financial3Distinguished Gathering of Industry Leaders to Convene in New York

NEW YORK, NY, July 30, 2013 - High Water Women (HWW), a leading philanthropic organization focused on financial literacy and microfinance,  will hold its first annual symposium on Impact Investing in New York City on October 3, 2013.  The event builds on the organization’s credentials and thought leadership in this emerging field since its founding in 2005 by investment professionals and offers a unique opportunity to join with family offices, foundations, endowments, and their advisors, as well as asset managers, and other key stakeholders, to engage in dynamic conversations on the current and evolving state of investing for impact.

Alexandra Poe, the President of the HWW Board of Directors, a private funds Partner at Reed Smith, and Co-chair of the event, said, “HWW not only provides powerful high-touch volunteer opportunities through our programs and partnerships to hundreds of professionals in financial services, but also provides a platform for others to explore cutting-edge topics in philanthropy and capital deployment, such as impact investing. This Symposium is a natural evolution of our thought leadership programs in microfinance and related work and allows us to take a deeper dive by convening a group to address the topic on a larger scale. “

The Symposium keynote speaker will be Lisa Kleissner, President of the KL Felicitas Foundation and a leading social impact investor and advocate. Lisa will set the tone for the event by describing her own experiences as an impact investor, the evolution of the field, and the current landscape.

The goal of the event is to provide investors with an understanding of investment opportunities, approaches, considerations, and challenges involved in creating a successful impact investing program. The first half of the day will consist of a sharing of  insights and experiences  from current investors and investment managers. Thereafter, a lunchtime panel will explore the return versus mission debate, as well as transparency around rigor and results.

In the afternoon, a more in depth look will be taken at the different challenges and types of impact investing, thus promoting dialogue among the many attending stakeholders. The various challenges and types of impact investing include, but are not limited to, Due Diligence and Metrics; Social Impact Investing;Environmental Impact Investing; and Technology and Innovation.

The list of panelists and discussion leaders is in formation and currently includes such industry and thought leaders as:

  • Amy Bell,  Executive Director, JP Morgan
  • Loren Blackford, Personal Investor, Sierra Club, Rachel’s Network, Geo Investors
  • Monica Brand, Principal Director, Frontier Investments
  • Katherine Burstein, Associate, Mercer 
  • Josh Cohen, President, City Light Capital
  • Jocelyn Cortez-Young, CEO & Founding Partner, Minerva Capital Group
  • Gil Crawford, CEO, MicroVest
  • Michel Demers, Founder & CEO, Boundless Impact Investing
  • Ariane de Vienne, Independent Investment Advisor, AV Advisors
  • Laura Foose, Director, Social Performance Task Force
  • Matt Greenfield, Managing Director, Rethink Education
  • Yana Watson Kakar, Partner, Dahlberg Global Development Advisors
  • Kristen Majeska, Founding Partner, Philanthropic Intelligence
  • Michael McMillan, Director, Ethics and Professional Standards, CFA Institute
  • Gloria Nelund, Chairman and CEO, TriLinc Global
  • Matt Patsky, Managing Partner, Trillium Asset Management 
  • Gerhard Pries, Managing Partner and CEO,Sarona Asset Management
  • Fran Seegull, CIO and Managing Director, ImpactAssets
  • Joan Sharp, Founder, Life Strategies
  • Julia Sze, Managing Director, Sonen Capital
  • Sebastien von Stauffenberg, CEO, MicroRate 

HWW invites individuals, organizations and firms already involved in or seeking to explore value-based investing to attend, send clients, or help sponsor this event.

Information on sponsorship levels and attending the event can be found on the HWW website: or contact

About High Water Women

High Water Women is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the economic empowerment of women and youth through programs in financial literacy, microfinance and other initiatives supported by volunteers and donors in the financial services industry.

Co-chairs for the Symposium include Alexander Poe and Dorothy Mosko and Vice-chairs Drianne Benner, Moya Connelly, Diane Keating, and Anna Snider.

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Diane Keating
Executive Director
High Water Women