O.A. Book Club – Optimizing Risk, Return, and Impact with Sir Ronald Cohen of The Portland Trust

Sir Ronald Cohen is Chairman of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment and The Portland Trust. In this episode, Sir Ronald and Daniel discuss how companies can optimize risk, return, and impact.
Last updated
January 21, 2022
Min Read
Sir Ronald Cohen co-founded and was Executive Chairman of Apax Partners Worldwide LLP and also founded the British Venture Capital Association and the European Venture Capital Association.
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“If you want to run a big successful company or a successful growth venture, you have to bring impact into your decision-making.” – Sir Ronald Cohen 

Sir Ronald Cohen (@sirronniecohen) is Chairman of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment and The Portland Trust. He co-founded Social Finance UK, USA, and Israel, and is Chair of Bridges Fund Management and Big Society Capital. He has served as chairman, board member, and trustee of multiple international investment companies and organizations, and is a graduate of both the University of Oxford and Harvard Business School. He recently authored Impact: Reshaping Capitalism to Drive Real Change.

For more, explore the transcript of this episode.

Chapters in this interview:

  • Sir Ronald’s background and career in venture capital
  • What is impact investing?
  • The second and third order effects of impact investing
  • The three major forces that increase gains with impact investing
  • Short term and long term decisions and how they affect impact in business
  • How we can measure a company’s impact
  • Why impact investing is so important right now
  • Early impact companies and their models
  • How larger companies are addressing impact
  • How companies can get started in making a positive impact
  • The future of impact investing

Links from this episode

Learn more about this topic

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

The UN has provided 17 ESG goals for large companies to adopt that will make a measurable positive impact.

Why Millennials and Generation Z Love Impact Investing – Entrepreneur

A quick look into how younger investors take social responsibility into account when investing.

Impact Investing: Your money doing good in the world—and your wallet – TED Talk by Kevin Peterson

A 10-minute video on how impact investing can make a difference.

Impact: Reshaping Capitalism to Drive Real Change, by Sir Ronald Cohen

Sir Ronald’s own book on his learnings and recommendations for impact investing.

30 Social Good Apps That Make It Simple to Impact the World Everyday – Cause Artist

A great list of apps for those wanting to focus more on social impact, including a few investment and funding apps. 

Key Takeaway

Sir Ronald summed up how entrepreneurs can make an impact with their businesses:

If you're an entrepreneur wanting to set up a venture today, find an issue you are passionate about solving, define a business model that helps to solve it and bring impact to decide the profit. The more impact you deliver, the more profit you make. And you will build the most profitable company—and you become a unicorn, but you become a unicorn that also improves the lives of a billion people.

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