WaterEquity Director Discusses Global Water Crisis Efforts

Monday, December 10, 2018

Tom Light, managing director of WaterEquity and a recent guest of the WDI Global Impact Speaker Series, sat down for a one-on-one video interview while on campus. (Watch the discussion below.)

Light, who was interviewed by Pascale Leroueil, vice president of WDI’s Healthcare initiative, talked about a number of aspects of WaterEquity, which is the first-ever impact investment management firm with an exclusive focus on ending the global water crisis. Those included how the organization operates, how blended finance fits into the strategy, the biggest advantage to working with the private sector and where Light sees WaterEquity in 10 years.

WaterEquity’s experience in 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.

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.

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.

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