Insights

Webinar: Economic Recovery

We close out the year with our seventh and final webinar in the Impact Investment Funds series, this time taking a look at the highs and lows of this tumultuous year, and how we can shape our response to the greatest challenge in decades from an economic, social and health standpoint with some exceptional speakers.

December 18, 2020

Skip to a particular session:

0:00:00 – Introduction (Rodney Schwartz of ClearlySo & Arun Birla of Paul Hastings)
0:05:39 – Joseph E. Stiglitz Keynote
0:26:29 – Joseph E. Stiglitz Q&A
1:03:04 – Chris Hulatt Presentation
1:15:31 – Chris Hulatt Q&A
1:25:42 – Nadina Stodiek Presentation
1:35:40 – Nadina Stodiek Q&A
1:46:51 – Jeroen Dijsselbloem Keynote
2:02:36 – Jeroen Dijsselbloem Q&A

2020 has been an unusual year—this is probably the understatement of the century. The global community is facing its greatest challenge in decades from an economic, social and health standpoint. Millions have died from COVID-19, and many argue that we will face many waves of the epidemic—others argue that the economic and social consequences of the pandemic and our reactions to it could be equally or even more harmful.

Governments have spent trillions supporting economies/businesses/individuals in the immediate advent of the pandemic, but there is widespread recognition that this period of economic contraction will lead to some long term damage—with many thousands of decent businesses collapsing under the weight of such a dramatic decline in revenues—and many millions to become unemployed. Governments are seeking to address that challenge, but the private sector has an enormous role to play.

Impact funds will be a big part of this and many funds targeting the generation of jobs in this transitional environment will be highly impactful. Many set out directly to do this and are raising private and public capital to make a difference. Quite a few of the UN SDGs (1: No Poverty, 3: Good Health and Well-Being, 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, and 10: Reduced Inequalities) will be directly addressed by such funds.

As this is the last session of this tumultuous year, we will organise a special session to look ahead and prepare our economies for the new post-COVID-19 environment. Not only will we include the normal mix of fund managers and investors, but also a senior government figure as well as an independent economist to offer their suggestions for how to minimise the harmful consequences of this tragic year. Moreover, many commentators and elected leaders insist we will build back better and address some of the longstanding challenges to our societies. What does this mean and how specifically do they suggest we do this? What will be the investment opportunities to generate the highest impact and returns? All these themes and others will be discussed in this extra-length session, opened by a senior figure from the political realm. Do join us for this 7th and last session of 2020!

Arun Birla is the chair of the London office of Paul Hastings and vice-chair of the global Tax practice. Mr. Birla is widely recognised for significant experience in tax and investment funds.  He provides tax advice to UK and international clients on a wide range of matters including, M&A, private equity, private and credit funds, structured and asset finance, joint ventures, financing arrangements, mergers, demergers, reorganisations, and restructurings.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem was the minister of Finance of the Netherlands from 2012 until 2017. He subsequently was elected as president of the Eurogroup, the Group of Finance ministers of the 19 Eurozone countries, and chair of the board of Governors of the European Stability Mechanism. In July 2015 he was successfully re-elected as Eurogroup-chair for another 2.5 years. During his five year tenure Jeroen turned the Dutch government deficit into a surplus, reduced sovereign debt by one third and helped the Netherlands return to solid economic growth. While maintaining the integrity of the Eurozone, his main accomplishments were the exits from their emergency-programs of Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus, negotiating a deal for the third program for Greece and building the Banking Union to put the European banking sector on sustainable footing. At the end of his mandate all Euro-countries were back into broad-based growth, most of them above potential growth. Since leaving politics Jeroen has published ‘The Eurocrisis; the inside story’ and worked as publicist for the Dutch daily Financieel Dagblad.

Since May 2019, he has taken the chair-position at the Dutch Safety Board, which investigates all major crises and accidents in all sectors of Dutch society. In an non-executive capacity Jeroen chairs the board of Natuurmonumenten, the largest membership-based nature preservation organization in the Netherlands. He is chair of the Supervisory board at Wageningen University and Research Centre, recently named the best international university in its field by the Shanghai Ranking 2019. He is a Member of the Committee in charge of the new Dutch Growthfund, a public investment fund aimed at raising the potential growth for the Netherlands. Finally, he chairs a High Level group in Brussels which advises both the European Commission and the Council on Financing the Sustainability Transition.

Chris co-founded Octopus in 2000 from the front room of his London flat. Today, Chris is an award-winning entrepreneur whose role is to develop Octopus relationships with institutional investors around the world. Additionally, Chris spends his time championing British entrepreneurialism and promoting policy ideas to drive business growth, by meeting UK business leaders and stakeholders such as MPs and government ministers.

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.

Joseph E. Stiglitz is an American economist and a professor at Columbia University. He is also the co-chair of the High-Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress at the OECD, and the Chief Economist of the Roosevelt Institute.  A recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979), he is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank and a former member and chairman of the (US president’s) Council of Economic Advisers. In 2000, Stiglitz founded the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, a think tank on international development based at Columbia University. He has been a member of the Columbia faculty since 2001 and received that university’s highest academic rank (university professor) in 2003. In 2011 Stiglitz was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Known for his pioneering work on asymmetric information, Stiglitz’s work focuses on income distribution, risk, corporate governance, public policy, macroeconomics and globalization. He is the author of numerous books, and several bestsellers. His most recent titles are People, Power, and Profits, Rewriting the Rules of the European Economy, Globalization and Its Discontents Revisited, The Euro and Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy.

Nadina joined BlueOrchard more than 3 years ago as fund manager in the Blended Finance Impact Management Team. After having focused on the blended finance mandates, Nadina specialized in impact management and is today co-leading the ESG & impact management practice including the development, implementation and oversight of ESG & impact management tools and methodologies across products, asset classes and impact themes at BlueOrchard.