Why Wall Street's ESG flip-flop demands a new economic vision
Transformation and Impact Investing with Erika Karp
In a May 3, 2019 New York Times article where she was featured, Cornerstone Capital’s Erika Karp says that she sees “environmental, social and governance analysis as a critical investment discipline, akin to quantitative or fundamental research.” Cornerstone, which Karp created to catalyze the flow of capital toward a more regenerative and inclusive global economy, seeks to optimize investment performance together with social impact through rigorous research that systematically integrates Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors into portfolio design.
Transparency, in other words, is crucial for transformation.
In this virtual fireside chat, Erika Karp and Impact Entrepreneur’s Laurie Lane-Zucker discuss Karp’s leading edge work in impact measurement as well a range of related topics, such as:
The importance of transparency in impact investing
Impact entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship
Quality impact investing and the challenge of product growth
How impact investing is being embraced by capital markets
Impact and diversity
Systems change strategies
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. 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.”
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 of the recently published academic textbook from World Scientific, Sustainability: Business and Investment Implications (2023).