Oct 13th

Philanthropy and Impact Investing: A Perfect Match

Philanthropy is the heartbeat of wealth management. It gives investors a chance to align their wealth and their values for a positive impact while furthering the long-term goals they envision for themselves. However, traditionally, only a relatively small percentage of charitable assets available to investors are actually given in service of donor-advised funds, grant-making or establishing foundations. The majority of assets are invested for preservation and growth, and don’t always align with the investor’s overall mission-oriented goals. Because of this, philanthropists are asking: “Is there a way we can put our investments to work on behalf of our charitable mission as well?” The answer is a resounding yes. Not only are there many ways to view impact investing, but making a difference doesn’t have to mean sacrificing returns.

Our Philosophy – It’s All About You

The values of our clients are as unique as our clients themselves, and each philanthropic goal is equally deserving of a unique investment plan. At Whittier Trust, we’ve developed a process to help our private clients maintain the maximum flexibility necessary to handpick the investments right for them and their charitable giving vehicles. This includes: avoiding mutual funds, focusing on quality investments, measuring those investments against the clients’ prioritized ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) factors, and customizing a portfolio of recommendations for careful consideration. Examples of our tailored ESG solutions include investments in impact-screened equities, program and mission related investments (PRI’s and MRIs), fixed income, venture capital and other private investments. By looking at companies through an ESG (or impact) lens, not only are you aligning your portfolio with your philanthropic values, but because you will be looking at investments that mitigate risks, reduce taxes, and ensure long-term sustainability, you will also be growing your assets (including those used for grant-making) over time.

Our Process

Thanks to the increased presence of ESG in the markets, we have also expanded our fundamental analysis to provide metrics that demonstrate the real impacts your investments are having as a result of our process. With decades of experience, a high-quality investment philosophy, and an eye towards principles of sustainability, we know that the best way to begin this process is by listening carefully to you. Once we understand your values and how you’d like to express them through your investments, we will build a uniquely tailored portfolio to align with these values and goals. Our traditional rigorous financial analysis, known for uncovering excellent private and public market opportunities, is complimented with a layer of diligence focusing on environmental, social and corporate governance considerations.

We give these considerations equally rigorous treatment. When looking at environmental factors, we analyze a company’s commitment to energy efficiencies, recycling, minimally invasive manufacturing processes, responsible sourcing for raw materials, supply chain sustainability and deference to natural resources and environmental effects. We pay attention to how a company treats their employees, measuring social responsibility through reported levels of satisfaction and low client and employee turnover. We also look at governance. Quality of leadership and management shows through in high scores on integrity, diversity, accountability to investors and community engagement.

Is Impact Investing Right For You?

Investors are at the forefront of corporate change. We can help you join their ranks to address issues like climate change, diversity, human rights and animal cruelty. It’s up to you to ultimately determine for yourself whether impact investing is right for your money and your mission. Whittier Trust Client Advisors are here for any questions you may have, and ready to show you how impact investing can be successfully integrated into  your investing strategy.

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