Given the market volatility that occurred this year provided the global pandemic, I’d like to highlight one of our values-aligned investments (VAI), which proved to generate both a positive non-financial return, while also outperforming financially throughout a turbulent year.

The Gambrell Foundation invests in the Wellington Global Impact commingled fund, which is classified as an impact investment within the foundation’s VAI bucket. As of November 30, 2020, Wellington Global Impact generated a net return of +23.95% year-to-date, beating its benchmark, the MSCI All Country World Index (+11.60%) by 12.35%. Since the foundation initially invested in this fund on October 31, 2018, it has earned a net return of +22.13%, outperforming the MSCI All Country World Index (+15.13%) by 7.00% over this two-year period.

This year, Wellington Global Impact’s outperformance is attributable to the positive momentum surrounding clean energy, including American and European Green Deals and the European Union’s Climate Target Plan, which aims to decrease carbon emission by 55% by 2030. The fund’s alternative energy and resource efficiency holdings have benefitted from the world’s increased support of climate control, giving further conviction to the portfolio manager’s impact insight.

Impressively, Wellington Global Impact was able to relatively outperform while not owning the FAAMGs (i.e. Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google), which are driving approximately 20% of U.S. equity market outperformance. According to the portfolio manager, this positioning is unlikely to change provided Wellington continues to believe that these companies are not aligned with their impact investing objective.

Not only has Wellington Global Impact achieved absolute and relative outperformance in financial terms, but it also aligns with the foundation’s mission by investing in companies that seek to solve the world’s greatest environmental and social issues. From the foundation’s standpoint, this investment is a win-win.