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• Women’s Leadership in Climate Investing

September 17 2018
September 17 2018

Confluence Philanthropy hosted its third dinner for Impactful Women in values-aligned investing during the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. Similar to prior dinners Confluence has hosted, it brought together women working in various sectors of the investment industry – from community finance development institutions to global asset management firms. Twenty-two women joined the evening conversation, which centered on women's leadership in combating climate change and building social equity. While each represented diverse personnel and professional backgrounds, and not all focused specifically on climate change, what the guests held in common was their dedication to broadening the dialogue around related issues and a determination to understand how to educate and invest with sustainability and climate solutions in mind.

We began the evening with a cheeky icebreaker, apropos with hurricane Florence targeting the southeastern region of the US: “Where would you retreat to if the world hit two degrees of global warming?” Answers ranged from staying put; to fighting the good fight (even if it required scuba gear); to retreating to mountain tops that would soon be oceanfront properties; to vineyards in either Sonoma or Antarctica, or communes in Canada. Offbeat and edgy, the question helped us share a bit more about our special places and where we feel safest.

The evening then turned to the primary topics at hand. Over dinner, guests naturally broke into smaller groups to answer two questions: “What climate solutions are they, their clients and investing partners most interested in today, and where do they think the climate conversation needs to go next?”



Pictured (left to right): Kristin Hull, Founder & CEO of Nia Impact Capital, Patricia Farrar-Rivas, CEO of Veris Wealth Partners, Dana Lanza, CEO of Confluence Philanthropy, and Renée Beaumont, Partner of Generation Investment Management

The insights that came out of the discussions were wide ranging. There was a great deal of discussion around food and nutrition, sustainable and regenerative agriculture, ocean cleanup and how to drive capital to these sectors from the grassroots level to scale. Not surprisingly, the impact of the US stepping out of the Paris Agreement also surfaced as part of the conversation. Generally, the group agreed that in many ways the federal move was energizing people of all ages and from many different sectors to take a more active stance on climate change. There was a particular hope around the younger generation and their involvement and activism on so many issues.

There were also interesting conversations around women’s intuition in investing and an important question was raised around how one practices values-based investing when we all hold different values. This question led to a discussion around client services, relativism and the importance of finding common ground. This last takeaway, it was decided, would be an excellent topic for the next group of women lucky enough to participate in an Impactful Women’s dinner. I look forward to hearing the lessons from that conversation and to connecting with this expanding community of fierce and hard-working women in value investing.





- Ms. Renée Beaumont is a Partner at Generation Investment Management, a firm that focuses on sustainable capitalism. Her breadth of experience at various financial institutions, and now working to invest in sustainable capitalism, will contribute to the conversation on leadership in low-carbon investment.


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