Nov. Speaker: Using ‘Liquid Assets’ to Solve Global Water Crisis

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Tom Light, managing director of WaterEquity, the first-ever impact investment management firm with an exclusive focus on ending the global water crisis, is scheduled to be the next guest for the WDI Global Impact Speaker Series.

Light’s talk, “Liquid Assets: Investing to End the Global Water Crisis,” will begin at 5 p.m. on Nov. 27 in room R2240 at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. It is free and open to the public.

WaterEquity’s commitment to, and knowledge of, water and sanitation investment opportunities in low- and middle-income countries guide its investment strategies that drive both sustainable financial returns and social impact. By investing in enterprises operating in impoverished communities, WaterEquity’s investments help these enterprises scale up, meet increasing market demand and deliver universal access to clean, safe water and sanitation, the fund notes.

WaterEquity was established by, the charity co-founded by actor Matt Damon, to mobilize capital for water and sanitation enterprises serving the needs of poor people. Last month, WaterEquity  announced the first close of its US $50 million flagship fund—WaterCredit Investment Fund 3 (WCIF3)—at US $33 million. Investors included Bank of America, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Ceniarth LLC, Niagara Bottling, as well as the Conrad N. Hilton, Skoll, and Osprey Foundations. A second-close is projected before the end of the year. 

As the first-ever impact investment fund manager with an exclusive focus on ending the global water crisis, WaterEquity transforms how capital markets work in order to finance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With annual investments in the SDGs totaling $1.4 trillion and their attainment estimated at $3.9 trillion per year, WaterEquity offers a critical solution to bridge the $2.5 trillion annual investment gap. By supporting the sustainable growth of water and sanitation enterprises in emerging markets, WaterEquity represents an unprecedented opportunity to end the global water and sanitation crisis for hundreds of millions of men, women, and children.

Light oversees all aspects of the business including strategy, operations and expansion. He has more than 18 years of experience in public and private capital markets in the areas of investment management, investment banking and fund development.

Previously, Light led Grameen Foundation’s impact investing strategy serving first as a fund manager and then as the Head of the Capital Management & Advisory Center. Prior to that, Light held executive-level positions in investment banking at UBS AG and in the nonprofit sector at the Clinton Health Access Initiative. He received his B.A with honors from the University of Michigan in Quantitative Economics, holds an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and is a chartered financial analyst.

Learn more about WaterEquity in this article from WDI-affiliated site, How ‘Took a Leap of Faith’ into Social Impact Investing.”

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