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All sessions between 1 – 5 p.m. Eastern Time
Akasha Absher is the Chief Consulting Officer for Syntrinsic Investment Counsel in Denver, CO.
Syntrinsic Investment Counsel is a boutique investment consulting firm with $1.4 billion in assets under advisement. The firm partners as a fiduciary with nonprofit organizations and philanthropic private clients to develop, implement, and monitor customized investment portfolios. Akasha is charged with overseeing the firm’s efforts to create enduring strategic partnerships with clients and craft best in class stewardship platforms that will allow them to have a meaningful impact in the community. She also serves as Consultant on client relationships and provides investment advice and strategic guidance to foundations, public charities, and philanthropic private clients. In addition, she is a voting member of the firm’s Investment Committee and Chair of the firm’s Impact Investing Committee.
Prior to joining Syntrinsic, Akasha invested and traded across the spectrum of credit including high yield to investment grade as well as distressed and stressed credit, fixed and floating rate instruments, bonds, loans, CDS and index products for Lucidus Capital Partners and Caxton Associates. Previously, she was at JP Morgan, where she served as a Vice President and senior publishing analyst in the High Yield.
Akasha earned her Bachelors of Arts in Finance from Clark Atlanta University and her Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Ross Business School at the University of Michigan. She has earned her Series 65 through FINRA and is a graduate of the Denver Metro Chamber’s Leadership Foundation, Leadership Denver Class of 2015. In 2017, Akasha was awarded DBJ’s Who’s Who in Impact Investing.
Akasha currently is serving as a Board Member of The Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, the Secretary of the Board of Colorado Charter Facility Solutions, a Board of Advisors Member of Colorado Succeeds, and a Member of Rose Community Foundation’s Professional Advisors Council. Previously she was a Board Member of Florence Crittenton and past Co-Chair of the Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s Power of Extended Philanthropy Club.
Akasha and her husband, Kelly, 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. Additionally, Akasha and Kelly enjoy hiking, reading, and traveling both domestic and abroad.
Cameron is a principal of the firm, the Chief Happiness Officer, soon be Chief Compliance Officer and a Certified Financial Planner®.
Drawn to the “financial coaching” aspect of the business, Cam leads conversions around values, goals and the integration of these facets into clients’ investment portfolios and financial lives. This work includes discussions of charitable giving, impact investing and “Environmental, Social and Governance” (ESG) issues.
Cam is an active attendee at the Seattle Philanthropic Advisors Network. She is passionate about women in the workforce and volunteers with the CFP WIN mentor program to help other female CFPs and aspiring CFPs gain confidence and navigate their careers in finance. She is a US SIF member and a regular conference speaker on the topic of how to grow a practice and engage clients using sustainable and impact investing.
Cam and her husband, Erik, live in Renton, Washington with their three children.
Margaret Belmondo is Principal, Senior Consultant with NEPC.
She sits on the firm’s public funds team and has broad responsibilities in all facets of client management, including investment policy development, asset allocation, investment manager selection, performance and risk measurement and asset/liability studies.
She has been in the investment field for nearly two decades. Before NEPC, she served as a director in the asset management group at PFM Group of Philadelphia, and she was a Senior Investment Consultant at SEI Investments in Oaks, Pennsylvania, where she provided private wealth management services to a group of high net worth and institutional clients, including individuals, family offices and foundations with greater than $750 million in assets under management and advisement.
Margaret earned a B.A. in finance from Villanova University. She is a Certified Investment Management AnalystSM and a graduate of LEADERSHIP Philadelphia. She is also a member of the EconomicsPennsylvania State Board of Directors.
Rani Borkar is the Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Azure Hardware Systems and Infrastructure and a member of Azure’s senior leadership team.
She leads the core organizations building Microsoft’s cloud computing platform — from silicon and systems to supply chain.
Rani has established herself as a pioneering hardware engineer in the semiconductor industry, a technology executive, product visionary and trusted leader with decades of experience in the computing industry. She is passionate about delivering end-to-end solutions to empower customers to achieve more.
Since joining Microsoft, Rani has been instrumental in strengthening Azure’s place as the industry-leading cloud computing platform. Currently, Azure is the global leader in enterprise cloud computing, serving more than 95% of the Fortune 500.
Before joining Microsoft, Rani served as the Vice President of OpenPOWER Development at IBM. Prior to that, she led Intel’s silicon product development strategy.
Originally from Mumbai, Rani calls both Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, home. She is married with two sons.
Jenifer Cannon, CAP®, CSRIC®
Jenifer manages strategic relationships in the US intermediary channel. She also specialises in thematic and philanthropic investing, gender lens investing, and practice management, with a particular focus on helping firms and their advisors integrate sustainable investing into their practices and client portfolios.
Before joining Impax in 2018, Jenifer was part of the senior management team at Vigilant Capital Management. She has also worked for Fidelity Investments, Putnam Investments, and Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. in retail and institutional roles. She was also in leadership positions at The Boston Foundation and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation providing individuals and families with philanthropic advice.
Jenifer holds the FINRA Series 6, 63, and 65 registrations. She is a chartered adviser in philanthropy, a 21/64 certified adviser, and a chartered SRI counsellor. Jenifer has a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of New Hampshire and continues to participate in professional education programmes. She also sits on the Board of Trustees for the Foundation for Seacoast Health and Friend Forever International. She is also a registered representative of Foreside Financial Services, LLC.
Catherine Chen has been in the investment field since 1993.
Before joining RBC, she was part of the SRI Wealth Management Group at Piper Jaffray, where she advised foundations, nonprofits and high net worth individuals on ESG investments. Prior to that, Catherine worked with J.P. Morgan as an investment banker covering the healthcare, natural resources and technology sectors. During her tenure at J.P. Morgan, Catherine advised clients on more than $5 billion of M&A, project finance and equity and fixed income underwriting transactions, working out of the company’s New York, San Francisco and Hong Kong offices.
Catherine is on the board of directors of the East Bay Community Foundation and has served on boards of the Women’s Funding Network and the Children’s Council of San Francisco. She earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in both economics and history from the University of California, Berkeley, where she is a Cal Alumni Scholar.
Along with her husband, she is a proud parent of two kids.
Kelly is a subject matter expert on gender lens investing. She has honed and expanded the firm’s practice management resources helping institutions and financial advisors to engage more effectively with clients, specifically women and the next generation, on sustainable investing concepts.
Prior to joining Impax in 2014, Kelly worked in sales at a boutique ETF investment manager and began her career in investor services at Eaton Vance.
Kelly holds the FINRA Series 6, 63, and 65 registrations and is a registered representative of Foreside Financial Services, LLC. She has a bachelor’s degree in Human Rights from Trinity College-Hartford, and is a graduate of Wharton’s Women’s Executive Leadership program.
In this Q&A, Kelly Baldoni interviewed two of our gender lens investing experts, Heather Smith and David Loehwing to discuss the process of creating the Impax Gender Score and to share their insights on the growing opportunity for gender lens investors.
Daniel Crosby, Ph.D.
Daniel Crosby, Ph.D., is a psychologist and behavioral finance expert who helps organizations understand the intersection of mind and markets.
His first book, “Personal Benchmark: Integrating Behavioral Finance and Investment Management,” was a New York Times bestseller. His second book, “The Laws of Wealth,” was named the best investment book of 2017 by the Axiom Business Book Awards and has been translated into five languages.
Daniel’s latest work, “The Behavioral Investor,” offers a comprehensive look at the neurology, physiology and psychology of sound financial decision-making.
When he is not consulting around market psychology, Daniel enjoys exploring the American South, fanatically following St. Louis Cardinals baseball and spending time with his wife and three children.
Kelly Major Green is Financial Advisor and Institutional Consultant at the Chicago office of Graystone Consulting, the independent consulting division of Morgan Stanley.
She works with a diverse range of clients, including foundations, nonprofits, retirement plans and complex private wealth families who aspire to do well and to do good.
Before joining Morgan Stanley, Kelly served as the Chief Operating Officer at United Way for Southeastern Michigan, and she was a senior consultant for Accenture and CSC Index. Kelly also worked as Equity Partner and Marketing Director for Brogan & Partners Convergence Marketing, a women‑owned strategic marketing services firm in Detroit.
She is a trustee of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and serves of the executive committee of the Greater Wayne County Chapter of The Links Inc.
Kelly holds the Certified Investment Management Analyst®(CIMA®) designation. She has a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
Jon Hale, Ph.D.
Jon Hale, Ph.D., CFA, is head of sustainable investing research for Morning¬star. In this role he launched the Morningstar Sustainability Rating™ for funds in 2016.
Before assuming this role, Hale was director of manager research, North America, where he led approximately 60 Morningstar manager research analysts based in North America and oversaw the team’s operations, thought leadership and manager research coverage across asset classes. Hale first joined Morningstar in 1995 as a mutual fund analyst and helped launch the institutional investment consulting business for the organization in 1998. He was named Senior Investment Consultant in 2001 and served as managing consultant and head of the investment advisory unit between 2009 and 2014.
In 2018, Hale was named to Barron’s list of the 20 most influential people in ESG investing, and in 2019, he was included in the InvestmentNews’ 10 leaders of ESG & Impact Investing.
Hale holds a bachelor’s degree, with honors, from the University of Oklahoma and a doctorate in political science from Indiana University.
In 2014, Sallie collaborated with Impax President Joe Keefe to create the Impax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund, which invests in the highest-rated companies in the world in advancing women’s leadership. Today, that Fund is the oldest and largest in the gender lens investing space, and Sallie serves as consultant to Impax Ellevate team.
Sallie is the CEO and co-founder of Ellevest, a digital-first, mission-driven investment platform for women. Ellevest is one of the fastest growing digital investment platforms and has been named a #24 on CNBC’s top 50 “Disruptor” list, #14 on LinkedIn’s 50 “Most Sought-After Startups” (and #2 in New York) and one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 100 Brilliant Ideas. Sallie’s professional mission is to help women reach their financial and professional goals, thus enabling them to live better lives and unleashing a positive ripple effect for our families, our communities and our economy.
She is widely recognized as one of the most influential women in business. In 2020, Barron’s named her to its list of the 100 “Most Influential Women in the U.S.” Inc. recognized her as a “Top Female Founder,” and Fortune Magazine dubbed Sallie “The Last Honest Analyst.” Forbes listed Sallie as the seventh most powerful woman in the world, and she was # 9 on Fast Company’s list of the “100 Most Creative People in Business.”
Sallie is the best-selling author of “Own It: The Power of Women at Work” and is chair of the Ellevate Network, a 150,000-strong global professional women’s network.
Before launching Impax Ellevate and Ellevest, Sallie built a successful career on Wall Street: She was the CEO of Merrill Lynch, Smith Barney, US Trust, the Citi Private Bank, and Sanford C. Bernstein. She was also Chief Financial Officer for Citigroup. Prior to that, she was a top-ranked research analyst covering the securities industry.
Sallie received a Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MBA with honors from Columbia Business School.
Scott LaBreche is Portfolio Manager & VP, Portfolio Analytics, at Impax Asset Management LLC, the North American division of Impax Asset Management Group and investment adviser to Impax Funds.
Scott is a Portfolio Manager of the Global Women’s Leadership Strategy, which includes the Impax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund. He is also a Portfolio Manager of the Impax International Sustainable Economy Fund, the Impax Global Sustainable Infrastructure Fund and the Impax U.S. Sustainable Economy Fund. He is responsible for portfolio management of systematic strategies, portfolio analytics and risk oversight, and quantitative ESG research.
Before joining Impax in 2007, Scott was a Securities Fund Analyst at Lincoln Financial Group. He has been in the investment management industry since 1999.
Scott holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration and a Master of Business Administration with advanced certificate in finance from Southern New Hampshire University.
Laura J. LaTourette
Laura J. LaTourette, CFP®, runs the Family Wealth Management Group (FWMG), an independent practice in Dahlonega, Georgia. She is a Registered Principal for LPL Financial.
FWMG serves pre-retirees and retirees with fee-based financial planning as well as wealth accumulation, income distribution and wealth transfer strategies. Laura brings a spirit of independence to her work, encouraging clients to develop an understanding of their gifts, to conquer their fears and to dream big and live fully.
Laura has served in many leadership roles in the financial services industry and in her community, including a women’s shelter, a chamber of commerce, Rotary International and Holly Theatre. Most recently, she served as president then chair of the Financial Planning Association of Georgia. Laura is a past-president of the national Women in Insurance & Financial Services organization.
Laura lives with her family on a small farm in the Appalachian foothills.
Steven Lease, CFP®, is an Investing with Impact Director and Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley.
He helps individuals, families, nonprofits and businesses to invest in women using gender diverse portfolios. Steven is an Eagle Scout and he enjoys giving back to the community. When he became a Girl Scout Advisor, Steven realized that he needed to do more for young women and all women in our society. Steven and his wife have two daughters.
David leads the sustainability team in North America and is responsible for overseeing Impax’s sustainability and ESG research and development of its methodologies, as well as engagement and stewardship across Impax portfolios. David leads on Impax’s internal sustainability frameworks including the construction and management of Impax’s Systematic ESG Rating and the Impax Gender Score. He is a member of the Sustainability Lens Committee, Sustainability Policy Committee and ESG & Sustainability Committee which govern integration of sustainability and stewardship in Impax’s investment process.
David’s role at Impax also includes Co-Chair of the Environment Group and member of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Group.
David has worked in sustainable investing since 1998. Before joining Impax in 2007, he worked in the field at Citizens Advisers and the Investor Responsibility Research Center. David has been active within industry working groups and advisory committees related to sustainable investing.
David graduated from Bowdoin College, Maine, with a BA in Sociology.
How companies and investors can spot bias in technology and take steps to eradicate it.
Mindy Lubber is the CEO and President of the sustainability nonprofit organisation Ceres. She leads an all-women executive leadership team and 125 employees working to mobilize the most influential investors and companies to tackle the world’s biggest sustainability challenges.
Mindy is a global thought leader who has inspired investors, corporate boards and other capital market leaders to factor environmental, social and governance issues into decision-making. In 2015, she catalyzed business support to help get the historic Paris Agreement ratified, leading Vogue Magazine to call her a “Climate Warrior.”
Lubber received the Climate Visionary Award from the Earth Day Network and American University’s William K. Reilly Award for Environmental Leadership. Barron’s named her to its inaugural list of the 100 most influential women in US finance in 2020.
Before Ceres, Mindy served as a regional administrator at the US Environmental Protection Agency under former President Bill Clinton.
She resides in Brookline, Mass., with her husband, Norman Stein, and she has two children, Abe and Jessie.
Rana Nawas is on a mission to help women win. She fulfills this mission through keynote speeches, strategic advisory services, workshops and her podcast, When Women Win, a broadcast featuring female role models from all walks of life who share inspirational stories and practical tools for personal and professional success.
By the end of its first season, When Women Win was the #1 most listened-to podcast on iTunes Middle East. Now in its third season, it is broadcast in 163 countries. When Women Win is also aired on all Emirates Airlines flights.
Rana left the corporate world after 17 years in a variety of strategy and sales roles with McKinsey & Company, the government of Dubai and GE Capital. At GE, she headed the Women’s Network for the Middle East, Africa & Turkey and led the effort to rewrite policies and bring about pay parity. Until recently, Rana was a chapter president of the Ellevate global women’s network.
Rana speaks at corporations and conferences and has been featured on CNN, Vogue Arabia and Dubai Eye. She has published articles in Forbes, Huffington Post, GQ and Entrepreneur Middle East.
Rana is a mother of two and wife of one.
Melissa Platner, CAIA®
Melissa is responsible for increasing awareness and adoption of Impax Asset Management’s sustainable investing strategies within the institutional market.
She has worked in consultant relations throughout her career. Before joining Impax in 2017, Melissa previously held similar roles at GE Asset Management and The Hartford. She has also worked at ING, Voya, and Morgan Stanley.
A CAIA charter holder, Melissa is a graduate of Davidson College where she studied English. She holds the FINRA Series 7 and 63 securities licenses and completed a certificate in Sustainable Finance from Columbia University. Melissa also has an MBA from the University of Connecticut. Melissa is a registered representative of Foreside Financial Services.