event has a fee
CAIA San Francisco Educational Event
Impact and ESG Investing – The Buy Side, the Sell Side, and Performance

Join the  CAIA San Francisco Chapter for a symposium and networking reception as we explore the various choices that investors have for participating in the evolving impact investing industry. We will cover the impact investing spectrum, from retail SRI and ESG mutual funds to private investment funds and direct deals. Our distinguished panelists will tackle some controversial questions, including:

  • When will impact investing truly become mainstream, if ever?
  • Are impact companies and social entrepreneurs commercially viable?
  • Do SRI and ESG mutual funds really outperform?
We will also learn from high net worth, family office, and institutional investors, as well as their wealth advisors and consultants, just what drove the empathic spark that inspired them to make their socially conscious investment choices.

3:00 PM Registration 
3:30 to 6:30 PM Panels 
6:30 to 8:00 PM Networking and cocktails    
Fees and Registration
Registration is required for this event. No onsite registration will be permitted.

  • CAIA Members and Candidates $20
  • Guests/All Others $30         
Panel #1:  Who invests in impact, and how?

A panel of high net worth individuals, family office and institutional investors discuss how they invest in impact investment opportunities.  Examples of mature impact sectors include renewable energy, affordable housing and microfinance.  The panel will cover how opportunities are screened; how does the due diligence process differ from traditional investing; what types of investments have been successful; and what are some lessons learned?


John Buley – Consulting Professor at Duke University, Fuqua School of Business; formerly Head of Principal Investing for Social Finance, JP Morgan


Jennifer Forster – Principal, Hall Capital Partners, LLC
Jennifer Kenning – CEO and Co-Founder, Align: Your Impact Partner
James Torrey – Hedge Fund Investor, The Torrey Funds
Panel #2:  How are impact investments performing?

A panel of social entrepreneurs discuss their companies and how they use investor capital to grow. This panel will explore the following questions:  Is it necessary to sacrifice financial returns to also do social and environmental good? Who are your investors? What strategy did you use to raise capital? Do your investors expect traditional venture capital or private equity like returns? How do you report on impact?

Daniel Skaff - President and Co-CEO, Beneficial State Bank; Co-Founder, RadicleImpact Fund

Tim Freundlich – President, ImpactAssets
Sandra Kwak – Founder and CEO, 10Power
John Denniston –  Chairman of the Board, Shared-X
Panel #3:  Do ESG/SRI funds outperform?

 A panel of ESG/SRI asset managers and investors will discuss how institutional down to retail investors are pushing for more active consideration into how their investments have an effect on the environment, treatment of workers and proper transparency.  The panelists will be asked what are the risk and return characteristics of these funds as compared to the broader market? Do these strategies truly offer alpha, and why or why not? How can investors guard against “greenwashing?”  What should investors look for to understand how their investments measure up in their social and environmental positive effect?

Catherine Banat – Institutional Portfolio Manager, RBC Global Asset Management

Justina Lai – Director of Impact Investing, Wetherby Asset Management
Sara Olsen – Founder and CEO, SVT Group
Catherine Woodman – Principal Advisor, Impact Investors

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Catherine Banat
Organization: RBC Asset Management, Inc.

Catherine Banat is responsible for servicing the firm’s impact investing clients and ensuring that investment solutions are implemented based on each client’s customized impact requirements. Catherine is dedicated to impact investing and the importance of investments that serve a social good as well as providing a competitive rate of return. Prior to joining RBC GAM, Catherine managed strategic initiatives, risk and compliance for The New York City Retirement Systems, a $150 billion public pension plan, where she also researched, developed and implemented the strategic plan for the Economically Targeted Investment (ETI) program. Catherine has dedicated her entire career to the financial services industry and has held senior level positions at various firms including Paloma Partners, Goldman, Sachs & Co., C3 Capital and Lehman Brothers. She has worked in the investment industry since 1985. She earned a BA in history and a BSE in management from The University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School, as well as an MBA in finance from Columbia University. Catherine holds FINRA Series 7 and 63 licenses.

John Buley
Organization: Duke University, Fuqua School of Business

John Buley is Professor of the Practice of Finance at Duke University, Fuqua School of Business. He teaches Corporate Restructuring, Project Finance, Energy Finance, the Seminar in Social Entrepreneurship and other courses. He is Chair of the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship’s Impact Investing Initiative and member of Duke Faculty Energy Advisory Committee. John is a member of the Board of Directors of MFX Solutions, Inc. a currency hedging firm dedicated to providing foreign exchange solutions for social impact investors and microfinance institutions. John is Senior Advisor to Lincoln International, a global investment bank dedicated exclusively to the middle market. Prior to joining Duke University in 2012 John held a variety of positions at JPMorgan Chase & Co and predecessor organizations. From 2008 until 2012, he was Managing Director in JPMorgan Social Finance, which at the time was part of the investment banking division of the firm, responsible for investing proprietary capital in impact investments, From 2002-2009, he was Managing Director in Principal Investments responsible for Mezzanine Investments in excess of 1.2 bn. Earlier in this career, John was Head of Middle Market Capital Markets, Head of Loan Syndications, Head of Corporate Finance, Head of Private Placements and Head of Product Integration. John began his career as an attorney at White & Case in New York City.

John Denniston
Organization: Shared-X

John Denniston is Chairman of the Board of Shared-X. Shared-X is an agriculture impact company aiming to generate strong investor returns, while at the same time lift thousands of smallholder farmers out of poverty, by collapsing the dramatic yield gap separating developed and emerging country crop production through the deployment of advanced, sustainable farming techniques. John was previously a Senior Partner at the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where he co-founded and co-ran the firm's $1 billion Green Growth Fund. KPCB’s Green Growth Fund invests in sustainability companies in their growth stage. Prior to Kleiner Perkins, John was a Managing Director and Head of Technology Investment Banking for the Western United States at Salomon Smith Barney. He also served on the Investment Committees for Salomon’s venture capital/private equity direct investment fund, as well as CitiGroup’s venture capital fund-of-funds. Earlier in his career, John was a Partner with a large law firm, where he was Head of the firm’s Venture Capital practice, and Co-Head of its Information Technology practice group. John earned his B.A. (Economics) and J.D. from the University of Michigan.

Jennifer Forster
Organization: Hall Capital Partners LLC

Jennifer Forster is a Principal at Hall Capital Partners LLC in the Public Equity group, responsible for research, identification, due diligence, and monitoring of long-only public equity investments and long-short equity hedge funds. Ms. Forster has more than 10 years of experience in the investment management industry. Prior to joining Hall Capital in 2013, Ms. Forster was an investment analyst at Generation Investment Management in London. Previously, she was a Vice President at Summit Partners in Palo Alto, investing in technology growth companies. Earlier, she was an Associate at Oak Hill Capital Management. Ms. Forster started her career as an Investment Banking Analyst at Goldman Sachs in New York. Ms. Forster serves on the Board of Directors of A Home Within and is a member of the Investment Committee for Gateway Public Schools in San Francisco. She graduated magna cum laude from Middlebury College with a B.A. in Economics and earned an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Tim Freundlich
Organization: ImpactAssets

Tim is a long-time innovator in new financial instruments in the social enterprise sector, which he now applies as the Head of ImpactAssets. He has served in a number of capacities at Calvert Foundation, including his current role as special consultant. While there, he conceived of and launched the Giving Fund-the impact investment-based donor advised fund. He was also instrumental in building the $225 million Calvert Community Investment Note with more than $750 million invested into 300-plus nonprofits and for profits globally. He also helped to launch Community Investment Partners, an analysis and asset administration business for community development and social enterprise investment. He co-founded and serves as Managing Partner for Good Capital that, in addition to its flagship Social Enterprise Expansion Fund LP, has two operating spin outs. These include the 2,000 person annual Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) conferences in San Francisco and Europe; and Impact Hub, a co-working, meeting and community space serving approximately 1000 social innovators. Additionally, he serves on the steering committee of Hub North America. He received a BA from Wesleyan University and an MBA from the University of San Francisco. Tim and his wife, Julie, live in San Francisco with their sons, Milo and Gus.

Jennifer Kenning
Organization: Align: Your Impact Partner

After serving high net-worth individuals and families since 2001 as a lead advisor in the family office space, Jenn co-founded Align Impact in 2014. Align serves as an independent and specialized impact advisor to families, foundations and their financial advisors to help define their most important values and desired social outcomes. Align’s clients increase the effectiveness and alignment of their philanthropic grants, impact investments, and mission related investments. Align’s customized impact portfolios aim to deliver the same risk and return as best-in-class globally diversified asset management strategies, all the while investing in companies that are more aligned with a client’s values and avoiding companies that contradict those values.

Sandra Kwak
Organization: 10Power

Executive strategist and systems thinker, Sandra is applying disruptive innovation to create a regenerative future. Before launching 10Power, she scaled AutoGrid from prototype to a global brand, creating automated intelligence out of big data from the smart grid. Prior, as Co-Founder / President / COO of energy efficiency company Powerzoa, she brought building management hardware and software tools to market. Sandra has also served as CEO of a software company producing the world’s first mathematically lossless video codec. She worked at Pacific Gas & Electric implementing the ClimateSmart program and has consulted with clients including Mitsubishi, the Transamerica Holding Company, and The San Francisco Foundation. Sandra has an MBA in Sustainable Business from Presidio Graduate School and a BA in Political Science and Visual Art from Emory University.

Justina Lai
Organization: Wetherby Asset Management

Justina joined Wetherby Asset Management in 2015 where she leads the firm's impact investment strategy. Prior to Wetherby, she was a Director and Senior Investment Analyst focused on global impact investment strategies in the private markets at Sonen Capital. Previously, Justina helped manage the Rockefeller Foundation’s Program Related Investments portfolio comprised of domestic and international impact investments in private equity and private debt. She was also a core member of the Impact Investing team where she advanced and shaped the initiative strategy focused on building the field of impact investing. In addition, she has held positions with Legacy Venture in Palo Alto, CA and Rwanda Ventures, a business incubator launching and operating sustainable agricultural companies in Kigali, Rwanda. Prior to her career in impact investing, Justina spent several years in investment banking with Citigroup and private equity with Vestar Capital Partners in New York and Paris. Justina received a BS in Finance and International Business, summa cum laude, from New York University and an MBA with certificates in Public and Global Management from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Justina is a Board Member and Finance Committee Chair of Turning Green.

Sara Olsen
Organization: SVT Group

Sara Olsen is the founder of SVT Group, a “best for the world” certified B corporation and impact management firm founded in 2001 that designs and implements systems to measure, manage and communicate social and environmental impact. SVT serves asset owners, managers and advisors deploying private equity, debt and grants, and the entrepreneurs and executives whose organizations transform this type of capital into high impact and return on investment. Sara and SVT’s team of subject-matter experts have measured the social and environmental value of approximately $9.08 Bn in dozens of countries and issue areas including clean tech, public health, gender equity, sustainable agriculture, arts and cultural organizations, and more. Clients include the cellist Yo Yo Ma, Restore the Earth Foundation, Fair Trade USA, Global Fund for Women, Beneficial State Bank, and CalPERS’ Environmental Investment Advisor. Recognized twice as one of America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs by Bloomberg Businessweek for her work defining and growing the impact management discipline, Sara is the methodology co-chair for Social Value International, “the professional home for people working to change the way society accounts for value,” and founding board member of Social Value United States, the US chapter of SVI. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Middlebury Institute of International Studies and Hult International Business School. There and in collaboration with SVT clients she has educated over 5,000 people in-person on impact management and tens of thousands more virtually and through her publications. Sara is also the co-founder of the Global Social Venture Competition. Twitter: @svtgroup @smolsen. Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sara-olsen-03364

Daniel Skaff
Organization: Beneficial State Bank

Daniel L. Skaff is President and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Beneficial State Bank and Vice Chairman of Beneficial State Bancorp, a triple bottom line banking organization dedicated to building prosperity in local communities with a focus on social justice, environmental resilience and economic sustainability. Dan is also co-founder and Managing Partner of Radicle Impact Partners, an early stage venture fund investing in good food, good money and good energy. In addition, Dan is Trustee and past Investment Committee Chair of the Marin Community Foundation; Trustee of the Latino Community Foundation; Board Member of the Bay Area Council; Member of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council; and Advisory Board Member of Stratis Asia LP. Prior to Beneficial State Dan was Managing Partner of Sienna Ventures, a private equity firm investing in emerging consumer, mobile communications and financial services companies. While at Sienna, Dan sponsored a number of businesses that grew from early stage to publicly- traded companies or resulted in successful private sales including Glu Mobile, Openwave Systems, Tradepoint Solutions, Motricity, Protocol Communications, Bojangles’ Restaurants and Heidi’s Fine Desserts. Earlier in his career Dan served as Executive Chairman of Pon North America and in the Corporate Finance Departments of Bankers Trust Company in Los Angeles and Bank of America in New York. Dan has also served as Senior Advisor to Fairview Capital’s Darlington Partners public equities fund; as Co-Chairman and lead director of Glu Mobile (Nasdaq GLUU); and as a Director of EBT Digital Communications (LSE AIM) in Shanghai, China. He is a past member of the Harvard College Fund Council and Trustee of the Bay Area Discovery Museum. Dan received a bachelor’s degree with honors from Harvard University, and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Wharton Fellow.

James Torrey
Organization: The Torrey Funds

Mr. Torrey has been an investor in hedge funds for over 30 years. He managed The Torrey Funds, a fund of funds that invested with emerging equity long/short managers in both the United States and internationally. The Torrey Funds was founded in 1990 and grew to over $1.25 billion in assets. In 2009, The Torrey Funds merged with Cadogan Management, at which time Mr. Torrey became a senior advisor to Cadogan. Additionally, Mr. Torrey has held executive positions at Kidder, Peabody & Co., The First Boston Corporation, PaineWebber Incorporated, and Alex. Brown & Sons. He attended the University of California at Berkeley and remains active in civic and community affairs. Mr. Torrey has been a MicroVest Holdings Board Director since 2006. He also sits on the board of BRAC USA, and he is a former member of the Board of Directors of OPIC (Overseas Private Investment Corporation).

Catherine Woodman
Organization: Impact Investors

For over fifteen years, Catherine has provided individuals and families with socially responsible investment advisory and sustainable investment planning services, implementing financial strategies to achieve their objectives and uphold their values. Having grown up in Iowa, Catherine developed a deep affinity for the environment early on in life, witnessing first-hand the devastating effects of unsustainable agricultural practices in the communities around her. Catherine’s interests in sustainability later expanded to include economics, and the role that local and global economies play in environmental and social problems. Prior to Impact Investors, Catherine managed an independent practice and for almost a decade taught college courses on Investing 101, Financial Independence for Women, and Analyzing Stocks.