Defending ESG from the Trolls with Stephanie Cohn Rupp


A fireside chat with Stephanie Cohn Rupp, CEO of Veris Wealth Partners.

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​Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) and the impact investing industry has recently been subjected to a barrage of verbal attacks and state bans. A Florida law passed in 2022, for example, currently prevents the state’s pension funds managers from considering ESG criteria. A host of politicians, including former Vice President Mike Pence and Florida Governor Rick Desantis have publicly trolled ESG as “woke capitalism.”

Despite the attacks, demand for ESG investing has become a dominant force that markets cannot ignore. In their annual Report on US Sustainable Investing Trends, the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investing, known as US SIF, calculated sustainable investment assets under management to be $8.4 trillion in 2022. Growing numbers of investors are seeking sustainable investment opportunities that integrate environmental, social, and governance factors, despite the efforts of divisive trolls who often seem to be attacking ESG for their own political gain.

Stephanie Cohn Rupp, a Board Director at US SIF who has spent the last two decades of her career focused on economic development, global Impact, and ESG investing, thinks that these attacks demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of ESG and ignorance of the potential risks for investors and politicians who dismiss it. Cohn Rupp has been working to get out the message that ESG is not an ideology, it is a lens applied to investment due diligence that integrates real world impacts.

In this program, Impact Entrepreneur’s Laurie Lane-Zucker welcomes Stephanie Cohn Rupp, CEO of Veris Wealth Partners – a wealth management firm founded with a 100% focus on impact and ESG investing – for a discussion about the realities of ESG and how each of us can help defend ESG from the trolls.


Stephanie Cohn Rupp

Stephanie Cohn Rupp

Stephanie Cohn Rupp is a Partner and Chief Executive Officer with more than 20 years of global impact investing experience. During her career, Stephanie has focused on building scalable, profitable, sustainable businesses. Based in Denver, she helps lead the firm’s impact wealth management growth strategies, financial performance and client experience.

Before joining Veris, Stephanie was Managing Director and Partner, Head of Impact Investing, at Tiedemann Advisors, where she served clients as a wealth advisor and led the development of the impact investing platform and impact client experience. Prior to that, she was CEO of Toniic, a global community of impact investors which she grew tenfold. Previously, Stephanie held globally focused investment roles at Omidyar Network, PlaNet Finance, UBS, The World Bank and building greenfield micro-finance institutions financed by USAID.

Stephanie is a Board Director of the US Sustainable Investment Forum, a member of the ImpactAssets 50 Review Committee and an advisory board member to Paris-based Investisseurs et Partenaires’ investment fund for Education in Africa.

She earned a Master of Public Administration from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and a Master of Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is a French and U.S. binational and co-authored The ImpactAssets Handbook in 2017 with Jed Emerson.


Laurie Lane-Zucker

Laurie Lane-Zucker

Laurie Lane-Zucker is Founder and CEO of Impact Entrepreneur, PBC, an impact economy business that hosts the Impact Entrepreneur Network — a large, global network of “systems-minded” entrepreneurs, investors, and scholars of social and environmental innovation — and editor and publisher of Impact Entrepreneur, a digital magazine covering the emerging Impact Economy. For over 30 years, Laurie has been a “pioneer” (Forbes) and recognized leader in sustainability, social enterprise, and impact investing. Laurie was the founding Executive Director of the international environmental organization, Orion Society, which publishes the celebrated Orion Magazine, as well as the founder of a global sustainability think-tank, the Triad Institute, and Hotfrog, a Founding B Corporation, GIIRS Pioneer Company, and the first company ever to complete an equity transaction on an impact investment exchange. Laurie is the bestselling and multiple award-winning publisher and editor of books and magazines on sustainability and social impact — having worked with such acclaimed authors as Wendell Berry, Barry Lopez, Terry Tempest Williams, and David James Duncan — and the author of numerous articles on entrepreneurship and impact investing. Laurie is contributing author to the recently published academic textbook from World Scientific, Sustainability: Business and Investment Implications (2023).

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