The Global Impact Investing Network (www.thegiin.org), the leading non-profit organization dedicated to developing a successful impact investing industry, has named Luther Ragin, Jr. as its first CEO. He will start in September.
Impact investing aims to address social or environmental challenges while generating financial returns.
Mr. Ragin’s previous career including serving as Vice President of Investments at F. B. Heron Foundation in New York, where he has been an impact investing pioneer, building a world-class institutional investment portfolio that demonstrates the ability to achieve consistently strong financial performance with substantial social impact through investments. He has been an effective advocate of impact investing among investment peers and a wider audience, including through his appointment as a William H. Bloomberg lecturer at Harvard University and as a regular commentator and writer.
Antony Bugg-Levine, the Board Chair, said in a statement: “The GIIN Board of Directors and staff are thrilled to welcome Luther Ragin, Jr. Under its early leadership, the GIIN has successfully built critical industry tools, provided essential market intelligence, and established a hub for collaboration and action among a growing group of the world’s most important impact investors, whose investments are already beginning to benefit the planet and poor and vulnerable communities.
“We have planned since the GIIN’s inception to hire a CEO after first establishing this strong set of industry-building programmes. With his track record as a high-performing asset manager and industry builder, Luther brings tremendous credibility, experience, and insight that will enable the GIIN to take off from this base under his leadership.”
Current challenges require innovative investments
Mr. Ragin commented: “There can be little doubt that current global challenges, from climate change to poverty, require the mobilization of investment capital in new and innovative ways. The GIIN is uniquely positioned to steward the burgeoning impact investing industry into its next phase of growth.
Mr. Ragin led the F.B. Heron Foundation’s endowment since 1999, building a portfolio of more than $260 million, steadily increasing the impact investing allocation to more than 40% while maintaining competitive, risk-adjusted financial returns. Before that, he was CFO of the National Community Capital Association, a trade association of community-development financial institutions that provide access to capital in low-income communities in the United States. He previously served as CFO of Earl G. Graves Ltd. and spent 7 years with Chase Manhattan Bank, including as a London-based manager of Scandinavian banking relationships. Mr. Ragin is a current board member of several non-profit organizations, including Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, and has previously served on the boards of ABFE – A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities, The Classical Theatre of Harlem, the National Community Investment Fund, and the South African-focused Thembani International Guarantee Fund. He is also a Director of the Threshold Group, a multi-client family office. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University, and is a graduate of Columbia University’s Executive Program in Business Administration.
The GIIN Board also praised current leadership, and Bugg-Levine said: “The dedication and effectiveness of the GIIN team under the leadership of directors Amit Bouri and Sarah Gelfand have transformed the GIIN from a compelling idea into a leading organization that has surpassed our ambitious goals. As a seasoned executive, Luther brings additional strength to the leadership team and better positions the GIIN to address the needs of the rapidly evolving impact investing industry.”
The formal launch of the GIIN was in September 2009, by President Bill Clinton, JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin, and USAID Office of Development Partners Director Karen Turner. Omidyar Network, one of the founding members of the GIIN Investor’s Council, led the GIIN’s global CEO search through its human capital team.
The GIIN is a global, not-for-profit organization dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing. It builds critical infrastructure and supports activities, education, and research that help accelerate the development of a coherent impact investing industry. This work is informed by the GIIN Investors’ Council, a diverse, global membership group comprised of more than 40 leading impact investment institutions.
To serve the needs of the greater impact investing community, the GIIN also oversees the development of IRIS, a common vocabulary and framework for measuring and reporting the social and environmental performance of impact investments, and launched ImpactBase, a database of impact investment funds, designed to reduce search and transaction costs across the impact investing industry.