Impact Capital Managers (ICM), a network of private capital funders investing for financial returns through impact-driven business models has hired Marieke Spence as its first Executive Director.
Spence, who will be based in New York City, comes to ICM with over thirteen years of experience in impact investing and philanthropy. She previously served as a Director of the Synergos Global Philanthropists Circle, a 400+ member network of philanthropists and social investors. Her prior experience also includes positions with TCC Group, NPR, and the Council on Foreign Relations.
"We are thrilled to welcome Marieke to Impact Capital Managers," said Dave Kirkpatrick, Managing Director of SJF Ventures and ICM Co-Chair. "Her passion, expertise and strong relationships with stakeholders in the field are already building value for our fund members."
Spence joins ICM as the network wraps its Annual Members Conference in Durham, NC, which was hosted by the Duke Fuqua Business School and the CASE Initiative on Impact Investing. At the two-day event, ICM general partners discussed the challenge of sourcing diverse talent for their funds and portfolio companies and varying views on "impact" held by institutional investors. Discussion panels, which featured limited partners, were conducted in partnership with the CASE i3 Advisory Board at Duke to provide ICM with insight into capitalization strategies, particularly how to attract anchor investors to first-time funds.
"We realized early on that there was real value in bringing together the general partners of funds pursuing market-rate returns that are driven by an impact strategy," said Brian Trelstad, Partner at Bridges Fund Management and ICM Co-Chair, said. "We are excited that our early supporters – the Ford Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation – along with members' dues have allowed us to recruit someone of Marieke's caliber to lead us forward."
A highlight of this year's convening was discussion related to ICM and Tideline's recent report titled, The Alpha in Impact, which identifies 10 unique drivers of "impact alpha," defined as the ways in which operating with an impact objective can enhance or add financial value for fund managers, investors, and the firms in which they invest.
"I'm ecstatic to join Impact Capital Managers and its strong founding team. Thanks to its leadership the organization has hit the ground running with forty member funds - and growing – representing over $11 billion in impact-focused capital," said Spence. "In my view ICM is a unique and vital component in the impact investing ecosystem. Our members are practitioners at the vanguard working directly with founders and companies and structuring deals. ICM, as the first trusted peer network of its kind, yields unprecedented opportunities for relationship building and information sharing for the benefit of its members and others in the impact investing movement."
Although membership in the Impact Capital Managers is by invitation-only, the group welcomes interest from qualified prospective members. Participation is limited to general partners of funds with multiple investors that:
have an explicit commitment to accelerating positive social and/or environmental impact through investments;
currently report on those impacts or have a plan to do so;
have a financial return target comparable to that of other non-impact funds in their asset class;
have assets under management of at least $20M; and
are investing in private companies, e.g., are investing seed, growth, mezzanine, or buyout capital.
The ICM Steering Committee currently includes general partners from Arborview Capital, Bain Capital Double Impact, Bridges Fund Management, Bronze Investments, City Light Capital, DBL Partners, HCAP Partners, New Markets Venture Partners, Rethink, Small Business Community Capital, SJF Ventures, and University Ventures. More information including a full roster of members can be found at www.impactcapitalmanagers.com.