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Trends Watch: November 1, 2018

EisnerAmper’s Trends Watch is a weekly entry to our Alternative Investments Intelligence blog, featuring the views and insights of executives from alternative investment firms. If you’re interested in being featured, please contact Elana Margulies-Snyderman.

This week, Elana talks with Eva Yazhari, Co-Founder, Beyond Capital.

What is your outlook for impact investing?

For me, impact investing goes beyond finance. It is a mindset that fuels high performance in all areas of my life. My husband and I founded Beyond Capital to marry our financial backgrounds with our family history and true desire to enact change where it is needed most. 

I am heartened by the movement towards social impact in individual investors, family offices, international banks, and corporations of all sizes. In fact, according to Fidelity Charitable, two out of every three donors want to give more the charitable causes. I believe that making a difference with your dollars while expecting a financial return (or making a consumer choice) will soon be the norm, and impact investing will in fact refer to all types of investing.

What is your outlook for the economy?

While it is an uncertain time, I believe on a high-level, the economy is experiencing an unprecedented shift towards alternative asset classes, with many investment funds making the case for early-stage investing in for-profit social enterprises in developing countries as one example. By directing more funds towards these startups, we hope to remake the global economic landscape by spurring growth in these previously overlooked regions, which present a major market opportunity. Many impact investors reported gains in the last recession due to investments in assets which were uncorrelated to global markets. 

What keeps you up at night?

It is at times overwhelming to know exactly where can make the most difference. We vet nearly 200 companies every year using a six-phase, venture-capital style due diligence process to ultimately invest in four to five enterprises. By focusing on the regions (India and East Africa) that we feel have the greatest need and the most market opportunity (see the study The Next Four Billion from the World Resources Institute), the areas (health care, access to electricity, and sanitation) that are most pressing, and entrepreneurs who align with our goals, we are able to make the most impact as possible.

Elana Margulies-Snyderman is an investment industry reporter and writer who develops articles, opinion pieces and original research designed to help illuminate the most challenging issues confronting fund managers and executives.

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