17 Apr FORD FOUNDATION TO INVEST PART OF ITS ENDOWMENT IN MISSION-RELATED INVESTMENTS
In an essay Darren Walker, the President of the Ford Foundation, explains the Foundation’s decision to gradually invest up to $1 billion of its endowment in MRI funds (Mission-Related Investments), to be phased in over the next 10 years.
According to Walker, the Ford Foundation is following in the footsteps of organisations such as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Open Society Foundation which have pioneered the use of such tools. Significant changes in capital markets, as well as the recent clearing of certain legal roadblocks by the US Treasury, have enabled the Ford Foundation to explore MRI for its endowment. A wide range of financial institutions – from private wealth managers to large pension funds – are now offering innovative investment products to meet the increase in investor demands for socially and environmentally sustainable investments .
The Ford Foundation’s venture into MRI is firmly anchored in its ongoing programme work to build more inclusive economies, help mature the impact investing sector and fulfil the Foundation’s special obligation to help nudge market-based economies towards the ‘high road’. This means “squaring the dynamism of markets with society’s highest values, especially fairness and human dignity”, according to Walker.