On the evening of November 8, 2016, I felt something akin to receiving a call informing me that an important person in my life had died suddenly and horribly.
Advice. For individuals and institutions seeking an integrated capital approach
Integrated capital is a framework for investing and philanthropy that integrates the client’s whole self--values, priorities, and passions – with an understanding of the ecological, social and financial limits of our time. Climate disruptions, resource depletion, population growth, demographic shifts, and irresponsible management of financial assets have become new “global givens” that seriously challenge conventional expectations of growth and risk. In contrast to the industry-standard asset allocation model, an integrated capital framework begins with these global givens, questions assumptions about economic growth and evaluates risk and reward in a holistic context of long-term well-being.
Our approach is rooted in a comprehensive view of the role that finance plays in the world and in our lives and requires a significant commitment of time in order to develop a decision-making framework that is uniquely suited to each client. With this framework in place, we then work together to design a portfolio and to assemble advisory resources that will truly meet the client’s individual needs and goals. While offering my full expertise and guidance at each step of the way, the process is fundamentally collaborative.
Integrated capital invites you to align your vision and priorities with the kinds of financial structures and vehicles you choose, the people you choose to work with, and the relationships you choose to have with your investees and your advisors. We expect engagement and leadership from our clients and promise the same to you. Healthy relationships between clients and advisors are a critical element of integrated capital and depend upon mutual respect and transparency.
Resources. In the field of Integrated Capital
The following organizations and publications include some of my closest collaborations and sources of insight and inspiration. I am a believer in the serendipity of resource chains and networks. If one of the resources below sparks your interest, I encourage you to follow that spark and see where it leads.
A New Foundation for Portfolio Management
A New Foundation for Portfolio Management is a paper that proposes new principles for creating an investment portfolio. Authored by Leslie Christian with the support of RSF Social Finance, this paper challenges current assumptions about risk, growth and utility, and proposes new principles to bring portfolio theory into the 21st century. Click here to download the paper.
Founded in 2010, Slow Money works to catalyze the flow of capital to local food systems, connecting investors to the places where they live and promoting new principles of fiduciary responsibility that “bring money back down to earth.” Learn more at https://slowmoney.org/.
Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)
BALLE is the fastest growing business alliance of values-aligned entrepreneurs, business networks, and local economy funders in North America. BALLE's work is focused on creating real prosperity by connecting leaders, spreading solutions that work, and driving investment toward local economies. Learn more at bealocalist.org.
RSF Social Finance
RSF Social Finance (RSF) is a pioneering non-profit financial services organization dedicated to transforming the way the world works with money. In partnership with a community of investors and donors, RSF provides capital to non-profit and for-profit social enterprises addressing key issues in the areas of Food & Agriculture, Education & the Arts, and Ecological Stewardship. Learn more at rsfsocialfinance.org.
About. Outside Investments, a division of NorthStar Asset Management
As an Integrated Capital Specialist, Leslie Christian offers consulting and portfolio advisory services to individuals and institutions through Outside Investments, a division of Boston-based NorthStar Asset Management. Northstar Asset Management specializes in comprehensive investment services for individuals seeking to balance financial objectives with their social and political values. Since its founding in 1990, NorthStar has been on the cutting edge of socially responsible investing, working closely with clients in an educational process to examine the financial and social impact of each investment and then take action through investment, divestment, shareholder activism, and strategic charitable giving. Learn more at northstarasset.com.
Leslie is a Senior Advisor at RSF Social Finance in San Francisco and a Board member of Slow Money and the Seattle Good Business Network. She is a past Board member and treasurer for the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). She is a graduate of the University of Washington and holds an MBA in Finance from the University of California at Berkeley. She lives in Seattle, WA with her spouse Heather Andersen.
Leslie’s career in finance began at Washington Mutual, Crocker National Bank, and Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette. She then moved to Wall Street, working in the emerging market of fixed income derivatives at the New York office of Salomon Brothers. After more than 15 years in the industry, Leslie realized there was something crucial missing from mainstream finance and became passionate about using finance for the benefit of all stakeholders, including employees, the community, and the environment.
Leslie joined Portfolio 21 Investments in 1995 and served as its President and CEO until 2012. During this time, she co-founded the Portfolio 21 mutual fund, one of the first public-equity funds based on long-term ecological risks and opportunities, as well as Upstream 21, a uniquely-chartered regional holding company for socially and environmentally responsible businesses. Leslie was also an early pioneer in addressing women’s issues in corporate America, co-founding the Women’s Equity Mutual Fund, which is now a part of Pax World.