Why Impact Investing is a Critical Win-Win

Audio Description

When needs aren’t met, opportunities arise. But how exactly can market failures transform into meaningful change and high market rate financial returns?


This transcript has been generated by an A.I. tool. Please excuse any typos.

And that's where I say impact investors. We have the advantage. We're the canary in the coal mine, but the ones we actually get out, we see what's going on, we go at it, and then later on people find out. So I'm very excited about the BIA portfolio.

This is Changing the Trajectory. I'm James Seth Thompson Bernstein's, head of Diverse and Multicultural Wealth Segments. And I'm Maci Philitas, the emerging wealth strategist here at Bernstein. Thanks for joining us. 

So today we're turning our focus to one of my favorite topics, which is social impact investing.

What it is and why it's important. We'll discuss why this resonates, especially with people from diverse backgrounds seeking to make amazing impact within their communities. 

We are thrilled to welcome Priya Parrish and Carlos Orantes to the show today. Priya is the partner and chief investment officer of Impact Engine, a women owned and Chicago based venture capital and private equity firm, who since its inception in 2012, invests exclusively with an impact lens. Carlos Orantes is the President and CEO of Alcanza Clinical Research. Alcanza is part of Impact Engine's diverse portfolio, and we'll hear more about this groundbreaking company later on in this episode.

Priya and Carlos, thanks for joining us. Thank you. Glad to be here. Thank you for having us. 

So we'll jump right in, Priya. So let's start with defining what social impact is as an investor. It'd be helpful for us to all learn. How do you measure it? And why is it so critical and important to you, and what really excites you about this great work you do in a social impact space?

Absolutely. So I think about social impact from an investment lens as the change or difference. In whatever type of impact you are trying to target. So let's say your goal is to increase access to quality healthcare options or to reduce carbon emissions, um, or to increase the economic mobility of certain communities or identities.

As an investor focused on impact investing, what we're looking for is that that capital and those companies we invested in, they made some change there that's also likely to be enduring. It's really important and we get really excited about it at an impact engine. Because fundamentally, these market failures, like the fact that not everybody has access to all of the innovation in healthcare today, or that, you know, depending on which school you go to, your educational outcomes will be quite different.

Not just based on your own abilities, but your school itself. These are market failures. The solutions are there, but there aren't current options to to fully serve people. And so this is really an opportunity, right? Whenever needs aren't being met, it is an opportunity, and this is one of the best uses of capitalism to inspire innovation.

Because there is a award for going and solving for these needs. And so I've always been really attracted to it because when you find these situations where there's a huge market opportunity, there's a clear commercial need, and it's solving for things that people aren't getting in the way they need it, or the quality they needed, or the price they needed, or the delivery method, you have a real win-win.

Um, that to me is just better than making money for no other reason attached to it. 

No, you definitely get the double benefit of investing for whatever fiscal outcome you're looking for, but investing for good, right? Leveraging your affluence to influence the things you care about, um, is really, really important.

You know, other thing I want to touch on real quick is you refer and describe Impact Engine as asset managers of the future. What does that mean? And tell us a little bit more about the impact investment approach. You know, I've been in, involved in trying to invest this way since I was 20, coming outta college.

And the impact investing industry and the strategies we utilize have come a long way in that time, and it's informed a lot of the way impact engine today. So historically it was a lot of, first of all, trying not to invest in things that were deemed bad. Or it was just trying to make an impact wherever possible, maybe as a portion of, uh, a fund manager's portfolio or where they can, or in its worst case, simply talking about it and marketing it without any real proof of any difference.

And the reason for this is that the incentives and the core objective, like the reason these venture capital and private equity funds existed, was not to create impact. It was only to generate returns. And so the asset manager of the future and what Impact Engine has been since our inception over 10 years ago, is that every investment we make has an objective around this tangible, measurable impact and a high market rate financial return.

And that those two are, are reinforced, so informs what we're looking for. It informs where we look for those, how we source them, how we diligence and assess whether this is an investment that is going to meet those objectives. And we hold ourselves accountable for that. Um, we measure that as well. And the best way to do this is, is a, to be very loud and clear that that's our objective and hold ourselves accountable, you know, to, in our legal documents.

It's, it's just, Fundamental to what we do, but also our whole team is very passionate about that as well. And at the end of the day, it's a human capital business. And everyone on my team has their own personal story about why they believe this so strongly. But for many people, it comes from their own personal lived experience.

They saw those market failures as well as the opportunity and how having opportunity being given it can really fundamentally transform someone's life. And so they're very motivated around investing in companies whose products and services are doing that. And so we have a team that is. You know, majority women and, and bipo, and it expands all, you know, generations.

Everyone in our firm owns a piece of our firm. We're fully aligned. We make decisions on a consensus basis. All the partners have to agree to invest in anything. We really want that center of the Venn diagram, and so we're trying to create impact from the, the investments we make, but the sheer existence of us demonstrating the world.

There's a different way to do this. And we can be large and scalable as well. You know, investors should expect more from their capital. They should expect more from their. Funds from their asset managers, from their advisors and, and we're trying to set a new bar. And Priya, something that I really appreciate that you said is when needs aren't met, there's an opportunity.

And I feel like that's just always been my thesis and my entrepreneurial journey, and I think so many entrepreneurs. Feel the same way. It's, you know, we're just problem solvers and out of, you know, problems and unmet needs are these incredible opportunities. And so it's incredible that you focus on that as part of your impact thesis.

I wanna take a step back and, and legend has it that you were into e s G investing before that was even an acronym. So can you tell us a little bit about your journey that led you to where you are today and, and really. What influenced and inspired you to lead the charge that you've been leading for the past 10 years?

Um, in particular through Impact Engine? Yeah, sure. I mean, I was a young, kind of small business entrepreneur, child of immigrants. I started six businesses in high school and college. That's how I paid for it. And just loved entrepreneurship. Like it gave you this autonomy and control over your future. But I also, as I was growing up, and I feel like this happens to everyone at some age, for me it happened in college, you realize these injustices and that there's actually only so much you can control cuz you're gonna be treated a certain way based on who you are.

And when I came out of the closet, I noticed a pretty big difference in how I was treated and the opportunities I had. Despite all the effort and success I was having anyway, and I became very disenchanted with business and I did. I ended up doing a year long independent study with a history professor looking at the history of social movements and the role corporations played in them, and it led me down to South Africa where I ended up spending many months studying the apartheid movement and really narrowing in on the fact that not just. Government and policy, not just philanthropy, not just consumers and boycotts and preferences, but investors have this incredible power and potential to both fund the companies that are doing good, but also influence them to do even better. And so I went into the financial industry saying, okay, so how do we do this?

How do we harness this? And yeah, E S G wasn't an acronym. Impact investing didn't exist. But it was a simple idea of, I know investors have power and influence, so how can we do this in a way that makes for a really compelling investment strategy by harnessing that? And so that, that's kind of the b the, the beginning of it and kind of has always been my North star in question.

I come back to, you know, one of the highlights of my time here at the firm was last year when the firm I've been at now for the last 11 or so years, Alliance Bernstein and Impact Engine Announcer Partnership, right? A partnership that focuses on purpose-driven investments. To focus on and further environmental sustainability, economic opportunity, healthy access across communities, venture capital, buyout managers.

The list goes on and on. It's been one real rewarding to be part of that ecosystem with you. You know, with the client work I do. It's very important that when we are inspiring and empowering people to think about their legacy and. How to think about closing these gaps that typically exist for diverse and multicultural investors.

It's great to bring a solution to the table that is very purposeful in being part of that solution, having the opportunity. For people who care about certain causes and communities and want to have major impact in their portfolio, to have an option, um, to do that. And, uh, I just really want to put that out in the, the ecosystem to say this is really exciting for the firm and something I'm really happy that we were, um, able to collaborate on together.

Yeah, it's been a milestone for us as well. Very exciting. And so, Priya, can you briefly introduce us to Carlos and tell us why you chose Alcanza to be part of Impact Engines portfolio? 

Yeah, absolutely. And, and just as a, a reminder or intro for those who aren't as familiar with Bernstein Impact Alternatives, you know, the fund invests from early stage venture capital all the way through private equity, all with this impact thesis.

And we, we cherry picked, we select some of the best fund managers, VC and PE funds, um, and work with them on really deepening their impact strategies and practices to make them even stronger In that regard, Alcanza and Carlos comes to us from an investment in Mardis Capital, A fund that. Bernstein Impact Alternatives also invested in, and it was the first investment in the fund made, and Marti was one of the first investments Bernstein Impact Alternatives made.

So this is one of the first investments in the portfolio. We're very excited and I think as Carlos will tell you better than me, um, as, as his story and as the c e o at a high level sketch, we became very excited about this. And it was one of the reasons we gained so much conviction in Martis as well, is that they saw, again, this, this failure.

In the clinical trial business, um, which is very fragmented, and that alone kind of creates certain opportunities, um, to create a scaled business. But also in Covid certainly highlighted this, the lack of diversity in, in patient populations, participating in clinical trials. That's also a big market failure.

And they assembled a business plan, a strategy, and a phenomenal team led by Carlos to really succeed in solving this. That's kind of what got my attention in my, my first meeting with Marti actually. 

That's awesome. So, so Carlos, let's jump into this a little bit. So a CASA's focus is on inclusive clinical research.

We know that clinical trials have historically lacked representation from diverse ethnic, uh, and racial groups, while also lacking diversity in gender and age. And I think we will all agree that those consequences are pretty huge.

Why don't you just take a little bit, just, um, touch upon these and the, the passion and the excitement you have for what you're able to.

Deliver through Alcanza. 

Absolutely. So, so first of all, I just want to go on record here that the, the amount of support, you know, that we get from parties like Impact Engine is incredible cuz we, we couldn't do this without their support and, and that of, uh, all the other folks supporting, uh, Martis as well.

What Alcanza, uh, set out to do in 2021 is, is something that really preceded the F D A. Uh, who really governs how we run clinical research. They are the ones who tell us how to do it. What we can do cannot do. But one thing that was missing up until last year was this real direct emphasis on the lack of diversity in clinical research.

I'll start by saying, uh, first Alcanza, it actually means reach that is front and center to what our goal as an organization is. It means to reach the underserved, underrepresented communities. And James, just like you mentioned, race and ethnicity, age, uh, gender. It actually, it spans a broader set of demographics.

It includes disability status, sexual orientation, working status, and ultimately what we at Hanzo want to do is remove barriers. Well, in fact, if you look at our logo, our tagline is Clinical research for all, which means we wanna remove barriers. Any barriers for anybody that should or wants to participate in clinical research cuz they should be able to.

And the fact is today they cannot. While the FDA might be focusing on race and ethnicity today, it's gonna continue to expand and we want to trail blaze, even though it's a little bit painful sometimes. But you wanna set the record straight. You wanna set the path forward that not just us as Alcanza, but what the industry should be doing.

Which is reaching for anybody who wants to participate in clinical research. So that's what our mission is all about. Anybody involved in research needs to be focusing on this collectively. It's gonna take a village to make this happen, and it's gonna take time, but we have to start yesterday. And why is this critical?

All these drugs are being developed, uh, with populations that participate, that are not representative of those, that the drug is intended to treat. And, and that is problematic cuz then physicians are making decisions on what drugs to use for what diseases. But they weren't developed right? They weren't tested with the right, uh, population demographics.

And, and not only is it dangerous, it can actually delay. Uh, and getting the therapeutic outcome that you're looking for. It's not fair, but it is happening. So that's why, uh, we're, we're doing something about it. 

I think the work you're doing is really important. Obviously, you know, certain communities like the black community as an example, have, there's just been a distrust just given, you know, some of the things that have happened to African Americans.

I think some of the anxiety and distrust around the things that were created to help us cope with covid have a lot. Of tie to the historical distrust that's really driven by the lack of, uh, representation and other things. So like what's your, what's your North Star? Like, how do you go about doing this important work?

And if there was like one main thing you want to achieve, I'm sure the equity part is, is, is a big part of that. What does that look like for you? 

So, so number one, just like Priya, we measure. Uh, what we achieve to do, so we have a goal that we want to increase the participation of underrepresented communities in all our studies.

And that is a goal that is, uh, inevitably gonna vary by therapeutic area, uh, is it might vary by site location. What we're looking at is, for each site location is what's the area demographic. So we're gonna get more sophisticated with setting goals. Down the road to, to take the current participation from X to Y, X being what's currently at the site, Y being what is the area demographic.

But we're starting with a lofty goal to get it to at least 30% participation. And that sounds weak, but let me tell you, some of the participation is single digits and that is abysmal. Uh, so we've gotta move the needle and we're aiming high. So I want to make sure that there's a sense of urgency. That there is an awareness that we need to aim high because it is low today.

So that that's gonna be sort of our overall guiding light. We still have to have a viable, very strong and, uh, well operated business, but ultimately we almost have two parameters that we're aiming for the business, financial health, as well as our overall mission and, and health towards those, uh, achieving those goals so that that's the overall North Star.

But there is a multitude of things that are sort of micro measures, right? If I start thinking about what you just mentioned, the distrust that comes from past history, it comes from lack of awareness, education on what clinical research is, what it's not. And so unfortunately this is not gonna be easy, and it requires a multifaceted approach that is not just, uh, regular outreach to existing well-informed demographics, but. completely unaware demographics. And by the way, some of these unaware demographics include physicians. It involves even people in the medical field.

Uh, so we did gain a bit of a, a windfall from covid if there is a positive. As the awareness went up, it was sky high. Uh, so we're trying to really capitalize on that to keep and maintain the awareness because that's the first time that clinical research was really put on the, on the spotlight, mostly positive.

Some negative, but nonetheless, we we're still trying to capitalize on that awareness and, and really work on that community by community demographic, by demographic. Cuz there is no cookie cutter approach here. It has to be a very customized approach towards each community, how we do it, uh, in terms of presence, in terms of messaging, imagery, how we enter the community, et cetera.

So there's so many nuances, but we have to take it one group at a time, one day at a time. 

Carlos, if I understand correctly, prior to Alcanza, you've also had a 30 year career in the drug development industry. So throughout your, your time and your tenure in in this industry, what are some of the needs that you found that weren't.

Being that Alcanza now solves. 

So when, when I, I look back at my career, first of all, 30 years sounds like a lot, but it's, it's been a flash. When, when I look at my career, one thing that stands out that's unique with Alcanza, I was always focused on business performance, quality measures and things. This is really the first business that we have whose mission.

Uh, really has a social impact and it's right up there just as important as a financial business performance. And historically, uh, my, my career has dealt with, uh, I'll say Petri dishes, test tubes, animal testing, bio analytical manufacturing. I didn't really get into the clinical space until 2013. And if you think about it, the age of diversity as the F d A is sort of highlighting this need.

It just really begun last year. So, you know, the A, the FDA went through age of enforcement, age of enlightenment, now age of diversity. Why now? This is not a new thing. This is not a new problem. When I talk to physicians that I happen to share a seat on a flight and they understand what I'm doing and I tell 'em our focus on diversity, they light up because they go, it's about time.

That maybe I'll be able to get a drug that is intended for who I'm treating. Pediatric work, uh, wasn't really a thing until recently where drugs were developed for adults and physicians had to calculate, well, this is for, uh, a pediatric patient, so let me adjust for weight, male, female, you know, racial, ethnic, uh, differences.

So this is a real problem that it's not, you know, it stems from the lack of participation, but the ramifications are much bigger. So I don't think there's another industry right now. That's more focused on this than the clinical research space. So I'm excited. At the same time, it's daunting, right? Because, uh, what we do has a huge impact on everything that's gonna be done moving forward.

It's very exciting to be in this space. Uh, but we, we, we feel the weight on our shoulders and to some extent, you know, that's the other challenge is, uh, if I ask all of us, what do you mean by diversity? A lot of companies are saying, we're doing diversity. Uh, that started after the F D A came out with their, uh, their guidance, and it's called a guidance.

It's still not a rule. It's expected to become a law in 2025. So if you think about the pace that things are moving about, uh, it's, it's not very fast. Anyhow, uh, long answer to your short question, I've never been in a space in drug development as the one I'm in right now, or in another company that's more focused on this than we are at this stage.

That's incredible. And, and you've touched on the F D A a few times. What are your hopes for the future of clinical 

research? So, number one, we're actually right now doing a lot of exploring, uh, we're interviewing a lot of pharmaceutical companies and contract research organizations to ask, well, how is diversity shaping your organization?

Both on the employment side as well as the drug development side. Clinical research in particular, what's happening right now is we're seeing a trend towards. Coming up with a, I'll say a draft template approach per therapeutic area. And then once there is a specific study, they now take that template off the shelf and customize it to that particular study.

What ultimately I would like to see is, is a very explicit diversity goal that, uh, based on the epidemiology of a particular disease, have that drive the diversity goals for that particular study. Now, keep in mind a study is countrywide worldwide.

So we need to be able to understand what are the diversity goals to then see if this clinical research site, for example, lends itself to a particular race and ethnicity or a particular age demographic or a gender demographic that we know what we're contributing.

So what you measure, you will achieve. Uh, if you look at what happened during the the pandemic, we actually delayed. Uh, releasing covid vaccines to the industry, to the public because the FDA said We need more diversity.

We need more racial, ethnic diversity. So we had to stop and enroll, find and enroll more patients that met that criteria before the studies were accepted.

So that meant it didn't go out for months. And if you think about how many people we heard about dying every single day during the pandemic, we impacted that in a negative way because of this delay.

So we better figure this out sooner rather than later, before we go, even go into a clinical research trial so that we can plan better.

So Carlos, you, you are the direct recipient, right? Of the passion, the purpose, the energy, the resources of impact engine that has greatly contributed to the success you've had so far. Um, and definitely your future success if I haven't said it before, you know, think Preya for highlighting the work that you are doing.

Alcon is just one of many of the dynamic. Portfolios of companies, um, that you guys support, what others come to mind? Like, what are some of the other great things that the companies in your portfolio are, are achieving? So 

if we tie back to like our, our intentionality around impact and how we think. You know, entrepreneurs and investors who have a personal or professional understanding, they're driven to solve it.

And so our portfolio is more diverse by the way, too, just because of that. So across everything Impact Engine does. Um, roughly two thirds of the CEOs in our portfolio are female bipo. Which is just like light years out of the industry. And same thing with the investment firms. We've backed, it's about two thirds, um, of their partners.

You know, for example, Bernstein Impact Alternatives is invested in another fund called Reach, capital. Reach is focused on the EdTech uh, space, and they've also been around about 10 years. It's a number of former educators and administrators in schools.

Who had kind of firsthand experience as to what are their shortcomings and what kinds of technology and products can actually drive better outcomes, especially in public schools.

The founding partners were all female or people of color as well, um, who also had that school experience, and you see that in in their portfolio too. So a recent investment, um, that we invested in directly to Impact Engine as well, similar to all kaza, it's called stelek.

And a group of undergraduates at Carnegie Mellon, including, um, Sabib, who was an immigrant, really firsthand experienced and saw the failure of students coming to, you know, these, uh, hard to get into and expensive programs and having no support around navigating how to make the most of it.

You know, they find out in their junior year it's too late. To take this class they needed because of these prereqs or to get this degree or this that right. And so they developed a whole kind of technology suite for colleges and universities to be able to offer their students to make sure they're getting the maximum value.

Of education, right. For all that they're, they're going through. Similarly, we have an investment in Carbon Direct. Carbon Direct is a growth equity fund focused really on carbon management, and they a look for subject matter expertise, just like Marti does in healthcare and Reach does in education. The, the firm actually has 22 PhDs in carbon management on staff.

They know it, right? This isn't just a bunch of investors saying, Hey, this looks like it's gonna be good for the planet. They're doing the math. Um, and number two, they really recognize, and this is very important to us, the intersectionality between these themes. They have a director of environmental justice.

Because the fact is that the effects of climate change, cause it's not just about mitigating anymore, it's about adapting to it. It is, it is happening and it is affecting people disproportionately depending on where you live and who you are and how much wealth you have.

And so making sure they bring in that perspective, uh, In terms of what they're targeting and making sure that the outcomes of these companies are helping to address that gap, but also that the solutions are not coming into communities and displacing and further widening that, that gap in terms of real health outcomes related to climate.

So we're looking for that full alignment. Like there's a, there's a strategy and then they, you see it through in terms of their own team, and then you start to see it in terms of their. Portfolio as well, another investment. And I'll stop there. I could go on and on.

Um, it's a fund, um, in Europe called Bloom Equity, and it's, it's three women, uh, who came together to start a growth equity fund focused on, um, healthy planet and healthy people and, and really the intersection between, um, climate technologies and, and health.

And one of their investments is in a company called lv. LV was the first wearable and silent breast pump. So that women could be at work and they could be pumping, which both benefits the economic mobility of women, but also, you know, infants and, and them getting breast milk as well. Were possible. And of course it was started by one.

Of course. I mean, the whole like fem health space is basically like a huge category, right? It's half the population and so few dollars are, are focused on innovation. So it's a huge opportunity, right? It's like there are buyers, they're our needs, there are people.

And so Tanya started that company. The thing I love about it though is that she was very, uh, strategic and she hired a number of engineers from Dyson.

It's a UK based company to develop the technology for it. So, You know, it's all about product design and fitting the outcome and finding the talent wherever, wherever they are. 

Yeah. And as a fairly new mom, I can attest to the power of that technology. The LV is phenomenal. It's It's incredible. Yeah. I didn't have it when I had my kids.

I would've loved it. So anyway, so those are just so many examples. And then you can see, I mean, Alcon is such a great example, if Carlos does not execute on what he's saying, where he's gonna have a much more diverse population of participants in this clinical trials. Our content won't be successful. It's in their name.

It's fundamental to what they're doing. This is not some sideshow of impact. It is what is going to drive his financial success and he is ahead of everyone else, you know with that. And that's why I say impact investors. We have the advantage. We're the canary in the coal mine, but the ones we actually get out, we see what's going on, we go at it, and then later on people find out.

So I'm very excited about the BIA portfolio. Well, 

you know, social impact over the years in many spaces has been a buzz term. Obviously we are. Uh, seeing the true impact of, of what you're doing through Impact engine, um, and what Carlos is leading is a true example of that accountability. Like no one's gonna ever question your intentionality and your passion.

Priya, how do you make sure you and the organization and everything that you're doing, just cuz continually accountable to the work and to the great minds like Carlos and to the great businesses like his? I'd say there are two things. One is. Invest in people. Every hire you make needs to share that. Very genuine.

Intention that's aligned and that we support them and foster them to speak up, to encourage them. Yeah, you do it better, do it better than I ever thought of or came up with. You really gotta empower them. It's, it's a people business. And then number two is, um, not just culture, but actual processes for feedback loops.

So we look very intentionally for feedback from our investors, from our investee. Like we're very proud. That impact engine of every time we realized we weren't doing it right and we need to do it differently. Like we're the first to be like, yep. Time to change. It's that kind of openness. Nobody has this figured out impact investing.

Anyone who tells you, they have it all figured out. Any entrepreneur focused on doing this, who knows? I, I have a formula. I have to do it. That's the first reason to walk away. It requires a growth mindset. I think we're all learning and trying to do better, and so it's, you know, I don't hold it Marti accountable or all kanza accountable with a stick.

I hold them accountable with a hand to say, Hey, we're partners, we're aligned, and we know you don't have it all figured out. Maybe your goal's 30% today, and we understand why. And so we're, we're here to be a partner and, and help, and I think that's the best form of a, of accountability is that that mutuality, you know, So Priya, 

you're clearly extremely passionate about the work that you do and the companies you invest in, and you mentioned that you fell in love with investing because you see the power and the impact that investors have.

I'm sure our listeners see that power as well, if not, Through your passion for it also just for seeing companies like Carlos' come to life. Um, so can you talk a little bit about your direct portfolio? You mentioned that about two thirds of your entrepreneurs are women or people of color. Why is this. Of particular importance to you and, and what is your hope for the venture industry considering the very obvious statistics about the amount of money that goes to these particular demographics?

Yeah, so we gotta look at the whole stack. Of inequity. Okay, so when people talk about the lack of representation of people of color and women in, in the workplace, particularly industries where there's potential to have strong earnings, I see it as opportunity lost. There are these talented people who aren't there and you're missing out on them.

And then I see the same thing. In terms of founders, it's, this is like lost opportunity. Really talented people who, because of certain biases and structural things that leave them out, we're not getting their full potential. So society is losing and the investors losing. And then there's the investment firms, right?

And so that's why we have always made it a point our firm is, is very diverse as well. And more than meets the eye actually not just race and. And gender, if you would get to know each of us individually. Our, our backgrounds and experiences are quite diverse, and so if I didn't bring all that in, it's lost opportunity, I'm fundamentally not gonna be as successful.

I've never understood how a private equity fund filled with five. Guys who grew up in the same types of backgrounds, went to the same two schools, went to the same three investment banks, all like we only need one of you. You know?

Right. I just like don't get it. Yeah. But the last piece is really important, which is where the money comes from, and that is equally homogenous.

Okay. So I'm pretty proud too of Impact Engine, our investor base. Also skews differently. And so this is full circle, right? I just feel like people underestimate and they're missing the opportunity of their own wealth. They need to expect more of it. You know, if you hold wealth, do something, get more than a good return.

It's not just two x, right? There's more here because the effect of that, it trickles down and it goes down. It's like the one time trickle down economics words. It's takes one time, your wealth that way. Ok. And then we'll have more. Wealthy people who think this way. So it's just, it's really important. So full, full stack.

That's why it's important to us. So there's no quota, there's no mandate. We don't say 50% of our portfolio.

No. It's just embedded in our views about the need to bring in and create value through diverse lives and opinions and skills. I love that and, and for your next Ted talker interview, we should talk about how you sourced a diverse pool of investors, because I think that is a component that a lot of people don't really A know about, but B, know where to find those people who have the wealth to invest.

There was one word I wanted to shout when you were just talking. It was preach like, preach. Exactly. 

Um, my mom is a Hindu priest. I know that is in, in your bones. 

The show's all about changing the trajectory of wealth, impact and influence and embedded in that. There's this concept again, of leveraging your affluence to influence, and I feel like there's um, a struggle.

There's a gap. There's lack of access and intelligence to investors who want to make sure that their investments are like-minded and mission aligned, right? Culturally relevant to the community, and that there's cultural affinity to the companies that they're working with.

But to also make sure that people that look like the four of us are also striving and thriving both through our professional careers, but also as recipients of the great things that you and Carlos are doing.

So I just wanted to take those few seconds to, um, just share a great appreciation for your passion, your intentionality, your purpose, and more importantly, using your profession to bring.

To bring all of that forward. Um, and before we close out here, you know, I would love to hear from each of you. Hey, what's your definition of success in what you do?

And if you only had the opportunity to give one call to action to our listeners, what would that be? Carlos, I'll start with you. You can preach to, 

I know you asked for one definition of success, and I always look to my family. Everything is centered around my family. I have three beautiful girls and a wife.

I love to come home. And tell them what I do for a living. That's awesome. Uh, I get chills just thinking about it because they can speak to that with pride. And it's nothing to do with economics. It's just the impact being able to get drugs to the market. It's both the profession plus the social impact.

Uh, so to me that's a definition of success that is near and dear to my heart. I think my call to action sort of professionally and in this industry, Is, uh, there's, there's more companies like Alcanza, some bigger, some smaller, you know, looking at diversity for sources of funding, diversity of who to fund.

There are so many ways to get more traction. So it's not just education and awareness of participants, but education and awareness of other individuals.

Uh, as I said earlier, doctors are not aware of clinical research and if we could help more, Physicians of different race and ethnicities and other demographics be successful in this industry to be able to provide more clinical research, participation and support.

It's gonna take a village to get this done. And so to me, the call to action is figure out how you can get involved and do your part, because if you don't, it's gonna take a lot longer to get this done. Priya. 

Yeah, I have a, a deep sense of urgency around this as well, like Carlos, and so my, my call to action would be to do something now.

Just like there, there is no time. I, I mean, I'm a millennial. I think we're the last generation to do something about some of these things before they become real systemic like failures. You know, at a point where my generation is the first one where you're, we're not likely to achieve the same or better standard of living as our parents.

So right now, Change what you're investing in. Fire someone who's not doing a good job. There's no like, I'm gonna think about this and that, I guess relates to my own indicator of success, which is, you know, for our investors, I always wanna know, did you make another impact investment? I'm glad you invested an impact engine, but did you make another one?

Did you keep doing it? And you know, when I, I teach impact investing to business school students and or if I speak or whatever, it's always like, what did you do? I wanna really know if it actually led them to do something cuz otherwise I. None of this matters. We've gotta actually, you know, walk the walk here.

Well, thank you 

both, not only for joining us, but for making an impact and leading a change that you wanna see in our world. We really appreciate all that you do, as well as our partnership that we have with you. Thanks, Priya. And thanks Carlos. Thank you. Thank you. We hope you enjoyed today's episode. We'd love to hear from you.

So email your thoughts, questions, and any feedback to diverse markets bernstein.com. Be sure to share, subscribe and rate us on Apple podcasts or anywhere you listen to podcasts. And check us out on Twitter at Bernstein pwm.

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