Zenith Wealth Partners is excited to announce our partnership with the Valentine Foundation. Zenith will help the Valentine Foundation to develop a framework to transition its investment portfolio to be fully mission aligned. We believe this framework will be a model for similar mission driven organizations to align their long term investments with their grant-making, programming, and organizational values.
The Valentine Foundation aims to fund change for women and girls through grant-making and investing. In 2021, Valentine released an updated mission aligned investment policy statement declaring its intent to further align its investment portfolio with their charge towards a more equitable future. Our team has worked with Valentine to develop a plan to achieve full portfolio mission alignment. Working together, we have developed the following perspectives:
- A commitment to diverse investment managers is important for long term performance of social and investment returns.
- Small companies may have a higher ability to drive social change than large companies, so investing in small and early stage projects is important.
- There is no standard factor to measure racial or gender equity within a company or investment, so we will need to design them and iterate as we learn new information.
We recently completed the first step of our plan by removing holdings that did not meet minimum racial and gender equity standards per Valentine’s investment policy. These holdings included 3M, JP Morgan, Alphabet, American Express, Costco, and Becton Dickinson. All of these companies were removed from the portfolio for one of two reasons: they did not have an acceptable level of gender diversity on their board of directors, or their business activity violated racial justice standards, as defined by Adasina Social Capital’s racial justice investment criteria. The proceeds from these sales were repositioned into investment funds that are managed by women. We were mindful of the portfolio’s potential risk/return metrics and ensured that the portfolio’s risk exposure did not materially change.
Over the next few quarters, we will work to optimize the community investment portion of the Valentine portfolio. This portion has a target size of 20% of the entire Valentine portfolio, which the actual size has not yet reached. Over the last few years, Valentine has been a leader in community investment , by extending a number of low interest loans to mission aligned projects in the greater Philadelphia area. Our shared learnings in this space will help us improve this portfolio activity in the quarters and years ahead.
About Zenith Wealth Partners
Zenith is on a mission to provide accessible wealth advice and management to ambitious and diverse clients. Zenith believes that racial and gender based wealth inequalities can be resolved with relatable, trustworthy advice. The firm is a registered investment advisor in multiple states, with its headquarters in Philadelphia, PA.
About Valentine Foundation
The Valentine Foundation envisions a society in which all women and girls thrive. Valentine is a private foundation committed to achieving this vision in the Philadelphia region by:
- Funding nonprofits working at the intersection of racial and gender justice. The trustees prioritize funding programs that pursue social change by addressing sexist and racist attitudes, policies and practices.
- Strengthening the leadership capacity of organizations serving women and girls; and
- Aligning Valentine’s endowment with their vision.
- Recognizing the legacy of gender and racial oppression, the Foundation prioritizes funding organizations led by and/or primarily focused on:
- Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC)
- Women, Trans and gender-expansive people.
The Foundation has two grant-making streams, one from the Foundation and one from the Visionary Leadership Fund. Additionally, Valentine makes investments in the community through low-interest loans to nonprofit organizations in accordance with the Mission Aligned Investment policy.