Apr 20 2022 · 3 minute read




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Snowball's CIO, Peter Baxter presenting on target asset allocation, impact and returns.


As well as an update on performance, and unpacking how we manage investments for impact, risk and return, our investment team including Peter Baxter, Abigail Rotheroe, Alice La Trobe Weston and Jake Levy shared three key themes looking ahead as impact investment advances.

The investment opportunity set has grown exponentially in the past few years. We’re seeing a high volume of solutions across asset classes for the environmental and inequality emergencies we face. We are looking ahead into a full pipeline of ideas for the next 12 months. If we pick just one area as an example - sustainable food funds - we screened 50 managers and met with 15, finally shortlisting many second funds which we prefer to invest in.

The case for impact investment has been made. Impact investing doesn’t require a trade-off, but it does require us to understand – and be happy with – how the costs and benefits are being shared by all stakeholders. We need to be ready to ask hard questions, demanding our money is managed in line with our values.

We’re no longer lonely. We have been investing for impact, risk and return for over five years now. Back then when we called for changing behaviours in investment, and spoke out that impact investing is actually just investment done right, we felt a bit out on a limb. Whilst there is a long way to go – and we need progress to be a lot faster – we’re travelling with many others now, including you.


Snowballs Investment director and Investment analyst, Jake Levy, talking to Zoe Peden from Ananda, Daniel Brewer from Resonance, Jon Coker from Eka and Victoria Maclean from WHEB.

We were excited to introduce some of our managers to explore how by delivering measurable impact and competitive financial returns, they contribute to changing behaviours in investment.

+ Zoe Peden. Ananda Impact Ventures back game-changing companies across Europe​ to achieve global impact.

+ Jon Coker. Eka invests in founders creating a positive system.

+ Victoria Maclean. WHEB is 100% focused on companies providing solutions to critical sustainability challenges.​

+ Daniel Brewer. Resonance provides solutions for homelessness.

We heard stories of impact ventures in the Snowball portfolio like Smurfitt Kappa, housing for women experiencing homelessness and domestic abuse, HIVED and DrDoctor. And did some of what we do best - asking our managers questions to get to the heart of their impact approach.

+ “We have sometimes given you a grilling on the impact thesis behind certain investments – but we’ve then been impressed by your explanation. Could you share with us your thinking behind your most recent commitment?

+ “We all know that diversity remains a big problem in the VC industry. Can you tell us about some of the initiatives you’re taking to address this?”

+ “How is the current economic situation affecting the people living in your properties? What can impact investors do? 

+ “Are public equities impactful? And does engagement work – which type works best – what do you do most of?"


Changing behaviours in investment

The Panel: Daniela Barone Soares, Kelly Clark, Bev Shah and Rhian-Mari Thomas

We invited three speakers who are leveraging their careers inside investment to change it.

+ Rhian-Mari Thomas OBE is tasked by the UK Government to make the City green.

+ Bavini 'Bev' Shah creates culture change to make investment equitable.

+ Kelly Clark drives greater levels of capital to flow into innovative solutions.

+ The panel was chaired by Daniela Barone Soares, who uses her leadership positions at the intersection of the commercial and impact worlds to create solutions for a healthy future on this planet.

Here’s just some of what they said.

“Just 1% of global assets under management are in impact investing. People ask me who our competitors are: we’re not competing with the 1 per cent! We are however with the 99 per cent of assets under management that hasn't moved into impact yet.”

Daniela Barone Soares.

“I’ll pick up on this stat of 1% in impact investment. Every investment has an impact. When we talk about changing behaviours in investment, we are talking about investment done right.”

“The genie can’t go back in the bottle: the tail risks of being oblivious to the risks in which you’re operating are too clear. There is acceptance that E, S and G risks are dangerous.” Rhian-Mari Thomas OBE.

“Partnership is key to increase the pace of change; we need the full force of the private sector, of financial markets put to work into solutions for our future. But better multilateral cooperation on core topics like climate, inequality and achieving health for all would be a way of rebuilding trust.”

Kelly Clark.

“We need to tackle people who are just sticking a tree on the front of their brochure. Or the people who still think diversity means getting a range of asset classes! There’s a key role for those of us who are independent, not only to refuse to support impact washing but to call it out too.”

“We’re talking about changing behaviours in investment. Well first up: for a lot of people thinking about the City and finance, the trust has gone.”

Bev Shah.

Daniela Barone Soares, impact investor


We exist to change investment behaviour, to prove it is possible to create market rate financial returns and a positive impact for society and the environment around us. Everyone should be able to invest in this way, and we need progress towards this goal to be faster.

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