New investment opportunity focus of Area Foundation dialogue

SAN ANTONIO (Aug. 14, 2019) – Impact investing was the focus of an information session held at the San Antonio Area Foundation, recently. Area Foundation board member, David Komet, led the discussion that included panelists Nick Flores, director of Impact Investing at Caprock, and David Robinson Jr., associate at Blueprint Local.

The term is fairly new in the world of market investing. According to the Global Impact Investing Network, investments are made with the intention of generating positive, measurable social and environmental impact while achieving a financial return. Investments can be made in emerging and developed markets and target a range of returns from below market to market rate depending on the investor’s strategic goals.

At the Aug. 13 presentation, Flores said the funding is especially inviting to investors who want to do more than just see a financial return. They want to ensure their returns are used to make a positive difference in the community.

David Robinson Jr. agreed, and shared his family’s experience building Friends of Carver. They used impact investing to create a portfolio that funded educational scholarships for students at Carver Academy, now IDEA Academy in San Antonio, as well as funding for organizations in the community focused on elevating educational standards, improving high school graduation rates, and increasing the number of students who are college ready.  The concept is also the basis for Admiral Capital Group, a private equities firm founded by his father, NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson. Admiral Capital Group practices impact (also called social) investment in communities around the country.

“Impact investing is a pretty broad continuum,” Flores said. “We see at the top everything from fixed income, public equities, to bonds and stocks and private equity venture capital. You can throw real estate in there as well,” he said.

Flores added that there are three distinct driving forces behind the popularity of these funds.

  1. People want to do more about the issues they care about like income inequality, climate change, and gender equality, to name a few.
  2. People increasingly want to align their pocketbooks and day-to-day choices to their values.
  3. Savvy investors realize that impact investing has upside potential as well as downside protection, which means that strategies are put in place to prevent a decrease in the value of the investment.

The impact investing dialogue was one of four awareness programs offered to Area Foundation philanthropic advisors. To find out about the various funds offered and the types of events and awareness opportunities available to fund members, contact 210.775.1083 or visit the How to Give section of this website.




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