Investing for Impact
In this week’s episode of Giving Done Right, CEP’s Phil and Grace talk with Liesel Pritzker Simmons, major donor and co-founder of impact investing firm Blue Haven Initiative. Liesel zeroes in on impact investing — what it is, how it works, and the role it plays in the philanthropic sector. She also discusses how applying an impact lens can minimize risk, and how policy change — like implementing a wealth tax — can go hand in hand with philanthropic and market-based approaches to social issues.
Liesel Pritzker Simmons is co-founder and principal of Blue Haven Initiative, where she oversees a portfolio focused on holdings that generate competitive financial returns and address social and environmental challenges. The portfolio spans asset classes, from traditional equities and direct investments to philanthropic programs.
In addition to working closely with entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and co-investors on companies and initiatives that create social, environmental and financial value, Liesel develops strategic partnerships with organizations that support and advance more informed investing.
Liesel co-founded Blue Haven with her husband, Ian Simmons. Together, they systematically assessed their portfolios based on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria and financial performance. The restructured portfolios became the foundation of Blue Haven, one of the first family offices created with impact investing as its focus.
Liesel, an engaging and sought-after speaker on impact investing and Next-Gen investors, serves on for-profit and nonprofit boards and investment committees of organizations including ImpactAssets, Synergos, Toniic, Eco-Post, and The ImPact, a network of families committed to the conscientious stewardship of wealth.
Liesel attended Columbia University in New York City, where she studied African History. She lives in the Boston area with Ian and their daughters.
Executive Producer: Sarah Martin
Audio engineer: Kevin O’Connell
Additional editing: Isabel Hibbard
Music: “FasterFasterBrighter” and “Kid Kodi” by Blue Dot Sessions
Artwork: Jay Kustka
Blue Haven Initiative
What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets by Michael Sandel