Role & Organisation:
I’m Investment Manager at Palisade Impact
What was your first job?
My first job was working at the checkout of a small local market. Being a small business, in addition to getting to taste really good cheeses, I was exposed to all the parts of the business that need to operate in harmony to make it work – people, product, supply chains, customers, operations.
When did you know you wanted to work in finance/business?
I’ve always loved thinking about how to navigate challenges and bringing together different business elements and people to make something happen. My job at the local market showed me how you can put that into practice. It’s a skill set that we use when we are investing, bringing together people and ideas to solve interesting challenges and making a difference.
When did you first discover the concept of Impact Investing?
There are different components of impact investing that have been floating around for a while now, and I’ve had a long focus on ESG as an integral part of a traditional investment. I have always strived to bring purpose to my professional life, but my real introduction to impact investing has been through working with my team at Palisade Impact. In particular, Steve Gross, our CEO, has been in impact investing in its various forms for years. His enthusiasm for thinking big and making a difference is contagious.
What’s one exciting development you and your team have in the pipeline?
Palisade Impact invests in next generation infrastructure that supports the Race to Zero. In this race, we are focused on three key areas: net zero emissions, zero waste and zero inequality, the latter focusing on digital equity. It’s going to require a substantial amount of innovation, good people and capital to contribute to this race in a meaningful way.
I’m really inspired by all the founders and management teams with whom we speak. They are building and developing really scalable, commercial and interesting ideas and bringing them into the mainstream. We at Palisade Impact can play a really important role in supporting their growth story and making an impact.
I really like what 3E Group is doing. This is our second investment in the Palisade Impact Fund. 3E design, build, own and operate infrastructure that helps make buildings and businesses greener and more energy efficient. Their technical expertise really sets them apart and allows them to deliver guaranteed emissions and financial savings to their customers.
What was the most interesting impact deal (from any team across Asia/Pacific) in the past 12 months?
I’m biased, but our first investment – GigaComm – is really interesting.
A large challenge in Australia is digital equity. Australia lags against its peers, and from an impact perspective, there is a high correlation between digital access and other measures of wellbeing. Digital connectivity is imperative for the modern world – for education, professional development and work and social connection. There is also clear data that lower socio-economic groups are generally less digitally connected.
GigaComm is a next-generation digital infrastructure business. It uses technology that is common in Europe and the US. enabling GigaBit speed connectivity at a fraction of the cost. GigaComm builds and owns the network it operates and also provides connectivity to its customers.
So the nature of GigaComm’s product improves digital equity and affordability for its customers. Further, tied to our investment is the launch of a new product targeted at social and affordable housing residents. GigaComm is working with social housing provides to provide better and cheaper connectivity for residents.
Name one high impact company (globally) that investors should keep their eye on?
Darling ingredients. It’s a US based company which collects and repurposes animal based co-products and natural materials, including producing renewable diesel from waste products.
What’s your vision for impact investing in 5 years time?
I hope the idea of investing with positive intention grows, both within labelled impact investment products, but even with more traditional investments. I am firmly of the view that everyone can make a positive impact when they invest. I also hope the industry and number of professionals investing with impact grows.