Total Impact was developed to serve Financial Advisors, Wealth Managers, Family Offices, and Investors who are seeking actionable, executable information on building portfolios that include impact investments across asset classes. In the months leading up to Total Impact Philadelphia we will be interviewing key leaders in the space who will be sharing their insights and knowledge at the event.
First up, we sat down for a conversation with the new Director of Total Impact–Alex Kravitz. Kravitz moved to the leadership position of Total Impact from his role as the Senior Associate on the SOCAP content team. He also serves as the co-host and producer of SOCAP’s podcast, Money and Meaning. Kravitz has an MBA from the University of Michigan, where he served as the Director of Investment for the Social Venture Fund.
What is your guiding approach to curating the content for Total Impact Philadelphia?
Alex Kravitz: The goal with the content is to equip attendees with the tools they need to create a 100% impact-lens portfolio. With that in mind, we want to highlight impact investing opportunities across all asset classes. We will also highlight thematic areas for attendees who have a particular impact focus, such as climate change mitigation or racial equity, but still with the goal of providing attendees investment options across asset classes. Lastly, with the goal of really equipping attendees with the tools and information to make this move to impact investing, we will have a number of how-to panels and workshops that hopefully move the discussions from theoretical to practical.
What is your big picture vision for what Total Impact will help achieve?
Alex Kravitz: The big picture goal of Total Impact is pretty simple: we want to help shift capital from traditional investing strategies into impact investing. I think the way we do this, the story that we tell, is different based on the attendee but the ultimate goal is the same. For an asset owner like a foundation or a family office, we need to convince them they can preserve and grow their assets while achieving a greater impact than with just grant funding. For a financial advisor, we need to convince them that impact investing isn’t concessionary and that, to preserve their assets retention with the upcoming Baby Boomer wealth transfer, they need to be able to meet the social impact demands of both women and millennials – two demographics that care much more about the social impact of their investments.
What would you like to share about your background and what you’ve learned in your career so far that you are bringing to your role with Total Impact?
Alex Kravitz: About ten years ago, I founded a real estate investment company, which certainly gave me an appreciation for the way investment capital can help or hurt a community. I think it’s tough to get much closer to seeing the impact of one’s investments than in real estate. Hoping to combine my background in finance and investing with social impact, I returned to business school, where I was involved with the University of Michigan’s student-run impact investing fund, the Social Venture Fund. After attending SOCAP and the inaugural Good Capital Conference while in school, I got a job at SOCAP, where I spent the past two years working on content for the flagship conference in San Francisco, as well as on their impact investing podcast, Money and Meaning. I’m sure all three past experiences: traditional investing, impact investing, and convening will be drawn upon for this conference.
What part of the Total Impact Philadelphia event are you personally most excited about?
Alex Kravitz: I’m most excited for the Total Impact Portfolio Challenge finals. I was involved with a number of impact investing programs during school – the UM Social Venture Fund, the MBA Impact Investing Networking and Training Competition (MIINT), the Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge – and these were by far the most impactful part of my graduate school experience, in terms of both shaping my vision for what finance can accomplish and for guiding me onto this career path. The opportunity to offer a similar experience to the next generation of financial services professionals is really exciting for me.
What will be different about this year’s event from the previous Total Impact Events?
Alex Kravitz: This is our third annual Total Impact Philadelphia conference and the last two were great. Sharadiya Dasgupta, my predecessor in this role, did a fantastic job getting Total Impact off the ground and our partnership with ImpactPHL has allowed for a great balance between local place-based conversations and larger core impact investing conversations. All of that is to say I hope to continue to build upon that momentum. This space has been evolving so quickly over the past few years that there have been many important developments in the year since our last Philly event. We want to make sure we highlight these important conversations, feature the most innovative thought leaders in this space, and generally draw more and more asset owners and allocators into the impact investing fold.
What can attendees expect to take away from Total Impact Philly 2020?
Alex Kravitz: My goal is that attendees leave the conference with two takeaways: one is an increased understanding about the tools and strategies available to them to deploy their capital in a way that both meets their financial needs and aligns with their personal values. The second is an expanded network of like-minded investors, with whom they can help to drive the next wave of innovation in this space.
Register for Total Impact Philadelphia 2020
Join Alex Kravitz and a community of financial advisors, investors, and financial services providers at Total Impact Philadelphia May 13-14, 2020 to learn actionable and executable information on impact investment across asset classes.