One of Philadelphia’s very first impact investors is leaving the world of academia and for a private sector homecoming.
Venture capitalist Jacob Gray has been tapped by Center City-based Threshold Group to ramp up the wealth management firm’s impact investing efforts. Gray will leave his post as senior director of Wharton Social Impact Initiative (WSII), the Ivy League program he helped create and establish as an institutional leader in the field of impact investing, though he will maintain a “senior advisor” role with WSII.
It’s something of a full-circle move for Gray, whose impact investing work is deeply intertwined with the history of social enterprise in Philadelphia. The man has driven the venture capital strategy forward from nearly every angle.
After cofounding venture capital fund Murex, Gray went on to cofound social enterprise accelerator GoodCompany Ventures, the regional chapter of impact investing network Investors’ Circle, and most recently, impact investing research nonprofit ImpactPHL — not to mention the academic research he led at WSII, its international impact investing conference and the founding of its student-run impact investment fund, Wharton Impact Investing Partners.
“We see [Gray] making contributions in several areas,” said Threshold Chief Investment Officer Ron Albahary in a statement.
The firm has been making impact investments since 2008, and claims it has directed one-third of its clients total assets toward impact investing. (According to WSII’s latest report on innovative finance, wealth managers are working to appease a growing demand among clients who want to reap some sort of social return with their financial investments.)
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This position with Threshold will allow Gray to move away from luring venture capitalists and financial institutions into impact investing and start working with family offices.
“Threshold Group and its clients have long shown innovation and commitment to the future of impact investing,” Gray said. “In this role, I am keen to help the next wave of family and foundation investors to benefit society and environment.”-30-
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