January 2020
Vol 7 | Issue 271

Q&A with Benjamin Bingham of 3Sisters Sustainable Management, Inc.


Principal Series:

Call to Action:

We are looking for leading families to partner with us to make significant impact investments to achieve the global sustainable development goals (SDG’s) by 2030.

What we do:
3Sisters Sustainable Management, Inc. (“3SSM”) is a Certified B-Corporation (Best for the World 2019), Registered Investment Advisor, and family office
– active in the real-world application of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Policy, and
– engaged in the professional deployment of smart investment capital in commercial business opportunities, through financial instruments, which
– aim to return yields, commensurate with investors risk profiles and liquidity needs, while
– making a material difference toward the global goals.

Why we do this:

There is growing evidence that suggests that ESG factors, when integrated into investment analysis and portfolio construction, may offer investors less risk, long-term performance advantages and add meaningful emotional returns. We know it is prudent to safeguard the planet for future generations.

What is different?

Our team has demonstrated, with over $75M invested since 2007 in private and public markets, that impact investing works. We prioritize inherently beneficial products and services, transforming the human environment in response to present needs, manufacturing and delivering goods and services out of respect for consumers, employees and neighbors, both local and global.

The Natural Step informs every decision we make. It was designed to end environmental cancer by avoiding extraction, chemical compounds, degradation of the environment and exploitation of people. Avoidance is not our focus though. We aim to invest in the best solutions for our time.

Family Office Insights is a voluntary, “opt-in” collaborative peer-to-peer community of single family offices, qualified investors and institutional investors. Join the community here www.familyofficeinsights.com

What investors would we want to have as partners?

Families or Foundations with genuine desire to make a difference in the world with their investment decisions and who have areas of expertise that align with our mission.

Why is your impact portfolio so broad?

Our mission has always been to show that there is an efficient frontier for impact investors that can match their values while managing risk and return through diversification. That said, we are happy to have co-investment partners who are only interested in one of our initiatives.

How do your liquid investments make a difference?

First we believe the stock market is becoming a smart mob that can reflect emotions and human values. Companies are punished when they are bad actors and values increase when they are seen as good actors. In addition we use sophisticated hedging strategies and environmental markets such as Carbon futures to build value both financially and in terms of aligning with the significant value of carbon, water, clean air, clean soils.

Benjamin Bingham of 3Sisters Sustainable Management, Inc.

Benjamin Bingham is the CEO/Founder of 3Sisters Sustainable Management, focused on 100% impact portfolios across private and public asset classes (Scarab Funds). Educated at Groton School, Yale and Emerson College (UK), his writing and work draws on broad experience as an artist, bio-dynamic farmer, and teacher. His pioneering book on Impact Investing: Making Money Matter is an important contribution to this expanding movement (www.makingmoneymatterbook.com ).

Ben’s family were heirs of the Tiffany fortune and he used his resources to co-found a successful social enterprise (Triform Camphill Community) in the 80’s and two tech start-ups in the 90’s. He became an investment advisor to his network of socially-minded investors at Legg Mason in 2001 and has been an independent money manager for families, creating proprietary impact strategies since 2007.

Ben is now focused on providing impact investments in partnership with Impact consultants, family offices and foundations. Our goal is to facilitate a major transition to meaningful impact investments that can make as much money, or more, with as little risk, or less. We have 7 years of performance numbers on public and private portfolios both direct and indirect, debt and equity and can structure separately managed accounts and direct co-investments for significant investors.

Ben has been speaking on impact investing for over 10 years. With BNPParibas (Bank of the West) he spoke at a global retreat for wealthy millennials in Silicon Valley; with the Annual Pension Summit in San Diego he followed Bill Clinton with a 45 minute talk on the SDG’s; and presented to Wealth Managers with the Family Office Exchange (FOX Network) in Chicago. Over the years he has spoken in London and Amsterdam, NYC and Chicago with the TBLI group (Triple Bottom Line Investing) and has headlined several Sustainatopia events in Miami, San Francisco, Boston and LA as well as a number of Opal Events for Family Offices in Newport. Recently he was invited to a forum on Impact and Philanthropy in Monaco with the Carlysle Group.

Currently Mr. Bingham is working on a second book on the 17 SDG’s and how investors can help us reach the global 2030 goals by transforming their own personal relationship with money and focusing on what is important.