Co-founder and CEO, Align Impact
Jennifer Kenning, 38, is chief executive and co-founder of Align Impact, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based RIA that advises individuals and foundations on how to achieve social impact with their investments.
"We have enough capital in this world, but it's not flowing to where we would want it to go if we knew we had the choices," Ms. Kenning said.
She is a former director of wealth management and principal at the $10 billion-plus AUM registered investment adviser Aspiriant, one of two wealth management firms that formed Align.
Ms. Kenning decided to develop a specialized firm after hearing her clients' interests for years without finding an investing solution that wasn't in competition with the traditional adviser model.
In addition, a trip to Africa showed her the results of local microfinance projects firsthand, and provided a powerful "aha" moment.
"I realized I love this and I was meant to do this — bridge the worlds of abundance and scarcity," she said.
Ms. Kenning also serves as an outside consultant to financial advisers to help them meet the needs of clients with an interest in impact investing.
She set out to build a firm that could partner with advisers, whether customizing a client portfolio or providing an outsourced solution to use for all their clients, she said.
Born a focused and high-energy person, Ms. Kenning was a competitive swimmer from ages five to 18, swimming seven hours a day while in high school.
"The discipline created a sense of schedule, drive and competitive spirit," she said. "A lot of who I am is due to that commitment and dedication."
– Deborah Nason