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Rating:An ESG Startup Comes to the NYSE Not Rated 5.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, July 11, 2017

An ESG Startup Comes to the NYSE

Reported by Jennifer Qiao

On Tuesday Scott Sacknoff, CEO at Washington D.C. based SerenityShares Investments LLC, rang the NYSE opening bell in celebration of the SerenityShares IMPACT ETF (NYSE Arca: "ICAN"), which listed on April 13th.

"Remember, you can always say ICAN," says Sacknoff.

Sacknoff tells MFWire that "while there are a number of different socially investing strategies, what this fund does is look at a company through a solutions first approach...we identify companies that meet 20 social and societal challenges."

Kathy Neumann, president at SerenityShares, says that they "aim to provide investors with financial return and at the same time generate a positive good socially and environmentally...this ETF structure is liquid, transparent, and tax efficient."

SerenityShares employs the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that focus in on investments in clean water, green transportation, organic foods, elder care, and other goals into a liquid, broadly-diversified fund. This passively managed fund tracks the SSI impact index. While the MSCI ESG metrics assign scores and ratings of environmental, social, and governance factors of the company, IMPACT ETF looks in the opposite direction and measures whether a company meets their socially conscious challenge.

Sacknoff explains,
90 percent of all impact investing comes from private equity or debts; the problem in private equity is that there is not a lot of liquidity so many organizations that are socially and environmentally conscious that want to invest can't. A lot of categories don't translate to investable product like 'eliminate poverty.' Furthermore, within the impact community the B-Ds that focus on socially conscious investing employ different ESG methodologies and so are trying to come up with a standard. The UN SDGs provide a basic framework that this community likes and wants to figure out a way to work with.

SerenityShares has $2.5 million in AUM. 

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