Impact Investing with a Focus on Immigrants/Refugees

April 2019 | ESG

Many of our clients have recently inquired about our ability to customize impact investments that can positively benefit immigrants/refugees.  Regardless of recent political debate – or perhaps in light of it – these groups are the focus of many foundations, philanthropies, and other investment businesses.  And that makes sense given one in seven U.S. residents is foreign born – roughly 13.7% of the population – and account for 17 percent of the civilian labor force.1

In our recent 2019 review of our current 18 impact themes, which we conduct annually, the topic arose around immigrants/refugees given the client requests mentioned above.  After careful and extensive due diligence, we decided to include these populations within some of our existing themes, specifically Economic Inclusion and Human Empowerment.  Economic Inclusion is assisting and supporting the process of bringing targeted group, individuals, and communities, including immigrants and refugees, closer to the economic mainstream and capital markets.  Human Empowerment is assisting individuals and families, including immigrants and refugees, through resources and programs designed to achieve personal goals, greater self-sufficiency, and upward mobility.  We believe these two themes tie in well to immigrants/refugees and have already made several investments touching upon these initiatives.

For example, one of our investments helped finance an affordable rental property in the southernmost county of Texas, near the Mexican border, with economic stability a key focus of their resident programs that include financial literacy training, credit counseling, and homebuyer education.  The property also offers youth programs that include after-school support and scholastic tutoring.

For investors with this focused interest, we have looked at multiple ways to customize portfolios to positively support immigrants and refugees.  These include targeting investments in states or counties with the highest population of immigrants/refugees and border towns as well as seeking investments that are positively helping immigrants/refugees or are affiliated with organizations looking to improve the lives of immigrants/refugees. 

As with all our investments, ensuring that our clients’ values are aligned and fully addressed is our priority.  We appreciate the opportunity to work with investors on issues of importance to them and continue to update our impact themes as new ideas arise.

Click here for a full list of our 18 impact themes.



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