This webinar will focus on practical approaches to developing a process for investing an endowment in a gender and racially inclusive way. Join us as we answer questions such as:
- How do we talk to our board about investing with a racial and gender lens?
- How do we discuss inclusive investments with our investment advisers?
- How do we hold our investment advisers accountable for investing in this way?
- How do we hire diverse managers?
- What is the process of building a portfolio that takes gender and racial justice into account?
- What kind of impact are we looking for? What impact is possible through our investments?
This conversation will tackle these questions with the understanding that adopting an inclusive investments strategy is a journey and likely cannot be achieved quickly.
This is the second webinar of a 2-part series on inclusive investments. We encourage you to review the video from the first session, Building an Inclusive Investment Portfolio for an Inclusive World, which can be found HERE.
This session is also a part of our Power & Equity series of programming.
About our Moderator and Presenters:
Mark Paley, Director of Administration and Finance, The Hyams Foundation
Mark Paley is the Director of Administration & Finance at The Hyams Foundation. Before joining Hyams in 2001, he was the CFO at YouthBuild USA where he helped to build the national youth servicing non-profit to a nationally recognized network of groups working with out of school youth. Mark was a member of the initial steering committee of the Non-Profit Financial Managers Group. He is also a member of the board of the Schott Foundation and on the board of Neighborhood Funders Group. Mark earned his B.A. at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Masters of Management at the University of California, Davis.
Akasha Absher, Principal and President, Syntrinsic Investment Counsel
Akasha Absher joined Syntrinsic Investment Counsel in 2013. She serves on the firm’s Investment Committee and oversees the firm’s efforts to provide investment advice and strategic consulting to private foundations, public charities and philanthropic private clients.
Akasha’s background includes investment consulting, investment banking, fixed-income trading, risk management and nonprofit leadership, which gives her a unique blend of expertise and experience to work with clients to invest all resources with mission and business strategy. Prior to joining Syntrinsic, she spent many years as a Portfolio Manager and Research Analyst at Lucidus Capital Partners and Caxton Associates. Prior to that, she was a Vice President and Senior Publishing Analyst at JP Morgan. Akasha earned her Series 65 through FINRA.
Akasha was recently voted one of the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce Top 25 Most Powerful Women. A 2015 graduate of the Denver Metro Chamber Foundation’s Leadership Denver class, she now serves on the board of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation. She’s a dedicated community volunteer and serves on the Board of Pinnacol Assurance, the Board of Colorado Charter Facility Solutions, and the Advisory Board of the CLIMBER Loan Fund. Previously, Akasha was a board member of the Prosperity Denver Fund, Florence Crittenton, and past co-chair of the Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s Power of Extended Philanthropy Club, and Rose Community Foundation’s Professional Advisors Council.
Originally from New York, Akasha earned her bachelor’s degree in finance from Clark Atlanta University and her MBA from the Ross Business School at the University of Michigan. She and her husband moved to Colorado from New York City to enjoy their family and the mountains. When not spending time with family, Akasha can be found practicing yoga and is a certified instructor. She enjoys hiking, reading and traveling, both domestically and abroad.
Sonia Kowal, President, Zevin Asset Management, LLC
Sonia Kowal brings over two decades of investment experience to managing corporate matters, business practices, and strategic planning. She also oversees marketing, advisor, and client relationships. She is a member of the firm’s Board of Managers and the Investment Committee. She is passionate about the value of integrating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues into investments. She feels particularly strongly about racial equity, wealth inequality, and our disastrous criminal justice system. Previously, she was a Senior Research Analyst and head of Ethical Investment Research Services' (EIRIS) U.S. office. She was a portfolio manager and investment research analyst in Emerging Markets at Baillie Gifford in Scotland.
Sonia holds a BS from the University of Edinburgh in Zoology and an MS from the University of Stirling, Scotland in Investment Analysis. She is a board member of ICCR, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, a coalition of faith- and values-driven organizations who view the management of their investments as a powerful catalyst for social change.
Zoom information will be sent via email in advance of the session.