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Ronald Cohen

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Sir Ronald Cohen – Impact: Reshaping Capitalism to Drive Real Change

Capital for Good

On today’s episode of Capital for Good we speak with Sir Ronald Cohen, investor, entrepreneur, philanthropist, statesman, author – and a leader of the impact investing revolution.  Sir Ronald is the Chairman of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment and the Portland Trust.  He is a co-founder and director of Social Finance UK, USA and Israel and co-founder and Chair of Bridges Fund Management and Big Society Capital.  Since 2000, Sir Ronald has chaired various taskforces that helped launch the field of impact investing, including the Social Impact Investing Taskforce established under the UK’s presidency of the G8 (2013-2015), the Social Investment Task Force (2000-2010) and the Commission on Unclaimed Assets (2005-2007).  In 2012 he received the Rockefeller Foundation’s Innovation Award for innovation in social finance. This pioneer of impact investing also brought venture capital and private equity to the United Kingdom.  Sir Ronald co-founded and was Executive Chairman of Apax Partners Worldwide LLP (1972-2005) and was founder and Chairman of both the British and European Venture Capital Associations. Sir Ronald has held several board and leadership roles at his alma maters, Oxford University and Harvard Business School, as well as the British Museum and the Institute for Strategic Studies.  He is author of The Second Bounce of the Ball, Turning Risk into Opportunity (2007), and now a new book, Impact: Reshaping Capitalism to Drive Real Change which examines the many ways impact investing can help us achieve more just, inclusive and broad based prosperity.  Given the health, economic, social and environmental challenges we are living through, this book couldn’t be more timely. In this conversation, we explore the early days of impact investing – including social impact bonds and outcomes based financing – and its evolution and growth over time.  We look at very innovative mission driven companies addressing challenges in health, financial inclusion and other areas, and discuss how new ways to measure risk, return and impact, specifically impact weighted accounts, can help us properly value the true impact, positive and negative, of all companies and therefore drive real change across the capital markets and across our economy and society. Mentioned in this Episode: Sir Ronald Cohen, Impact: Reshaping Capitalism to Drive Real Change (Ebury Press, November 3, 2020) Ronald Cohen and George Serafeim, “How to Measure a Company’s Real Impact,” Harvard Business Review 3 September 2020 Ronald Cohen, “How to Mobilize a Global Testing Effort: Pay for Success” Barron’s 18 April 2020 Harvard Business School Impact-Weighted Accounts Project Thanks for Listening! Be sure to subscribe on Apple, Google, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. And feel free to drop us a line at socialenterprise@gsb.columbia.edu. Follow the Tamer Center on social media on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more!


16 Feb 2021