Family Capital has highlighted the growing trend among family investment groups to invest more into impact investment initiatives. Here are ten family-linked investment groups – in no particular order – that are leading the pack in impact investing and venture philanthropy.
An impact investment-led group backed by Stephen Brenninkmeijer, a member of Brenninkmeijer Dutch-German family dynasty, best known for their ownership of the department store C&A. Willow Investments was set up in 2007 with a focus on impact investing in areas linked to access to finance, education, health and socially driven enterprises in general. Prominent investments include the London-based Social Stock Exchange, the Berlin-based education initiative Phorms Education, and Fair Finance, a UK-based lending initiative. Other members of the Brenninkmeijer family allocate funds to impact investment initiatives through a family office called Anthos and an energy group called Bregal Energy.
Blue Haven Initiative
The family office of Liesel Pritzker Simmons, of the US-based Pritzker family, and her husband Ian Simmons. Blue Haven is completely committed to impact investing and invests both directly and indirectly, through third-party managers, in impact investments throughout the world. Direct investments include US clean energy supplier, CleanChoice Energy, a Kenyan affordable housing group called Karibu Homes, and a Kenyan sustainable energy group called M-Kopa Solar.
Small Giants, a Melbourne-based impact investment group backed by Berry Liberman, who comes from one of Australia’s wealthiest families, and her husband, Danny Almagor. Small Giants has a portfolio of more than 25 investments, and pretty much all of them are linked to a wider purpose than just making money. Here’s a profile on them from Family Capital.
Austrian-based PDP Holding manages the money of one of the members of the Volkswagen/Porsche family called Peter Daniell Porsche. PDP Holding says as part of its mission statement that it is: “…more interested in the responsible handling of resources, future-oriented business ideas, appropriate economic success and commitment to social responsibility.” And it’s putting this thinking into action by investing in businesses like KWB, a sustainable biomass heating company, and an innovative waste management group called Reststofftechnik.
Based in London with offices in New York and San Francisco, Ceniarth describes itself as “a single-family office focused on funding market-based solutions that benefit underserved communities”. Its principal is Diane Isenberg, whose father, Eugene Isenberg, was an investor and manager of a company called Nabors Industries, which is one of the biggest makers of gas and petroleum drilling machinery in the world. Ceniarch investments include a number of clean energy groups, including the Tanzania-based Off Grid Electric group and UK-based Bboxx Solar.
Ferd, the private investment office of the Norwegian Johan H. Andresen and his two daughters, has been a big investor in social entrepreneurial-based initiatives for a number of years. Through its social entrepreneurs’ division, Ferd has invested in a host of businesses including a Norwegian street magazine called ASFALT, which is sold by people in disadvantaged circumstances, the Scientist Factory, a learning initiative, and Seema, which works to promote greater diversity in the Norwegian labour market. Here’s a Family Capital profile on Ferd.
Sunrise is a Munich-based investment group set up by Brigitte Mohn, a member of the family behind the German media group Bertelsmann. Sunrise has invested in the London-based Social Stock Exchange among other investments. Mohn is a big advocate of impact investing and has worked with Stephen Brenninkmeijer on a number of initiatives, including an impact investing group called Econnoa.
The Zurich-based family office of Tom Singh, a UK entrepreneur who founded a fashion empire, has launched a number of impact investment-led initiatives. Most prominently has been Rianta’s Artha Initiative, which is an online community dedicated to building relationships between impact investors linked to India. It has also invested directly in various impact investment businesses and has worked with Villgro, a social enterprise incubator based in India.
An investment group set up by the Austrian-based Scheuch family. FSP Ventures is a cleantech impact investor targeting mostly investments in its home market and neighbouring countries. The family own an eponymous energy company, which is also committed to clean energy.
Keller Enterprises is a family investment group set up in 1998 by Caroline Keller Winter. The original source of wealth comes from the Murphy Oil Corporation. Keller Enterprises says it is devoted to the integration of venture investing, venture philanthropy and venture farming. It’s involved in a number of venture philanthropy/impact investing initiatives including the Good Food Project based in Louisiana.