Founding member of Greater Philadelphia region’s impact investing ecosystem, arrives from Wharton Social Impact Initiative

Founding member of Greater Philadelphia region’s impact investing ecosystem, arrives from Wharton Social Impact Initiative

Philadelphia -- Threshold Group (http://www.thresholdgroup.com), a leading family-owned wealth management firm and family office, has added Jacob Gray as Managing Director, Impact Investing based in Philadelphia, a region in which Threshold Group’s presence and renown within the impact investor community has expanded significantly over the past year. This team building continues to advance Threshold Group’s substantial impact investing capabilities.

Impact investing accomplishments
With more than 20 years in the impact investing field, Gray is a seasoned venture capital (VC) impact investor, business developer and thought leader, and a founding member of much of the Greater Philadelphia region’s impact ecosystem. He joins Threshold Group from his role as Senior Director of the Wharton Social Impact Initiative, where he led the establishment of Wharton’s role as a clear leader among peer institutions in the impact investing field. He led the growth of the Wharton Impact Investing Partners to its prominence as the largest and most active student-run impact investment VC fund among peer institutions.

In partnership with founder Bridges Ventures, Gray co-developed the MBA Impact Investing Network and Training (MIINT) into the pre-eminent experiential learning platform for impact investing. Last year MIINT trained 620 students from 25 of the world’s top business and policy schools.

Gray also helped develop Wharton’s prominence as an impact investing thought leader. He was instrumental in the project that led to the landmark Wharton research report, Great Expectations: Financial Performance and Mission Preservation in Impact Investing, the industry’s first rigorous, independent evaluation of impact investing private equity financial performance, credited with helping to dispel the myth that impact and financial performance may be negatively correlated. This team of Wharton professors and researchers established Wharton’s impact investing performance database with a mission of accelerating the pace of rigorous research in the category. Also to support impact investing at Wharton, Gray developed funding partnerships that include well-known foundations, philanthropic investment firms, family offices, financial institutions and private individual donors. 

Prior to his Wharton role, Gray was co-founder and Partner of Murex, a pioneering early stage impact venture capital fund, where he focused on sectors including education technology and financial services for the poor. Murex was a Small Business Administration-licensed New Markets Venture Capital Company, a Global Impact Investing Rating System (GIIRS) Pioneer Fund, and a pioneering Impact Assets Impact 50 fund. While at Murex, he also co-founded GoodCompany Ventures, the region’s first social enterprise incubator, and co-founded Investors’ Circle Philadelphia, the first regional chapter of the oldest and largest impact investing angel network. Gray received his Bachelor of the Arts from Brown University.

Threshold Group emphasis on impact investing
The company made its first impact investment in 2008 and has since helped its clients direct about one-third of their total assets under management toward impact investing. Threshold Group is committed to creating innovative solutions, as evidenced by its thematic strategies around sustainable real assets, access to capital, and place-based strategies, including its “Invest Northwest,” regional investment platform. Threshold Group has also collaborated with Christopher Geczy, Ph.D. (founder of Forefront Analytics, LLC, and faculty member in the Finance Department at The Wharton School and academic director of Wharton’s Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center for Quantitative Financial Research and the Wharton Wealth Management Initiative) on a new environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy, the “Forefront Impact Resiliency Strategy,” a highly diversified mix of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that meet ESG standards.

Gray reports to Ron Albahary, CFA, Chief Investment Officer, and will work closely with Stephanie Cohn Rupp, Managing Director and leader of the Impact Investing team, as part of the firm’s research team.

“Our team and our clients will benefit from Jacob’s extensive experience within the impact ecosystem,” notes Albahary. "He is an extremely well-respected subject matter expert, and has been an excellent collaborator with us on our panel discussions about impact investing. Partnering Jacob with Stephanie Cohn Rupp, our impact investing leader, should continue to yield exceptional results in the areas of thought leadership and innovation within the impact investing space.”

“We see Jacob making contributions in several areas,” Albahary adds, “as he assumes a multi-faceted role—innovative solution development, strategy research, business development, client service, and providing a valuable insight into our strategic vision for impact. I am very pleased to welcome him to our research team and am excited to introduce him to our clients as well as the Greater Philadelphia market.”

“I am delighted to have Jacob Gray join our impact investing team,” adds Rupp. “I worked with him when I led the Toniic global network of impact investors, and he worked with the Wharton Social Impact Initiative. He is highly focused on building out the sector of impact investing, helping investors walk this path, and sharing empirical evidence on the financial and social/environmental performance of impact assets.”

“Threshold Group and its clients have long shown innovation and commitment to the future of impact investing,” Gray explains. “In this role, I am keen to help the next wave of family and foundation investors to benefit society and environment.”

About Threshold Group
©2016, Threshold Group, LLC, is a family-owned wealth management firm, dedicated exclusively to serving families, individuals, and family foundations. It serves clients in more than 25 states. The company provides integrated investment guidance, financial planning, legacy planning and family office services – all aimed at helping clients achieve their missions and priorities. Threshold Group is a Registered Investment Advisor with approximately $2.8 billion of assets under management (AUM) and roughly $1 billion designated to impact investments, as of December 31, 2015. Offices are in Seattle, Gig Harbor, Wash. and Philadelphia. Threshold Group may be reached at 888-252-3889.

Threshold Group was founded, and continues to be owned, by the Russell family, which created the global investment services firm known today as Russell Investments. The Russell firm, commonly recognized for its stock indices, built its core competency based on decades of fiercely independent evaluation of investment managers.

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Media contact: 
Dale Gluck, for Threshold Group,
206-303-0280, 
[email protected]