It's quite challenging to find trusted financial professionals when working to align your values. IEN's recent partnership with ValuesAdvisor, a vetted database of values-aligned financial professionals aim to make it easy for endowments to find trusted financial professionals to help them achieve their sustainability goals.
Coming off the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) and Second Nature’s Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit is the perfect time to double down on your commitment to aligning your endowment with your mission. The commitment and conversations at the Summit made it clear that we are part of a movement and that money is moving toward values-aligned investing. In the next decade, trillions of dollars will be reallocated.This money can contribute to investments that will achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and more.
How to get started
A critical first step to implementing a values aligned investment strategy is to find the right financial advisor who can integrate both your mission AND financial goals into a successful investment strategy. 73% of investors say that the most important quality when selecting an advisor is “depth of direct impact investment knowledge and experience” (TIAA). Yet despite this interest, 40% of investors say the main challenge to increasing their allocation to impact is “difficulty sourcing credible investment advice”(Rockefeller Foundation).
A Place to Turn To
Until now, it has been quite challenging for firms to find trusted financial professionals when working to align their investments with a mission that focuses on sustainability and equity. To begin the process, they often needed to hire consultants, conduct research and request proposals before comparing and contrasting their options to find an advisor with the skills and background they deem necessary for the task at hand.
Fortunately, IEN has partnered with ValuesAdvisor to make it easy to find a group of trusted financial professionals recommended by peers who demonstrate significant leadership and expertise in the impact investing field. These individuals offer impact-advisory services as a core business (=>25% current AUM) and have offered values-aligned investment options for a minimum of three years – some for over a decade.
This partnership offers IEN members access to a simple yet essential tool at no cost ($700 value), with the ability to search a curated list of top financial advisors who deliver both financial and environmental/social returns.
ValuesAdvisor provides easy and consistently organized information that allows the user to filter by geography, impact level, services, firm size, or asset class you are interested in; or search by the impact themes and issues that matter to you. In addition, ValuesAdvisor provides unique insight into these advisors’ impact experience, measurement, BIPOC and female leadership, shareholder advocacy, research and reports.
The impact world is evolving every day, with adjustments constantly being made regarding criteria, measurement, and yes, greenwashing. As Sophie Lawrence, senior ethical, sustainable and impact researcher at Rathbone Greenbank Investments says in an interview with the Financial Times, our impact investments are vulnerable to greenwashing “partly because there’s no consistent definition or approach in terms of measuring impact outcomes, either quantitatively or qualitatively. And impact data can be inconsistent and quite difficult to collect as an investor.”
The ValuesAdvisor platform provides transparency by allowing platform members to effortlessly find advisors’ definitions and easily contact those that interest them for more information. As a nonprofit fiscally sponsored by RSF Social Finance, and partnered with leading individual HNW, foundation and endowment affinity networks, ValuesAdvisor, together with IEN, seeks to build the field of impact investing and meet the challenges of our times.
IEN members are welcome to access the ValuesAdvisor platform at no cost HERE. Non-members can use this link to sign up for an individual subscription to the platform or become an IEN member for free access and other benefits exclusive to Network members.
Recommending A Financial Advisor
If you know of or work with a highly qualified advisor who is not on the site and you believe should be - please suggest them HERE.