Stiletto Swagger

On May 11th I had the pleasure, or pain as I would come to find out, of donning some pink high heels and walking down a runway in front of hundreds of people, including Charlotte’s own, Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst.  It was for a great cause and was to raise money for Dress for Success which aims to promote the economic independence of women by providing a network of support, professional attire, and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. The Gambrell Foundation has been a long-time supporter of Dress For Success, and Sarah Belk Gambrell was honored with the 2014 Paradigm award.

I was able to raise almost $3k and the swagger in total raised almost $36k for the cause.  While my performance was less than stellar, I was able to stay upright, which could not be said for everyone on the runway.  Some guys brought their dogs, others brought their children, but everyone brought a sense of awkwardness.  The experience was a great time, not only for the participants, but for the crowd as well and we were able to raise some money which made it all worthwhile.


Matt Potter

Matt Potter

Controller

Values-Aligned Investing: Forging Our Unique Path

As I previously shared, a lack of standardization exists within the Values-Aligned Investing space. So, we charged our own path and created a proprietary investment framework. The first strategic decision we encountered was whether to take a “lens” or “sleeve” approach when implementing this new investment strategy. A lens approach applies the investment strategy to the entire portfolio; whereas, a sleeve approach carves out a piece of the portfolio and applies the investment strategy solely to that piece, while leaving the balance of the portfolio unaffected. We opted for the sleeve method in order to test this new approach on a piece of the pie to ensure it is a strategic fit for the foundation. This approach is not set in stone and will surely evolve over time alongside the ever-changing investment industry.

Next, we devised a proprietary investment framework. We started by selecting the term “Values-Aligned Investments” (“VAI”) as the overarching header for the newly designated investment sleeve. We chose this terminology because it encompasses any investment that aligns with the values of the foundation. This phrasing is sufficiently descriptive while also affording us the flexibility to incorporate a range of investing styles, which we describe as investment subcategories under the VAI header. All VAI subcategories have one primary feature in common in that that they seek both a financial return and non-financial return. A financial return is a return on investment in the conventional sense. For example, a company’s stock price increases from $10 to $12, thus generating a financial return of 20%. A non-financial return is not as easily measured and can take various forms, including social, environmental, impact, etc. For instance, a company generated 16.7 TWh of renewable energy (wind, hydroelectric and solar), thus avoiding 11.8 million metric tons of CO2 emissions, and ultimately avoiding 0.03% of annual global CO2 emissions (i.e. the environmental return).

More to come on the foundation’s specific VAI subcategories in subsequent blog posts…


Brittany Priester

Brittany Priester

Portfolio Manager