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A note from Falcons Rock Impact Investments founder Greg Wait

I was honored to speak at the 11th annual SecureFutures Investment Conference on May 14 on their first-ever panel addressing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investments.  As I’ve written previously, the power of private capital to make a positive social and environmental impact is immense and the SecureFutures organization is also very impactful at the local level.

SecureFutures is a non-profit organization that empowers teens through financial education.  Founded in 2006, SecureFutures has developed a financial literacy curriculum that is taught to high school students in the Milwaukee area by a group of volunteers, mostly from the financial services industry.  Their vision is to “build strong communities where teens and their families make informed financial decisions and take control of their financial future.” Over the past 12 years, they have delivered 6,303 lessons and empowered over 70,000 teens.

At this year’s Investment Conference, which is the primary fundraising event for SecureFutures and one of the premier conferences of its kind in the area, we heard from two Milwaukee students who talked about the transformative power of the program.  They described how finances are simply not discussed in their homes and that they previously had a negative perception of money.  One young man declared that SecureFutures has literally changed his life…now that is real impact!

Our panel examined a range of topics, including the evolution of responsible investing and the positive social and environmental impact that can come from shareholder engagement with corporations.  We discussed the research that indicates that an investor does not sacrifice returns by investing responsibly and, in fact, ESG investing reduces certain risks.  The feedback from our audience was extremely positive and I certainly enjoyed contributing to the mission of SecureFutures.