Liesel, who was the Co-Founder and Principal of Blue Haven Initiative, was one of the pioneers in creating a U.S. family office with impact investing as its mission and focus. Despite the advice of some early advisors, Liesel had restructured a traditional investment portfolio she inherited to focus on social and environmental impact as well as financial returns. This involved divesting from some companies in her portfolio whose business practices weren’t aligned with her values.
Liesel shared how her portfolio was structured at that time and how she and her husband, Ian Simmons, used their wealth for competitive returns and positive social and environmental change. As an insightful and engaged investor, Liesel also discussed opportunities and realities across asset classes including philanthropy, catalytic capital, public and private equities, and direct investments in start-up companies. She also shared how she had been an active supporter to enable a larger range of products to come to the market.
The session was interactive and was relevant for members at all stages of their impact journey or level of wealth.
Liesel Pritzker Simmons is Co-Founder and Principal of Blue Haven Initiative, where she oversees an impact investing portfolio structured to generate financial returns and address social and environmental challenges. The portfolio spans asset classes, from traditional equities and private equity to philanthropic programs. A longtime advocate for informed, conscientious investing, Liesel co-founded Blue Haven, a single-family office, with her husband, Ian Simmons. Their family office is considered to be one of the first to have been created with impact investing as its mission. Liesel works closely with organizations that support and advance the field of impact investing. She was a co-founder of The ImPact, a network of families committed to the conscientious stewardship of wealth. She also serves on the board of Toniic, which provides tools for investors to evaluate impact investments, and on the board and the investment committee of ImpactAssets.
Asha Lad has close to 20 years of direct institutional investment experience specialising in Private Equity Growth in real estate backed and tech enabled businesses. Her focus is sustainability, social inclusion and well-being. She has underwritten over US$15 billion in transactions globally with a firm understanding of a variety of asset and company types and risk management over cycles in both developed and emerging markets. In her last role, Asha joined Conduit Capital partners, an impact investment advisor, notably as its Chief Investment Officer. She was also part of the ESG and Philanthropy working groups while at Värde Partners. Asha is a investment committee member for several responsible investment funds.