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IMPACT FAMILY OFFICE: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES




Earlier this month, Kanopé was mentioned in a Forbes article tackling the future of family offices. At its core, the author argued that the field of family offices was undergoing a drastic change, as today’s asset managers have an entirely different approach to investing in comparison with their predecessors. In that regard, they introduced Kanopé as a value-adding, multi-family office entirely focused on investments with impact related targets.


Before jumping into the matter, we want to express our gratitude to the author, François Botha, a reference in the field of family offices, who focuses on brand and innovation strategy. Hereafter, you can find the link to the full article "Emerging forms of the family office": https://www.forbes.com/sites/francoisbotha/2020/02/12/emerging-forms-of-the-family-office/


Below, we will detail what it means to be a family office that features at its heart an investment approach dedicated to positive impact.


AN AUTHENTIC CONTRIBUTION TO IMPACT


First, one key challenge for Kanopé is proving its legitimate will in creating a positive social and environmental impact, as opposed to numerous corporations claiming to be green. Sustainable investing (also known responsible investing) grew tremendously these last years, leading to a market where nearly all players boast about doing good for the society. Most, if not all of these companies claim to be responsible by applying ESG (environment, social, governance) filters when screening financial opportunities. Yet, we wonder: is it greenwashing, or a true will to benefit society? In other words, do these companies give misleading information about how environmental-friendly their products are, or do they authentically care about tackling the big world challenges? For this reason, when sourcing investments at Kanopé, we assess the authenticity of the financial product or company by calling and possibly meeting the asset managers and CEOs. Applying ESG filters is not enough in our view – rather, we aim at contributing actively to a better social and environmental world.



TOWARDS A THIRD DIMENSION


Then, Kanopé is determined to disclaim the erroneous under-performance of SRIs (socially responsible investments). Indeed, there is a misleading belief that impact investing underperforms compared to traditional investing. Yet, financial returns of responsible investments have proved this to be wrong, as they either broke even or outperformed traditional investments. At Kanopé, we do not consider the application of impact filters as a constraint to delivering positive returns, but rather as an opportunity to outperform. We moved from the historical 2-dimension, namely the risk and return trade-off, towards a 3rd dimension through impact. While we grab this opportunity, one challenge is its measure. One difficulty in which the impact investors run into is quantifying intangible impact, as well as assessing the social and environmental outcomes of such investments.


ALIGNING VALUES TO HANDS-ON OBJECTIVES


To ease our quest of contribution to a positive change, we align our clients’ values to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations. The organization released 17 objectives to reach by 2030, as a call for action to end poverty, improve health and education, reduce inequality and spur economic growth while tackling climate change. The SDGs, despite being all of utter importance, help us understand what precise challenges our clients want to help contribute to. Based on their answers, we are able to source and introduce to these clients investment opportunities that fit our values, their values and ultimately benefit our society and environment. If you wish to know more about this, we designed a survey that tackles these 17 SDGs and help you realize which challenges matter the most in your view, starting today to build a better tomorrow. You can access the survey by clicking on the following link: https://kanope.typeform.com/to/I05vzq.





Maxence Deheneffe

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