Cooperative Economics | "Impact-First" Investing | Transformative Leadership

Real Talk about our Financial Advisors ++

Three topics have been swirling for me recently.

First, I do not feel like I’m doing enough anti-oppression work. But some philanthropists in the Northwest are giving me hope. They have started rolling up their sleeves and published a great report about their investment committees and racial equity work they are doing. Their report is easy to read. It’s authentic and points to some helpful frameworks we can all be using with our investment committees.

Second, I was furious (sad?) after this May 3 webinar that Catholic Investment Services put on about the USCCB socially responsible investing guidelines. My sadness came from how our revered Catholic investment leaders are so shaped by the mainstream financial metrics and institutions and language and culture that integrating the USCCB guidelines feels like it helps boost returns. They mentioned they had to stand up and have a few hard conversations with managers to screen out some things they maybe hadn’t considered before, but that was the hardest demand. It felt so aloof from social reality. It felt like it didn’t appreciate the gift of our Church or of the life of Jesus or of our greatest commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves. It didn’t feel like a conversation grounded in a real belief in and trust in God.

Third, I’m starting to see my organizing role more clearly. I need to support the leadership development of asset owners to see and confront the hardest work they have. If they want to embody their values, they need to be more thoughtful, courageous, and confident in their interactions with their investment advisors.

I share these thoughts as I am preparing for a meeting next week with some foundation and investment leaders.

I’m sharing these three topics here as a bookmark to come back and write more of my thoughts on each.

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