New Fintech Aims to Accelerate Access for Impact Investing in Private Markets

  • Investment
  • 20.07.2022 02:05 pm

Investment and product development executives Josh Hile and Marshall Dunford announced today the formation of Citizen Mint, a new impact investing platform designed to help investors generate both financial returns and positive societal and environmental impacts.

The new company enters the market at a time when interest in impact investing is at an all-time high. The Global Impact Investing Network, a leading nonprofit dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing, estimated in 2020 that the total impact marketplace was greater than $715 billion, a ten-fold increase over the preceding seven years, and projected continued growth.

“The demand for investments, especially among Gen X and Millennials, that align financial resources with personal interests and values simply isn’t being met in today’s market,” said Josh Hile, who will serve as Citizen Mint’s CEO and Chief Investment Officer. “We started Citizen Mint to provide a new pathway for investors to participate in private market projects that create financial returns while having a direct positive impact on the world.”

Younger investors represent a major source of wealth as well as a shift in how they view the world. Coldwell Banker reported that there were 618,000 “Millennial Millionaires” in 2019, and a Fidelity Charitable study released in 2022 found that 61 per cent of Millennials say they currently participate in impact investing and 62 per cent believe impact investments have more power to create change than traditional charity. A 2019 Morgan Stanley survey also showed that 95 per cent of Millennials with over $100 thousand in investable assets have an interest in sustainable investing.

Yet, for many, private market and real asset investments are out of reach, as they are often only accessible to institutional investors or clients of financial advisors with high minimum investment thresholds.

Rather than Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) or Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategies, Citizen Mint will focus exclusively on these private market investment opportunities. The company will use a proprietary process to source and conduct due diligence on high-value investment opportunities and offer an easy-to-use user interface that allows investors to select specific projects and interest areas and monitor investment impact and performance.

Prior to launching Citizen Mint, Hile held investment and leadership roles at Russell Investments and, most recently, as Director of Investment Strategy & Research at Laird Norton Wealth Management, a $16 billion registered investment advisor (RIA) and trust company with deep expertise in impact investing.

Joining Hile is Marshall Dunford, who will serve as Chief Technology Officer. Prior to Citizen Mint, Dunford worked as a software engineer across a variety of industries, building new products, leading initiatives to increase scalability and security, and guiding multiple projects from concept to millions of active users.

“At Citizen Mint, we’re committed to creating positive change in the world by increasing access to impact investing,” continued Hile. “Our research tells us there is a critical divide between how emerging investors want to invest and the options available to them. With Citizen Mint, we’re bridging that gap by making it easier for more people to get involved in private market investments that have positive societal and environmental impacts while delivering financial returns.”

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