What is Pymwymic?
We are the ‘Put Your Money Where Your Meaning Is Community’ of families, philanthropists, and individual investors who believe in capital for good. Together, our purpose is to help fund companies who make a positive impact on the planet, or her people. As a community, this purpose is both meaningful, and fun. So we also connect through gatherings, and share our ideas and experiences with new investors.
We are an inclusive members’ organisation: European at heart; cross-generational; active and interested; united around common values. We’ve been active for 20 years, and are looking forward to the next 20.
As a peer platform, we hunt for great companies and champion about 10 annually: we share with each other not only deals, but our ideas and efforts to create a more balanced economy. The cost of a core team in Amsterdam is shared through membership fees.
We believe that all of us are creating the future. Join us to Pymwymic, to create a better world.
Pymwymic’s core are European family investors, exited entrepreneurs, and individuals who are committed to building a more balanced economy. As a community, we began in Amsterdam, and now meet in several countries. Our DNA respects diversity, modesty, and quiet service to society; our gatherings are multi-generational, convivial, and fun. We are three generations now, investing together.
Impact Days 2015: our 5th annual gathering, and our 21st anniversary of investing for impact.
At this years Impact Days we welcomed participants from 19 countries. 63% Of Impact Days participants were investors. They were joined by financial professionals (29%) and entrepreneurs (8%).
Our thanks to aligned partners ABN AMRO, Triodos Bank, FMO and Cordaid, for helping support and create content for Impact Days, and to the six Pymwymic families who helped to host the event.
When we made the risky decision to move the location from a hotel in Amsterdam to the picturesque castle and grounds of Amerongen, outside Utrecht, we actively chose the air, land, and space over simple logistics. Based on our community’s feedback, this new setting – helped by the beautiful weather and blossoming orchards- fostered even deeper and more grounded conversations.
Highlighted themes & outcome
Setting the Themes
The central focus of Impact Days is investors’ full alignment of capital and intention (Put Your Money Where Your Meaning Is); engaging in Q&A with new impact models; and an on going update about institutional developments that support the emerging infrastructure of impact investing. Some key themes included:
Plenary Sessions – “The True Value of Impact” &
“Future of Impact Exits”
Experienced institutional investors Uli Grabenwarter, William Fitzpatrick and Lisa Hall dove into the difficult topic of attributing economic value to social impact – a dimension in impact investing that so far has not been addressed in a conclusive way. We also examined the core liquidity questions with a broad spectrum of potential solutions. The expansion of secondary markets, trade sale opportunities, social stock exchanges as well as innovative holding company structures that allow to hold long-term, patient capital without a mandated exit date were brought up as relevant dimensions to this challenge.
Climate Change – “Anatomy of a climate change portfolio” & “How to march with your money.”
In the last 6 months, more than USD 4 billion in assets has been divested from fossil fuels by leading family foundations, faith groups and pension funds. Ivo Knoepfel, Anne Mieke van der Werf, Jan Willem Hofland and Prince Carlos de Bourbon de Parme shared considerations and filters in searching for a 100% solution of building a portfolio to offset climate change.
Circular Economy – Monetizing the circular economy.
How can we move from the “take, make & dispose” consumer lifestyle towards the Circular Economy concept with production cycles that are restorative and regenerative? Robert-Jan van Ogtrop and Jamie Butterworth inspired an active debate on how to evolve circular from a transformational idea, to a transactional form where investors can support and participate. Two interesting investment opportunities – Closing the Loop, which collects and reuses the precious metals in cell phones, and Circularity Fund, helping small to mid cap companies transition to Circular – applied Circular theory to real cases in this exciting new arena of Impact Investing.
Human Capital for Education – “The Core Question for Education”
Driven by digitization and ambitions to ‘update’ our schools to the needs of the 21st century, educational reformists all too often debate one technological innovation over another. Catalyzed by Nickel van der Vorm’s morning plenary, the debate about the ‘Why’ and “how’ of education continued: Nickel, Director of educational think-tank NIVOZ; Teun Gautier from the Steve Jobs Schools; and Jelte de Jongh, of learning analytics startup Leeruniek, shed light on personalized learning, and how educational big data can help address today’s toughest challenges such as low-literacy, that still affects 1 in 5 children even in developed countries.
Basic Needs – “Myanmar” & “Critical Transport.”
Cordaid’s Jan Postmus shared the learnings from their recent fact-finding trip to Myanmar, as “Understanding Myanmar and Early Impact” zoomed in a county with hopes to build a capital market that can reduce endemic poverty and strengthen structural issues. And Nicholas Lazos from Insitor Fund, the first Impact Fund specifically targeting Myanmar, elaborated upon pipeline, challenges and opportunities. Session ‘Critical Transport’ presented Koneksie, a newly designed motorcycle and leasing system built specifically for safe, reliable transport in East Africa.
Inner Life – “Brilliant failures”, “Inner life” & “Exploration of investing in art”
Creating space for the important work on values, consciousness, and culture is a hallmark of Impact Days. This year, we were helped by terrific friends and associates. Paul Iske questioned: Could a culture that rewards ‘Brilliant Failure’ free the creativity Europe needs to address great global problems? Boudewien van Notten invited us “Under the Oaks” – a experience of the nature surrounding Amerongen and the planet as a whole. And Eric Holterhues from Triodos Bank introduced us to the Triodos Culture Fund, a pioneering financial instrument, a €90 Million fund supporting arts and culture.
Skills & Structures
“True Value of Impact Investing” ABN AMRO’s Eric Buckens shared the learnings from the first seven investments that the ABN AMRO Social Impact Fund has done and how they have tailored a social impact measurement approach for each of them. In both ‘Adventures in Hybrid Financing’ and a ‘Case study on Tara’ experienced investors led case-study examinations on early stage screening; measuring impact; financial modelling; and due diligence considerations. Tim Radjy from Bastion shared his experiences around liquidity and impact debt funding.
Roundtable for Family Officers
For the first time, Pymwymic hosted a pre-conference event for Family Officers, together with long-term partner FMO. This event was created to specifically acknowledge the critical role of family officers and advisors in helping deploy capital to impact. We were delighted to welcome 30 participants to an active debate around the theme “The New IRR: Impact, Risk & Return”. Topics discussed ranged from “How to align family members towards impact investing?”, “Which impact metrics do you use”?, “Direct deals vs Fund investments”?, “Resourcing for Impact investing”?, to “How to define and align the Investment Sector Focus”? FMO shared its learnings under the theme “Impact at Scale” with case studies and a special focus on critical success factors and impact metrics.
Based on feeback received, attendees highly appreciated learning from leaders in this space, and the lively dialogue with fellow participants. We are planning to continue this Roundtable setting with the family officers in the coming months.
How to move Impact into Action?
For the 5 companies and 5 funds that presented during Impact Days, we are in the process of holding Investor Tables with our Investor Members, and hope to announce closing before the summer break. And, we are already planning for the next member gatherings in the months of September, such as our annual Food Event, Family Days in Brussels and Oslo, and many more opportunities for our community to get together.
A special Thank You again to our aligned and trusted partners – Triodos Bank, FMO, Cordaid and ABN AMRO for their continued support to our annual Impact Days conference.
And to all the individuals – be you investor, head of foundation, wealth manager, social entrepreneur, or institutional investor, who help us to learn, debate, grow, and share during Impact Days. Thank you for a memorable and interactive Impact Days 2015.
Katrin Ley, Margaret McGovern, Part of the team at Pymwymic
Talking ‘Bout A Revolution,
And a Visible Heart.
Sometimes, like a shock of sudden autumn leaves, a significant change is one day just there: apparent. Bright and bold in full fall glory, announcing a change of season. Behind the colour is, of course, a dynamic and complex evolutionary process of multiple agents and reactors, engaged in a biological negotiation heralding the end of one season and beginning of another…. Where am I going with this? If you read the report ‘The Invisible Heart of the Market’ by the G8 Taskforce, you will understand the analogy.
Pymwymic’s Company Criteria
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