ESG and Impact Investing Seattle: Choosing the Right Strategy For You

Impact investing comes in many forms. Whether you’re passionate about climate change and a carbon-free future, economic empowerment for underserved populations, or any range of other social issues that can make the world a better place, Laird Norton Wealth Management is your partner in making the impact you want.

Many of our clients start by allocating a portion of their portfolio to impact investing. Over time, they gain conviction and confidence in the results, allowing them to expand their stake and involvement in impact investing. We are there every step of the way.

Impact Investing Strategies

For more than two decades, LNWM has helped clients own their impact through socially responsible investing, including using Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) ratings to decide which investments to include/exclude in a portfolio. ESG screening can address a wide variety of concerns about the impact of a potential investment:

Environmental: carbon emissions and climate change, renewable energy and sustainability

Social: affordable housing, access to education, consumer protection, civil and human rights, animal welfare

Governance: how organizations conduct themselves in terms of employee relations, the gender wage gap, hiring, executive compensation, as well as social and environmental issues

Another major way to have an impact is to invest directly in the equity or debt of projects or companies that promote a social good, such as affordable housing or sustainable energy. Direct investment can be extremely rewarding personally, without necessarily sacrificing financial return. However, the risks are greater and a great deal of time and analysis is required to determine if direct investments can achieve impact and return targets.

Impact Investing Options

LNWM can advise you on the types of impact investments that make the most sense for you based on your finances, time horizon and life goals. And we continue to offer you new ways to invest in line with your values, as opportunities arise locally, nationally, and globally.

We access socially responsible investments in many forms, including mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, separate accounts and direct investment in private debt and equity funds. We have deep relationships with socially responsible investment asset managers – each of which we hold to the same strict criteria we use for all our asset managers. And we use our industry contacts to advocate for the creation of entirely new funds that match the priorities of our clients. Experience has its benefits.

Public Capital Markets: Mutual funds or separately managed accounts that screen for ESG factors. They can be actively managed or a passive stock/bond portfolio with a screen applied.
Private Debt Strategies: Community lending or private debt funds.
Private Equity Funds: Invest in a variety of ventures with a specific focus, such as renewable energy or affordable housing.
Direct Investments: Investing in the debt or equity of a private company or organization.

Impact Investing Opens Up a Whole New World

At LNWM, we’re committed to impact investing and the new opportunities it can provide clients both personally and financially. We frequently host at our office asset managers that specialize in impact investing, presentations that clients are welcome to attend. As a corporate member of Confluence Philanthropy, we stay current on impact and socially responsible investing trends, And, because many of our clients want to look beyond the returns, we use a variety of ESG ratings services to analyze the effectiveness of the ESG funds in which we invest.

If you’re interested in the new world that impact investing can open up for you and your family, talk to Laird Norton Wealth Management. With decades of expertise, deep relationships, and a commitment to partnerships that deliver on your goals, we’re ready to help you own your impact.

Our Own Commitment to the Environment

Laird Norton Wealth Management annually tracks the carbon output of our operations, including employee commutes, and actively tries to reduce that output by encouraging use of public transportation. Each year, we also financially support programs in both water and electricity conservation undertaken by utilities and non-profit organizations, such as the Bonneville Environmental Foundation.