October 2022
Vol 8 | Issue 587

Q&A with Paul Fletcher of Greater Share

Founding Member and Chair of the Board

Principal Series:

Greater Share is an innovative philanthropic investment model harnessing the expertise of some of the world’s top performing private equity funds and high-impact NGOs to help close the education gap and enact real, measurable change on children’s lives across the globe. We deploy our investors’ capital in leading private equity vehicles through a fund-of-funds product and donate most capital gains and all the private equity firms’ fees and carried interest to a curated selection of education NGOs.

We created this innovative philanthropic investment model with the goal of providing our selected NGOs with long-term, recurring funding, helping them to achieve their mission of closing the education gap. In the process, private equity firms and education experts do what each does best to generate and direct sustained charitable funding, while our underlying investors gain access to a community of likeminded people seeking to drive impact and the opportunity to donate to a compelling cause.

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What inspired you to create Greater Share?

Greater Share was founded by myself, Jason Glover, London Managing Partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Graham Elton, Chairman of EMEA Private Equity Practice at Bain & Company.

We shared two strong convictions. The first is that providing the best possible education to every child—no matter where they live or where they come from—is one of the most pressing priorities for our society. There are over 700 million children unable to meet basic levels of reading and mathematics. Strengthening children’s education—especially for those from marginalized communities—has never been more important. Together with Bridgespan, we ran a careful selection process and chose eight extraordinarily impactful education NGOs that are working to transform education systems.

The second conviction is that everyone should focus on what they do best. Our experience working with leading private equity firms has shown that they give investors the best possible returns, and we have partnered with them to supply secure substantial long-term funding to our education NGOs. Those NGOs are then able to focus on their mission and deliver systemic change, while devoting fewer resources to fundraising.

What is so different about Greater Share’s investment model?

Greater Share is a first-of-its-kind philanthropic investment model that gives individual investors access to funds at leading private equity groups, if they commit to donating at least half their capital gains to our selected NGOs. Among the leading GPs supporting Greater Share, we are proud to include Advent International, Bain Capital, Cinven, Hg Capital, Lexington Partners, Nautic Partners and Permira as partners, with the potential to add others as the fund progresses. They have all agreed to match investor’s capital with the donation of their fees, creating a multiplier effect on donations. It is a well-regarded and enthusiastic group, and we are thrilled to offer their funds to investors.

Individual investors willing to put at least $500,000 into the Fund receive back their principal and donate between 50-100% of net gains to the NGOs. We expect a 2.5x multiple over a 7-10 year holding period, so if an investor chooses to donate 50% of net gains, then for every $100 invested, NGOs receive $100, and the investor receives $150 plus tax benefits. The investor may choose to donate up to 100% of net gains, which would generate greater returns for NGOs.

From an impact perspective, for every $1 million donated, 1,650 children and 450 educators receive direct support, and an additional 50,000 students are reached indirectly—an amazing opportunity for investors interested in helping drive change.

Why were these organizations selected to receive Greater Share’s support?

The 8 charities that were selected from more than 4,000 by Greater Share’s Education Committee together with Bridgespan via a rigorous process are: aeioTU in Latin America, Camfed in the sub-Saharan Africa, Kaivalya in India, KIPP and the National Institution for Student Success in the US, London Early Years Foundation and West London Zone in the UK and Teach for All, which operates globally.

These NGOs meet three criteria that ensure their work will be effective in creating long-lasting change: first, a commitment to the underserved: an intentional focus on groups that have been historically disadvantaged due to gender, race or socioeconomic status; second, an evidence-based approach: an insights-driven culture, frequent studies and assessments of project outcomes, and demonstrated robust impact from previous work; and third, a systemic approach to change: a focus on systemic change that targets the root causes of educational inequities and the systems that perpetuate them, often through policy, advocacy, and community partnerships.

Collectively, this curated portfolio spans the globe, targets students at every step of the educational journey, and empowers the entire spectrum of educators. Each Greater Share NGO offers a different approach; together, they create a holistic solution set that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Paul Fletcher of Greater Share

Paul Fletcher joined CDC Group plc in 2000 from Citibank, where he held various roles in Tokyo, New York, Nairobi, and London. He was appointed CEO of CDC in 2002 and oversaw the spin off which created Actis. At Actis, he provided overall leadership to the firm, creating a market-leading investment firm in the growth markets, underpinned by an ethos of responsible investment.
Prior to Actis, Paul spent 23 years in the financial services industry. He led the strategy unit for Citibank’s emerging markets business and previously ran the bank’s business in East Africa.

Contact Paul: pfletcher@greatershare.com