Democratizing Impact Investing Through Public Equities: Eric Rice on BlackRock's Global Impact Fund (#009)
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Eric Rice is Head of Impact Investing at BlackRock and the portfolio manager and the architect of the world’s first diversified public markets impact investing strategy, Global Impact. Global Impact is an alpha-oriented strategy that invests in companies whose goods and services help address the world’s great problems, as defined by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. He also collaborates with other investors at BlackRock to help germinate additional impact and sustainable investment strategies.
Blackrock is the world's largest asset manager, which has reported more than US $10 trillion in AUM as of January 2022. Eric grew up in Berkeley, California, and studied close to home at the University of California Berkeley, where he was awarded an AB degree in economics. He began his career as a Diplomat in Rwanda with the U.S Department of State. It was during this posting that Eric quickly became aware that he wanted to do development work and projects that would make a difference.
Following his posting in Rwanda, Eric went on to earn a PhD in Economics at Harvard University. He then spent several years as a country economist at the World Bank, then moved on to Wellington Management, where he transitioned into portfolio management and eventually got permission to launch an impact fund strategy that he proposed after explaining what exactly sustainable investing was. Eventually, he and his Sustainability team at Wellington Management landed at Blackrock in 2019, where he designed and launched the world's first diversified public market impact investing strategy.
In this episode, Eric discusses Impact Investing in the context of a public equity fund and how, with the Global Impact Fund, he has worked to take the very best characteristics of impact investing that have been developed over the years in the private market and adapted them to public equity investing, to create an authentic impact strategy.
Show notes: https://sri360.com/podcast/eric-rice
About the SRI 360° Podcast: The SRI 360° Podcast is focused exclusively on sustainable & responsible investing. In each episode, Scott Arnell interviews a world-class investor who is an accomplished practitioner from all asset classes. In my interviews, I cover everything from their early personal journeys—and what motivated and attracted them to commit their life energy to SRI—to insights on how they developed and executed their investment strategies and what challenges they face today. Each episode is a chance to go way below the surface with these impressive people and gain additional insights and useful lessons from professional investors.
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