Why is today an important day for SerenityShares and socially responsible investors?
Today is important for people who want to not just invest but to make a difference in the world – we just launched SerenityShares’ first ETF called ICAN.
Describe the strategy behind the SerenityShares Impact ETF.
ICAN is a diversified fund invested in firms whose products and services target societal, social and environmental challenges from clean water and renewable energy to elder care and education. The key to SerenityShares' and the Impact ETF is that we focus specifically on 20 different categories that we believe help make the world a better place.
What are the key differences between your ETF and other products?
ICAN focuses on the solution to a challenge rather than looking at each individual company and trying to determine what is good and what is not good.
Our approach has allowed us to simplify the process of socially responsible investing by defining areas that benefit society and the planet to identify the companies operating in those areas. It's aligned, in a lot of ways, with the United Nations sustainable development goals.
Tell us about your methodology.
We look at all 6,500 companies listed in the United States and from there identify those with products and services that target the 20 challenges we defined affecting society and the environment. We all love to have our garbage picked up, we want recycling and clean water; and we all want our grandparents taken care of – this fund identifies many of the companies that do that.
How did it feel to ring the Bell at the New York Stock Exchange?
It was an exciting experience – it's been a long time from when I started working with the New York Stock Exchange to manage indexes through the launch of this product. Everyone is incredibly excited to be here.
Where do you see opportunities in the market for impact investing?
Impact investing is rapidly gaining assets as young investors, women and those with a high net worth are realizing their investments can do more than just earn a return.
ETFs have transitioned from a niche product to a mainstream investment in recent years. Why did you choose an ETF structure?
Exchange Traded Funds are a means to democratize and open up markets that are hard to access. ETFs are easy to buy and sell, they’re tax efficient, and they will offer impact investors a public equity option where they’ve previously only had private equity and debt.
What are some trends we can expect to see in the coming years?
We believe that impact is not a separate asset class – it can be part of a core portfolio to allow investors to use their assets to generate positive social and environmental outcomes. We expect to see significant inflows into impact funds as investors realize this opportunity.
Tell us how it felt to be on the podium this morning.
It was a tremendous opportunity for us – I’m very excited to be here at the New York Stock Exchange. I’ve been in the investment business for 30 years and I’ve never had an opportunity to be here – it’s phenomenal. Appreciate it!