ClearlySo’s Rod Schwartz shares his outlook for 2021 in ForexToStocks

Featured alongside 12 other impact Investing leaders and professionals in the space, Rod offers his perspective on what we can expect from the impact investing marketing in 2021.

By Quynhnhu Nguyen · January 28, 2021

Name: Rodney Schwartz
Title: Founder & CEO
Company: ClearlySo



Impact sectors: Energy & the Environment; Education, Training & Employment; Healthcare & Wellbeing; Responsible Consumerism.

The outlook for impact investing in 2021 is robust– in fact, things have never looked so good for the impact investing sector. To a large extent, this is a consequence of Covid and that it has accelerated long term trends already in motion–it has also highlighted structural inequalities in our system, the dramatic human implications and the need to address these. As a result, there has been a surge in investor interest in impact investing. On the investor side this is coming from large financial institutions who are tumbling over themselves to launch new impact funds or rebrand existing funds. ClearlySo advises these fund managers and assists them as a placement agent. We have noticed a dramatic surge of interest from family offices. According to a recent report from Campden Wealth, 50% of global family offices with an average net worth of around $700 million are active in impact investing, and about 23% already have made impact investments (and are considering further), while “16% are pursuing impact as their primary portfolio strategy”.

As an impact investment bank, we also assist companies in four Industrial sectors which generate significant impact by helping those firms raise the capital they require. These sectors are showing signs of economic vibrancy despite the slowdown.  Health is obviously strong, especially in business models that are beneficially impacted by the virus or have a telehealth focus. In the education sector, which is one of our strongest areas, anything with an online learning aspect has performed exceptionally well, as have other online business models.  Last year we helped Bibliu (a digital learning platform that makes textbooks and reading materials more accessible) raise $10 million. The renewable energy sector was subdued in 2020, however under a Biden Presidency, with fears of global warming increasing, this sector should see surging interest in 2021 and beyond and see some exciting transactions in the near future.  Lastly, Responsible Consumerism has also seen heightened interest, with demand for firms like Oddbox, a home delivery service for fruit and vegetables and FuroSystems, an e-bike and scooter company.

Rod Schwartz is CEO and founder of ClearlySo, with a background in equity research, management, investment banking and venture capital. Joining Wall Street in 1980, he rose to become the number one ranked financial services analyst at PaineWebber and then held senior management posts at Lehman Brothers and Paribas, before leaving the sector in 1997 to found the fintech-oriented VC firm Catalyst. A pioneer in the impact investment marketplace, he transformed Catalyst into a social business consultancy, which in 2008 morphed into ClearlySo, a business designed, “to help create 100 Justgivings”. This seemed an exciting new style of company, which achieves significant impact as well as great financial returns. Rod also teaches Impact investing at the Said Business School (Oxford) and the ESMT (Berlin), and is Former Chair of Shelter, The Green Thing, Spacehive and Justgiving, in addition to having served on many fintech boards.


Above is an excerpt from the ForexToStocks article, ’13 impact Investing Leaders and Professionals Share Their Outlooks for 2021′. Read the full article here: