Ron Cordes puts his money where his mouth is.
The co-chairman of financial services giant Genworth Financial and the founder of ImpactAssets, a nonprofit financial services company ("I usually have to say that twice," Cordes quips) invests in social enterprises around the world. Frontier capital is what he calls it.
And it's working well from both a financial and social impact point of view.
Cordes became more of an impact investor after he sold his firm AssetMark to Genworth a half-dozen years ago. He soon set up a foundation and began to invest in social enterprises in the developing world.
As he explains it, he started out with a small portion of his portfolio. But soon that portion was outperforming his traditional investments. Bingo! Proof positive for impact investing, of which Cordes is now considered a pioneer and an industry leader.
What makes Cordes a great role model for others is the fact that impact investing for him isn't theoretical nor conjecture; it's for real and produces real results.
Moreover, Cordes speaks the language of the financial services community. This helps advisors and others "get it" when they wonder or question the value of impact investing.
Last week at both the Impact Investing Workshop and 3rd Annual Innovative Alternative Strategies conference in Denver, Cordes brought to the table a wealth of experience and knowledge. People glommed on to it -- and there were hundreds in attendance.
Impactassets.org showcases a lot of the work he and his team have done. Check it out. Also, they just published a new issues brief. It's a great set of working papers that cover current issues being discussed by those active in the impact investing field. They include unifying an investment portfolio within a donor advised fund; private equity in emerging markets; and increasing impact and enhancing returns.
Read 'em, and maybe more of you will begin to lead by example, too.