Investment Professionals Learn about Making Impact Investments

On 11-12 October, 20 investment professionals attended a workshop titled Building Portfolios with Impact: Creating and Managing Impact Investment Strategies. The 2-day workshop was jointly offered by the Asia-Pacific Institute of Business, CUHK Business School and The Hong Kong Jockey Club Programme on Social Innovation. (The Hong Kong Jockey Club Programme on Social Innovation is a partnership between The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the University of Chicago, and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.)

The workshop aimed to provide investment professionals with the skills to evaluate the investment characteristics of social ventures, structure investments in social ventures, and build impactful investment portfolios.

Three speakers ran the workshop, including Professor Kevin Au, Associate Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Director of the Center for Family Business at CUHK; Professor Robert Gertner, Joel F. Gemunder Professor of Strategy and Finance and John Edwardson Faculty Director for the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation at Chicago Booth; and Ms. Priya Parrish, Chief Investment Officer, Impact Engine, and Impact Investor in Residence, Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation. Four local social enterprises including RunOurCity, Longevity Design House, Easy Green and Inno8tia Environment Engineering were also on-site during the two-day course to share the ups and downs of their organisations.

Participants had positive feedback about the course, agreeing that it was a good start with social impact education for professionals in the field, while practitioners who shared were extremely knowledgeable and had great skills on adopting innovative ways to solve social issues.

The first part of the course featured coursework and case studies covered impact investing, due diligence, deal structuring, portfolio construction, and impact measurement. These skills were applied to write an investment proposal and to prepare a business pitch with Hong Kong social enterprises. Attendees then worked in groups to conduct analyses and presented investment recommendations to a mock investment committee made up of institutional investors, including:

  • Ms. Vince Chan, Angel Investor and Advisor; Co-Founder and Partner of Creta Ventures
  • Mr. Mark Cheng, European Director, Ashoka
  • Ms. Yuni Choi, Associate Investment Director, RS Group Asia
  • Mr. Ralph Leonard, Executive Director of Chapel & York HK Foundation
  • Mr. Howard Ling, Chief Consultant, Social Enterprise Business Centre
  • Ms. Christine Yu, Impact Investor; Founder and Managing Partner of Lapidary Limited

Through a mix of lectures, case studies, and collaborative hands-on experience, attendees were equipped with the frameworks, skills, and networks necessary to begin making impact investments.

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