I Don't Get It

My favorite scene from the movie Big (where a 13-year-old boy becomes an adult overnight) involves Tom Hanks (playing the adult boy) repeatedly raising his hand and saying, “I don’t get it” while the “corporate expert” is trying to sell his new idea for the next best selling toy – a robot that turns into a…building!? (which i think we can all agree is no match to Optimus Prime).

That’s how I felt – yes, like Tom Hanks in Big (sans a Zoltar Machine…but the holidays are coming up so there is always a chance) – I didn’t get it!  

After working for more than a decade in the Capital Markets realm, I decided I wanted to do more. So for the past two years, I’ve been working on a venture with my brother, a biochemical engineer, to launch a series of waste-to-energy plants. The project hits all the markers of impact investing: stand alone financially successful plants with immediate impact on climate change by significantly lowering greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. Sounds like a no brainer, right? That’s what I thought as well.

As we went down the road of looking for investors, we were met with a wide array of rejection, all culminating into one main theme: our investment wasn’t “appealing enough.” Basically, this was not a technology play that was going to be the next billion dollar company. What we did have, however, was a project which will not only help the environment, but also yield a steady cash flow and a very attractive return. But that, my friends, wasn’t good enough.

Fast forward to the summer of 2018, I came across CoPeace. I loved their mission, ideals, and more importantly, the team, so we joined forces and set off to build a different type of impact investing company!

In essence, the current impact investing market is mostly comprised of investment vehicles that are transposing hard coded traditional investment parameters, created with the sole objective of maximizing returns under any market condition, onto the completely different market paradigm of impact investing.

So, what makes CoPeace different?

We listen to the needs of different communities around the world and invest in people and companies with great ideas. Together, we help them achieve strong financial returns while enacting real change (sorry for the grandiose statement, but it’s true).

Our strategy doesn’t ignore important criterias such as returns, a strong management team, and a multitude of other financial and economic indicators, but neither do we create an arbitrary investment framework full of check-boxes that generates a singular look and feel that ALL of our investments have to fit into perfectly. Instead, our goal is to create an intertwining DIVERSE network of individually-picked investments under one umbrella, working together to generate impact synergy. In other words, at CoPeace we DO get it, we Grow Your Money for Good!

Hanan Levin is a Senior Investment Advisor at CoPeace. As a forward-thinking holding company, CoPeace is building a portfolio of carefully selected for-profit companies with measurable social and environmental impact. To learn more about impact investing, check out CoPeace’s Intro to Impact Investing.