Liesel Pritzker Simmons: Stewarding Inheritance on the Stairway to Blue Haven

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview


Liesel Pritzker Simmons is Co-Founder and Principal of Blue Haven Initiative.  As an investment strategist, she oversees their portfolio focused on holdings that generate competitive financial returns while addressing social and environmental challenges. The portfolio spans asset classes, from traditional equities and direct investments to philanthropic programs.

Liesel co-founded Blue Haven with her husband, Ian Simmons. Together, they systematically assessed their portfolios based on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria and financial performance. Together, the restructured portfolios became the foundation of Blue Haven, one of the first family offices created with impact investing as its focus.

Liesel is also Co-Founder of IDP Foundation, a private Chicago-based foundation focused on achieving universal primary education. There, she helped create the IDP Rising Schools Program, which leverages microfinance networks to empower nearly 450 low-cost private schools—established and managed by local entrepreneurs—in some of the least-developed regions of the world.

Liesel, an engaging and sought-after speaker on impact investing and Next-Gen investors, serves on for-profit and nonprofit boards and investment committees of organizations including ImpactAssets, Synergos, Toniic, Eco-Post, and The ImPact, a network of families committed to the conscientious stewardship of wealth.

Liesel attended Columbia University in New York City, where she studied African History. She lives in the Boston area with Ian and their daughter.

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Some highlights from Ryan’s interview with Liesel include:

  • Liesel’s journey from being a childhood movie star to cultivating interest in the economics of poverty and sustainable international development to becoming an early trailblazing impact investor

  • Leisel shares the backstory behind Blue Haven’s relationship with B Lab

  • An exploration of the Blue Haven’s nimble and diversified portfolio with a special look into their investments in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Leisel challenges all of us to ask the organizations that manage our investments what kind of impact investment options they have available and how they measure impact because even if they don’t have good answers, asking demonstrates the demand they need to justify making impact options available

 

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Ryan Honeyman is a Partner at LIFT Economy and author of The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good (Berrett-Koehler Publishers). LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @honeymanconsult or email him ryan@lifteconomy.com.