Broker Check

Thoughts from End of Year Conferences

November 02, 2023

2023 ESG Study Group

It has been an intense time for me, having attended two back-to-back a conferences in Colorado.  The first conference was the “ESG for Impact” conference and the second was the annual National Conference for Commonwealth advisors. 

The ESG conference included pioneers in the ESG movement (formerly SRI for Socially Responsible Investing).  It is the longest running US ESG conference, founded in 1990 by pioneer George Gay, who was among the familiar faces of trailblazers that I have had the privilege of knowing over the years.  The inspiration of these leaders and the continued leadership and resources that they provide for advisors cannot be adequately summarized in this newsletter.  Suffice to say, I am deeply grateful that, with Vanessa’s partnership, we have formed a company that is 100% committed to ESG investing.  We could not have envisioned Terra Blue without the inspiration of the ESG pioneers ahead of us.   

I travelled directly from the ESG for Impact Conference to Commonwealth’s annual conference with the theme of “Find the Good”, including participants giving back with a project helping to build “Kynd Kits,” or dignity packs, that were distributed to individuals experiencing homelessness in Colorado.   

A speaker whom I will never forget was Father Greg Boyle, Founder of Homeboy Industries, Roman Catholic priest of the Jesuit Order, and bestselling author.  He shared about his work with warring LA gang members in which he has reduced the rate of recidivism of 70% repeated incarceration to 30% by providing emotional support and economic opportunities.  It can be done! 

In the background during this week was the escalation of the conflict in the Middle East.  The reality of humanity inflicting such suffering on humans renders trivial the privilege of my conference experience.  At the same time, it underscores the importance of using our financial privilege for good in the world.   We are not alone in our pursuit of greater justice. 

Lastly, I got to hang with my study group, whom I see in person once a year.  They keep me honest.