A leading investment professional explains the world of impact investing -- investing in businesses and projects with a social and financial return--and shows what it takes to make sustainable, transformative change.
Impact investment -- the support of social and environmental projects with a financial return -- has become a hot topic on the global stage; poised to eclipse traditional aid by ten times in the next decade. But the field is at a tipping point: Will impact investment empower millions of people worldwide, or will it replicate the same mistakes that have plagued both aid and finance?
Morgan Simon is an investment professional who works at the nexus of social finance and social justice. In Real Impact, she teaches us how to get it right, leveraging the world's resources to truly transform the economy. Over the past seventeen years, Simon has influenced over $150 billion from endowments, families, and foundations. In Real Impact, Simon shares her experience as both investor and activist to offer clear strategies for investors, community leaders, and entrepreneurs alike. Real Impact is essential reading for anyone seeking real change in the world.
About the Author
Morgan Simon is a widely-recognized leader in impact investment who builds bridges between finance and social justice. Over the past seventeen years, she has influenced over $150 billion in capital. Simon currently co-leads Candide Group, which supports two clients, including members of the Pritzker family. She is also co-founder and chair of the non-profit Transform Finance.
Previously, Simon served as the founding CEO of Toniic, a global network of impact investors, and as the founding executive director of the Responsible Endowments Coalition. She has worked with the United Nations in Honduras, in corporate reform with ForestEthics, and in domestic microfinance with the Women's Initiative for Self-Employment. She currently serves on the boards of the Restaurant Opportunity Center, The Working World, and CARE Enterprises. A graduate of Swarthmore College, Simon serves as an adjunct professor at Middlebury College's graduate school program. She lives in the Bay Area.
"Morgan Simon has made a significant
contribution with the very big idea that we can change the world by changing
how we all relate to money. And lucky for us, Simon is as entertaining in her
writing as she is brilliant in her concepts."—Van Jones, CNN
"Impact investing is a subject that deserves in-depth, powerful scrutiny. Real Impact offers much of that, and will give readers an introduction into understanding where this kind of work can bring hopeful change and where it can't. Timely!"—Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy
"Where we invest speaks to our values as a country that prioritizes our collective social welfare. Morgan Simon's innovative investment approach ensures money can serve as a force for good, for everyone."—Congressman Keith Ellison, member of the House Financial Services Committee and co-Chair, Congressional Progressive Caucus
"Real Impact is a unique and valuable teaching tool. Morgan Simon's expertise in the field is unparalleled, and brilliantly shared through this book."—Vikram Gandhi, Senior Lecturer, Harvard Business School; former Vice-Chairman of Investment Banking, Credit Suisse
"Real Impact is a gift to the academic community. I know of no other resource available with such a balance of thought-provoking investment philosophy and practical advice--reflecting the depth of Morgan Simon's expertise and experience in impact investment."—Heidi Krauel Patel, Lecturer in Management, Graduate School of Businessat Stanford University
"A critical cautionary tale--how do we scale social impact investment without leaving anyone behind? Morgan Simon is a master practitioner at inclusive investment; read Real Impact to learn from her compelling example."—Ben Jealous, Partner,Kapor Capital and former President, NAACP
"To drive significant social and environmental progress around the world, investors need to understand how to structure and deliver capital in a way that works for high-impact enterprises. Real Impact highlights the complicated trade-offs they will face along the risk-return spectrum and offers a blueprint for market growth. It helps fill the knowledge gap between optimism and execution."—Debra D. Schwartz, Managing Director of Impact Investments, MacArthur Foundation
"Over 1,700 asset owners around the world, from pension funds to insurance companies and sovereign wealth funds, have become signatories to the UNPRI, as its becomes increasingly clear that social and environmental trends can create financial opportunities. Investors now have the capacity to help solve the world's problems and deliver strong returns for their beneficiaries and clients. Morgan Simon is a global leader in impact investing, and this book offers critical lessons for those interested in being on the cutting edge of this exciting new field."—Dr. James Gifford, Founder and former Executive Director, United Nations Principles on Responsible Investment; Senior Impact Investment Strategist, UBS
"Clear-eyed, explicit, and tinged with just the right amount of outrage, this is a clarion call that the world...needs to hear."- Publishers Weekly
"A clear-eyed case for socially conscious investment, of much interest to those who want their dollars to do good." - Kirkus Reviews
"Readers interested in social and economic justice, climate change, housing, gender equality, and other pertinent topics will be compelled by Simon's exploration of impact investment as a creative way to challenge social problems in global and local contexts." - Booklist