(Bloomberg) -- BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager, hired Deborah Winshel to run a new unit dedicated to impact investing, a strategy that seeks to make money while improving society.
Winshel, previously president and chief operating officer of the Robin Hood Foundation, will run BlackRock Impact, according to a statement today from the New York-based investment firm. Winshel will also oversee BlackRock’s global corporate philanthropy program and report to the firm’s Chief Executive Officer Laurence D. Fink and Richard Kushel, senior managing director and chief product officer.
“Many clients are looking for investment opportunities that advance social and financial goals at the same time,” Fink said in the statement. “While the roots of this movement can be traced back many years, the frequency and complexity of these mandates are increasing.”
The impact-investing industry may reach $1 trillion by 2020, according to a 2010 report by JPMorgan Chase and the Rockefeller Foundation, which coined the phrase in 2007. Billionaires such as Jean and Steve Case, who co-founded AOL; EBay founder Pierre Omidyar; and Shari Arison, owner of Arison Investments, have put their money behind impact investments.
Many family offices, investment firms that cater to a wealthy family, also are exploring whether the strategy can unite relatives around social values and help engage younger generations in managing their wealth.
BlackRock said it manages more than $225 billion in strategies designed to align clients’ portfolios with their values, that will be integrated under the new unit. The firm, which oversees about $4.6 trillion in institutional funds, mutual funds and passive products, is expanding its active strategies.
Hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones started Robin Hood in 1988 to help eradicate poverty in New York City, after the stock market crash the prior year that made him a fortune. The organization raised $175 million in 2014.
Winshel was chief financial and administrative officer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art before joining Robin Hood in 2011. At the foundation, she worked closely with the board of directors and staff to develop programs in areas including early-childhood education, immigration and long-term poverty tracking, according to the web site, which also lists Fink as a board member. Prior to working in the non-profit sector, Winshel was a banker for JPMorgan.