WPMF Third Opening!

Happy to announce our Third Opening with EUR 46 mln in commitments (including co-investments). The fund will be open for new investors until the summer of 2021 and we are well on track to achieving our targeted fund size. What gets us really excited is the caliber of investors that are joining us: For many of them this is their first “impact investment” and all of them are truly intentional and determined to make a change. We are also proud of our first two commitments to The Rise Fund II and Blue Horizon Ventures and look forward to finalizing an investment in sustainable forestry.

New Impact Investment manager for WPMF

We are proud to announce that as of today our new investment manager has started for the Wire Private Markets fund. Besides having a bright and friendly personality, Emma Verloop brings substantial experience in managing investment portfolios, due diligence, deal negotiation and performance monitoring.

Impact Measurement, or ‘Regeneration Verification’

Last week I was on the panel in a webinar ‘Impact investing beyond intention and emotion’, hosted by Impact Institute. The central theme of the webinar was impact measurement, a subject I’m passionate about and which is a key element of Wire Group’s Private Markets Fund. I would like to share some of my thought around this subject.

For people who don’t know, when I get something in my head, I can be a bit like a broken record, and go on and on about it. Impact measurement, and my particular view on it, is one of those things. Call it vision, call it passion, call it plain annoying for those around me (just ask our team :-). The other thing I won’t let up about is ‘regeneration’. These two passions come together neatly in the Wire Private Markets Fund, which has both an innovative approach to impact measurement and ‘regeneration’ as a central theme in its investment strategy. To my mind, they are also intricately related.

Regeneration

Let’s start with regeneration. It is becoming increasingly clear that over the past 100 years or so we have lived beyond our means on this Planet Earth that we call home. To fully appreciate this requires a bit of systems thinking. The ‘six capitals’ model is very useful for this, which basically suggests that there are different types of capitals, which can be combined and transformed, through economic activity, into new capitals.

Source: International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC)

We have used copious amounts of natural resources, cut down forests, integrated workers into global value chains without paying a living wage, and so on and so forth. And we (companies) have turned this into material wealth. In other words, we have extracted a huge amount of so-called natural and human capital and turned this into manufactured and financial capital. We are now starting to see the full effect of this, as manifested by the climate crisis, land degradation, rising inequality and the rapid decline of biodiversity. In other words, the stock of natural and human capital that our welfare has depended on has become depleted.

Investors, central banks, and insurers are increasingly taking note and realizing that manufactured and financial capital are in trouble. According to a recent study by Swiss Re, the global re-insurance company, more than half of global GDP – $42 trillion – depends on high-functioning biodiversity and ecosystem services. Personally, I would argue that GDP is not the real issue here, but rather how we as humans can continue to live on this planet without serious reductions in our well-being (health, happiness, harmony), which depends on a healthy balance between the different capitals.

In short: we need to re-invest in (regenerate) natural and human capital. Which is the explicit aim of Wire Private Markets Fund. However, this raises the question of how we know that we are indeed doing so. Which brings us to impact measurement.

Verification

For Wire Private Markets Fund we have set ourselves the goal – and made 50% of our variable fee (‘carried interest’) conditional on reaching this goal – of creating at least twice (2x) as much human capital and/or natural capital as we invest, because only then can we claim to be significantly contributing to regeneration.

By using a combination of tried-and-tested and more emergent methods it is possible to measure and calculate the amount of human and natural capital created by our investments. For the sake of brevity, we also refer to these together as ‘societal value’. This would look something like this:

As you might expect, this is not easy to do. We are expecting many challenges as we put this way to measure impact into practice. We nevertheless chose this approach because we want to help progress this emergent way of measuring impact and we want to encourage the impact investing sector to become more explicit about the impact it is creating.

Thankfully, we are not alone in this. Y Analytics, Harvard Impact Weighted Accounts Initiative, Impact Institute, TruCost and KPMG True Value are all charting this course. In 2012-14 I led the development of KPMG True Value, which since I left KPMG has been further developed into a global service line. At the time, I also built on existing practices, bringing together different threads. For Wire Private Markets Fund, we have partnered with Impact Institute to help us develop a methodology that is just right for our fund but can also be applied more broadly in the impact investing sector, and we will actively reach out to the others working in this space.

One more thing that I think is very important to emphasise is that we are not proposing that impact companies and impact funds take on a whole new approach to impact measurement. We are simply adding a layer that builds on, and is complementary to, existing impact measurement frameworks such as IRIS+ and Impact Management Project (IMP).

To finish off, let me share why we are so excited about, and committed to, this approach. From our point of view, the three biggest wins from calculating societal value in this way are that:

    1. it builds on the efforts of the IMP in bringing rigour and discipline to impact measurement by encouraging us to focus on outcomes: what actually changes in society as a result of the activities of an impact company;
    2. it helps investors to understand how much impact they get relative to their investment (impact ‘bang for your buck’);
    3. the methodology for calculating how much positive value is created can also be used to calculate how much negative value is created by non-impact companies, thereby highlighting how those companies continue to extract natural and human capital rather than regenerate, which is a level of consciousness that we urgently need.

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Some useful resources:

Second ‘Opening’ and invitation to our Plant-Based Food Insight and Inspiration Session

We are proud to announce that our 2nd ‘opening’ of the Wire Private Market Fund is official! Already €36 million is committed to investing in Regeneration; re-investing in human and natural capital. Moreover, the first two portfolio funds, focusing on plant-based food and education/healthcare, are on its way.

We feel excited to have a very conscious group of LPs that join us in the ambition and journey to make impact investing the (new) norm, measurable and transparent. We only just started our journey and still can welcome other ‘Consciand are still open to new investors.

For more information on the plant-based food Insight and Inspiration Session, please see below. 

Continue reading “Second ‘Opening’ and invitation to our Plant-Based Food Insight and Inspiration Session”

New home for Wire Group – the Home of Conscious Wealth

Wire Group will move on September 1! We take residence in the former manager’s house of the Observatory in the centre of Utrecht. There we can realize our dream to create a Home of Conscious Wealth. Here you will find all services for developing and managing Conscious Wealth portfolio’s, for engaged wealth holders who believe that things can and should be done differently.

Especially now, investors expressly opt for sustainable impact

Wire Private Markets Fund attracts € 25 million

The new impact fund Wire Private Markets Fund (WPMF) has officially opened. Investors have now committed € 25 million and their number is growing. WMPF invests in funds that pursue a positive impact on nature and people. It is a solution to the increasing demand among investors for meaningful investment opportunities. The fund has a minimum ticket size of € 1 million, a duration of 12 years and it aims to achieve a financial return of 7-10%. Distinctive about the fund is the concrete impact objective linked to it: the value of the measurable positive impact created must be at least twice as big as the amount invested. Continue reading “Especially now, investors expressly opt for sustainable impact”

Wire Private Markets Fund and the Corona pandemic

As the fund manager of a fund that was launched recently, these are rather schizophrenic times. Only one week before the intelligent lock-down in the Netherlands we had our first Closing (or First Opening as we prefer to refer to it to indicate that this is only the beginning of the partnership). After a long period of conceptualization, preparation and negotiation we managed to be very efficient in our fundraising and raised €21 mln of private investors within 6 months. Continue reading “Wire Private Markets Fund and the Corona pandemic”

Intertrust assigned as fund administrator of WPMF

Signing ceremony of the Master Services Agreement between Wire Private Markets Fund and Intertrust (from left to right: Anna De Nijs (Company Lawyer, Intertrust), Mathijs Bouma (Director Legal, Fund Services, Intertrust), Ronald Janse (Fund Manager WPMF), Rutger Schreuder (Compliance, Wire Group) and Tera Terpstra (Investor Relations WPMF)

We are very pleased to work with Intertrust as Fund Administrator for Wire Private Markets Fund (WPMF). As the fund’s administrator, Intertrust will take care of its administration and they will assist us in some of the operational fund management tasks. Furthermore, Intertrust will assist Wire Group in its duties with respect to the initial and ongoing client due diligence. Continue reading “Intertrust assigned as fund administrator of WPMF”

Working on a Conscious Economy

With Wire Group we want to contribute to a Conscious Economy. Why? What do we mean by it?

Wire Group defines a Conscious Economy as a value (s) driven economy based on a holistic world view: an economy that takes the aggregate and the interrelation between things as a starting point. From the angle of awareness of the aggregate and value of all life, the essence of a Conscious Economy is multiple value creation. In other words: every euro generated in a financial profit is also a reflection of created social and / or ecological value, always.

Continue reading “Working on a Conscious Economy”