CEO and Co-founder, Align Impact
Jennifer Kenning is the co-founder and CEO of Align Impact, where she leads client relationships and the strategic direction of the advisory firm. She is committed to building the impact investing ecosystem while leading Align. Prior to co-founding Align, she was the director of wealth management and a member of the board of directors at Aspiriant, one of the largest family-office style RIAs in the country. Jennifer is also the senior investment advisor for ImpactAsset’s Annual IA 50 Impact Investing Fund Review Committee and sits on the industry advisory board of a joint project on investing in women, organized by the Center for High Impact Philanthropy, the Wharton Social Impact Initiative, and the Tara Health Foundation. Ms. Kenning was named a “40 Under 40” by InvestmentNews in 2014, selected for Private Asset Management’s “50 Most Influential Women in Private Wealth” in 2016, and named a 2017 InvestmentNews Innovator.
Head of Sustainability Research, Morningstar Inc.
Jon Hale, Ph.D., CFA, is head of sustainability research for Morningstar. He directs the company’s research initiatives on sustainable investing, beginning with the launch of the Morningstar Sustainability Ratings for funds in 2016, and is one of the most prolific writers in the ESG and impact investing space. He joined Morningstar in 1995 as a mutual fund analyst and helped to launch the institutional investment consulting business for Morningstar in 1998. He left the company in 1999 to work for Domini Social Investments, before rejoining Morningstar as a senior investment consultant and portfolio manager in 2001. He became managing consultant in 2009 and head of the investment advisory unit in 2014. Mr. Hale holds a bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Oklahoma and a doctorate in political science from Indiana University.
Jeffrey L. Gitterman
Co-Founding Partner, Gitterman Wealth Management, LLC
Jeff Gitterman is a co-founding partner of Gitterman Wealth Management, and a thought leader in the field of Sustainable, Impact, and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) Investing. He is the creator of his firm’s SMART (Sustainability Metrics Applied to Risk Tolerance)® Investing Services, which offer investment opportunities for individual clients, as well as research and investing services for other financial professionals in the Sustainable, ESG, and Impact arenas.
Noted as an “ESG expert” by Financial Advisor magazine, Jeff has also been featured in the past in Money Magazine, Barron’s, Morningstar Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, and Affluent Magazine, among many others. He also speaks frequently about Sustainable, Impact, and ESG Investing at conferences throughout the US, including Morningstar, Fidelity, Barron’s, Financial Advisor Magazine, Bloomberg, and many others. In 2018, he was named RIA “Thought Leader of the Year” by WealthManagement.com.
Gitterman Wealth Management will co-host the 2019 Sustainable Investing Conference at the United Nations on December 10, 2019, and have previously co-hosted the 2018 Sustainable Investing Conference at the United Nations, as well as the 2017 and 2016 NYC Sustainable Investing Conferences. Jeff deeply believes that the migration of investor capital towards more Sustainable, Impact, and ESG investments is one of, if not the most effective way to help realize the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and he is committed to helping both investors and other financial professionals navigate the rapidly growing Sustainable, Impact, and ESG Investing landscape.
Jeff is the author of Beyond Success: Redefining the Meaning of Prosperity, and also an Associate Producer of the feature documentary film, Planetary. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Child Health Institute of New Jersey at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical and dedicates much of his free time to raising funds and awareness for the autism community.
CEO, Vanderbilt Financial Group
Stephen Distante is the CEO of Vanderbilt Financial Group, an independent broker-dealer and RIA founded in 1965. The firm is focused on impact investing and a commitment to environmental and social sustainability. As the leader of Vanderbilt, Mr. Distante serves advisors and clients by responsibly managing the firm and by instilling a culture of compliance, kindness, and helpfulness. His most impactful purpose is to ensure that all facets of the company are working effectively and efficiently while always looking for the next, smarter, and better way to do things. After graduating from St. John’s University with a degree in accounting, Steve went to work for the prestigious CPA firm Deloitte Haskins and Sells. His background in accounting and auditing brings great depth to his understanding of business, in a different way than most CEOs. Mr. Distante went on to open an OSJ office, which eventually grew to be a financial powerhouse with 33 tax offices, serving 37,000 income tax clients before acquiring Vanderbilt Financial Group.
Founder and CEO, Cornerstone Capital Inc
Erika Karp is Founder and CEO of Cornerstone Capital Inc. Cornerstone was created to catalyze the flow of capital toward a more regenerative and inclusive global economy. The firm seeks to optimize investment performance together with social impact through rigorous research that systematically integrates Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors into portfolio design. In seeking positive societal impact at scale, Cornerstone offers investment advisory and capital markets advisory services, underpinned by rigorous research.
Prior to launching Cornerstone, Erika was Managing Director and Head of Global Sector Research at UBS Investment Bank, where she chaired the UBS Global Investment Review Committee and managed a global team of analysts and strategists. Erika served on the UBS Securities Research Executive Committee and the Environmental and Human Rights Committee of the UBS Group Executive Board.
Erika is a founding Board member of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), a member of CECP’s Strategic Investor Initiative Advisory Council, and an advisor to the Omidyar Network’s Know the Chain initiative. She served as an advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Market-Based Approaches initiative, a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Agenda Council on Financing and Capital, and as a member of the Program Design Advisory Council for Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program on Innovating for Sustainability. Erika speaks at events including those of the OECD, the UN Global Compact and PRI, Oxford University, The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investing, Ceres, The Aspen Institute, and the White House. She holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BS in Economics from the Wharton School.
Erika presents and writes extensively on topics including: sustainable investing and finance, corporate strategy and business models, transparency and excellence in the areas of Environmental, Social and Governance performance, and employee engagement/diversity in the workplace. Her work has been featured by Bloomberg Businessweek, Barron’s, Euromoney, the Financial Times, Investor Relations Magazine, The Guardian, and Forbes. For driving collaboration across the capital markets, she has been named among the nation’s “Top 50 Women in Wealth” by AdvisorOne; one of the “Purpose Economy 100,” the “Good 100” and one of 50 “Conscious Capitalists” who are “Transforming Wall Street.”
Esther Pan Sloane
Head of the Partnerships, Policy and Communications, UNCDF
Esther Pan Sloane, a U.S. national, joined UNCDF as the Head of the Partnerships, Policy and Communications in October 2016.
Prior to joining UNCDF, Esther was a U.S. diplomat for 10 years. As Adviser at the Permanent Mission of the United States to the United Nations in New York, she was on the U.S. team that negotiated the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. She also served on the Executive Boards of UNDP, UNICEF, UNOPS, and UNFPA, pushing the agencies to become more efficient, effective, and accountable for results.
Esther previously served as a U.S. diplomat in China and the United Kingdom, as well as at the State Department Operations Center in Washington.
Prior to joining the U.S. Foreign Service, Esther worked as a journalist in print, radio, and magazines. Esther graduated from Stanford University with a BA with honors in English and International Relations and earned an MA in Theater and Performance from the University of Cape Town, which she attended on a Fulbright Fellowship
Director of Multimedia
Matt Ackermann is an award-winning journalist and director of multimedia at InvestmentNews, where he manages video and creative projects. Since joining InvestmentNews in August 2013 as its digital editor, Matt has told everyone that he has the “fun job” at InvestmentNews. He produces video programs, including Practice Makeover and Gadget Girl, and multimedia for IN’s award-winning series, GameChangers. Matt is the host of InvestmentNews’ Game Day, which travels to events interviewing executives and thought leaders. Through the show, Matt has played chess with Garry Kasparov, interviewed Mark Cuban, and toured lower Manhattan with Tony Robbins. Previously, Matt was online editor-in-chief for SourceMedia’s investment advisor group, where he launched its video channel, AdvisorTV. From 2011 to 2012, he was an executive vice president at Jennifer Connelly Interactive Productions, where he produced multimedia for financial companies. Matt is a graduate of Seton Hall and won the New Jersey Press Association Rookie of the Year Award in 1997. He is a member of Seton Hall’s Presidential Advisory Group. A semi-pro baseball coach since 1994, he and his wife Marisa are the parents of a five-year-old son, C.J., who has an encyclopedic knowledge of Pokemon and Harry Potter, and a newborn, Ryan, who someday will play for the Baltimore Orioles.
Senior Adviser, UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)
Anders Berlin is Senior Advisor with the United Nations Capital Development Fund, currently overseeing the agency’s Least Developed Country-Investment Platform, which focuses on providing financing to investments in LDCs to catalyze participation from domestic and international investors.
He previously had the post as Head of Unit for Loans and Guarantees at the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency managing a portfolio consisting of approximately 50 projects/programmes around the world, mostly in Africa and Asia.
Prior to joining Sida, Mr. Berlin worked for the Embassy of Sweden in Kosovo and Tanzania. He also worked as a senior advisor to the General Director of Sida and a senior Advisor at DG RELEX at the European Commission in Brussels.
Mr Berlin has also worked for the World Bank as an economist and holds a Master’s degree in Economics from Stockholm University, and a Master’s degree in Economic Policy Management from Columbia University.
CEO, Blue Ocean Global Wealth
Marguerita M. Cheng is the Chief Executive Officer at Blue Ocean Global Wealth. Marguerita is a past spokesperson for the AARP Financial Freedom Campaign and a regular columnist for Investopedia & Kiplinger. She is a member of CNBC Digital Financial Advisor Council. She is a CFP® professional, a Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM, a Retirement Income Certified Professional® and a Certified Divorce Financial AnalystTM. As a Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board) Ambassador, Marguerita helps educate the public, policy makers, and media about the benefits of competent, ethical financial planning. She serves as a Women’s Initiative (WIN) Advocate and member of the Diversity Advisory Group (DAG) for CFP Board. She served on the Financial Planning Association (FPA) National Board of Directors from 2013 – 2015 and is a past president of the Financial Planning Association of the National Capital Area (FPA NCA).
Rita is a recipient of the prestigious Japanese Monbukagakusho Scholarship. In 2017, she was recognized as a Woman to Watch by InvestmentNews. In 2019, she was named the #5 Most Influential Financial Advisor in the Investopedia Top 100.
Marguerita’s mantra is “So many people spend their health to gain wealth, and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health” (A.J. Reb Materi).
Jean-Philippe de Schrevel
Head of Business Development, Bamboo Capital Partners
Jean-Philippe de Schrevel leads business development at Bamboo Capital Partners. Previously, he co-founded BlueOrchard Finance in 2001. Prior to that, he was the Dexia Micro-Credit Fund Manager at Dexia Asset Management, a Junior economist in Romania for a EU PHARE technical assistance program, Field Consultant in Microfinance for a Belgian NGO, an Associate with McKinsey & Co, the Operations Director of a private Microfinance Foundation in Argentina, and a Consultant for the UNCTAD Microfinance Unit in Geneva.
Jean-Philippe holds a MA in Economics from Université Notre-dame de la Paix in Namur, Belgium, and a MBA from the Wharton School of Business.
Colleen Denzler, CFA
Investor, Smith Capital Investors
Colleen Denzler, CFA brings to the industry her unique perspective as a top performing portfolio manager. Denzler raised more than $20 billion in assets during her tenure within the global financial services industry. Denzler uses her experience and insight gained working with advisors to help them capitalize on opportunities and overcome challenges, particularly in regard to changing demographics of clients, fee pressure, and product design. She was the President of the SRI Conference and was a part of the $1 billion RIA investment team, specializing in sustainable investment solutions.
Editorial Director and Head of Research, Last Word Media
Dylan Emery is the editorial director and head of research for Last Word, a publishing, events and research company based out of London, Hong Kong and Singapore. He’s been responsible for the launch of a whole series of successful international brands including Expert Investor, Portfolio Adviser and International Adviser – all aimed at investment professionals. Eight years ago he launched Last Word Research, which uses proprietary data to analyse the behaviour and attitudes of fund buyers throughout the world. He is also an experienced speaker, having chaired or spoken at hundreds of investment events throughout the world.
Robert G. Smith
President & Chief Investment Officer, Sage Advisory Services
Bob co-founded Sage in 1996 with Mark MacQueen, and serves as the firm’s President and Chief Investment Officer and leads the Investment Committee. He began his career in 1970 at Moody's Investors Services as a member of the Corporate Bond Rating Committee; he then went on to Loeb, Rhodes & Co. to cover the insurance industry in the Institutional Equity Research department. He later worked at Merrill Lynch & Co. for 13 years in a variety of institutional research, trading and portfolio management roles in New York and London. During this period, he was assigned to the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency as a Resident Financial Advisor in Riyadh responsible for managing the foreign reserves of the Central Bank. Bob Smith received his M.B.A. in Finance from New York University Stern School of Business, is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) and Certified Investment Management Consultant (CIMC).
Assistant Vice President, Wealth Management Advisor
Noreen's primary role at The Snyder/Balducci Group is to serve clients' overall wealth management needs, including financial analysis, retirement cash flow analysis, liability management, education funding strategies, estate planning services and philanthropic gifting strategies. In addition, Noreen delivers the overall financial strategies of The Snyder/Balducci Group and the sophisticated investment platform and wealth management capabilities of Merrill, as well as her own insights on wealth management and portfolio reviews, to target the individual needs of each client relationship.
Prior to joining Merrill in 2008, Noreen worked at Sony BMG Entertainment, where her responsibilities included financial oversight of its various record labels, artists and joint venture deals. She holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification, awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc and the designation Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM (CRPC®). Noreen also earned the Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®) designation awarded by the Investments & Wealth Institute™ and in conjunction with the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business.
Noreen is a speaker on the topic of financial literacy in the community and serves as the co-chair of the New York Advisory Board of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, a national nonprofit organization that provides guidance and support to college-bound Latino youth and their families. She is a Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) alumna (1994) and a Company Mentor at the Stanford University Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative.
Noreen earned her Bachelor's degree in Finance from New York University's Stern School of Business.
Head of Sustainable and Impact Investing Americas, UBS Global Wealth Management
Andrew Lee joined UBS Global Wealth Management's Chief Investment Office in July 2012 and currently serves as head of sustainable and impact investing, supporting clients with investment advice, strategy and thought leadership in these areas. Prior to this, he was deputy global head of the CIO Ultra High Net Worth / Alternatives / Sustainable and Impact Investing group, with specific responsibility for the impact investing and private markets teams. Mr. Lee is a managing director based in New York. He was also previously managing director for a private New York-based single-family office overseeing investments. In that role, he was responsible for managing asset allocation, theme development, due diligence and execution of all direct and indirect investments for family investment vehicles. Previously, Mr. Lee was part of a long-short equity hedge fund team at Deutsche Asset Management. Before this, he worked at Lazard in the banking (M&A) and real estate private-equity groups. He has an MBA from the Wharton School and a B.A. from Harvard University.
Partner, Common Interests Financial
Max Mintz is a Financial Advisor and Junior Partner at Common Interests Financial, where he works to democratize access to Sustainable, Responsible and Impact investing. Max is proud that his firm is a “Best for the World” Certified B Corp® and a signatory of the Principles for Responsible Investment. After earning a degree in Philosophy from Rutgers University, Max saw the opportunity to create change in the world, and joined the firm to align his work with his passions.
In 2019 Max was named to the Investment News “40 Under 40” List which comprises often unrecognized young talent doing remarkable things. He has been a featured speaker for ETF Trends, the SRI Conference and InvestmentNews, and currently serves as the Treasurer for the Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education. He blogs at www.commoninterestsfinancial.com, where you can also download his firm’s first Impact Report.
Frederick P. Gabriel Jr.
Back in the days when InvestmentNews’ reporters still had to explain what the paper was all about, Fred Gabriel was toiling away in IN’s Boston office as a mutual fund reporter. After covering mutual funds for about seven years, he relocated his family to the back woods of Connecticut and began commuting (more than 2 hours each way!) into New York City every day to work in various editor positions at the publication. In 2012, he was named editor and is now responsible for IN’s editorial direction. When not commuting, Fred is the consummate family man... and spends most of his time refereeing arguments between his four teenage sons.
Sustainable Investing Product Specialist
Ms. Russo is a product specialist and a vice president with Allianz Global Investors, which she joined in 2012. As a member of the Equity Product Specialist team, she covers various strategies, including global water and global sustainability with a focus on sustainable investing. Previously with the firm, Ms. Russo was an assistant manager in operations and a marketing analyst in shareholder communications. She has seven years of investment industry experience. Ms. Russo has a B.A. in economics from Rhodes College.
Director, Education Initiatives, The Money Management Institute
Tim Williams is an investment management professional with 25+ years of wealth management, investment management and banking experience primarily focused on providing investment advisory solutions to private clients and investment companies. In his current position at the Money Management Institute, Mr. Williams is developing financial services learning opportunities to increase industry professionals’ knowledge and practice of investment advisory solutions and sustainable investing.
Previously, Mr. Williams was head of Wealth Management at both USAA and, before that, at Citi Personal Wealth Management where he managed a variety of functions including regulatory supervision, sales, professional development, recruiting, investment advice, new product development and client support. He also was head of Product Management at Smith Barney's Consulting Group.
Mr. Williams graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Business Administration concentrating in Finance. He also earned an MBA in Corporate Finance with an international concentration at Columbia University. He is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) and serves on the Stewardship and Accountability Review team for the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County.
ALIGNING SOCIAL AND INVESTING GOALS
DECEMBER 5, 2019 | UNITED NATIONS | NEW YORK CITY