For centuries, investment decisions were driven by a singular goal: to make a profit. In fact, in 1970, economist Milton Friedman wrote in the New York Times that “the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits.”1 But in the past 15 years, a new attitude has emerged that seeks to find a balance between profit and social responsibility, and City Light founder Josh Cohen has been at the forefront of this paradigm shift.
On October 20th, Josh joined us for a discussion and Q&A about City Light, impact investing, and the future of capitalism. Specifically, we covered:
- The difference between impact investing and traditional investing
- City Light’s mission and how the firm is working to achieve it
- The role of data in impact investing
- How impact investing works for family offices
ABOUT THE PRESENTER —Alex Simmons
Alex joined Telemus in August 2020 as Manager, Private Investments. Alex focuses on less traditional investment opportunities in areas such as real estate, private equity and hedge funds, that are not typically open to the public.
Alex earned his MBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business; he is also a CPA and has a bachelor’s degree in economics from U-M. He previously spent the last three years working in Private Equity with Huron Capital Partners, a Detroit-based middle-market private equity firm. Prior to Huron, Alex spent two years as an Investment Banking Analyst at Mesirow Financial, a diversified financial services firm in Chicago.
ABOUT THE PRESENTER —Josh Cohen
Josh Cohen is on a mission to make a difference via capitalism. He believes that how you make money (and what you do with it once you have it) matters and wants to help improve the world, now. When considering how he wanted to be remembered, Josh turned to impact investing before it had a name, combining his experience as a venture capitalist, technology company executive, and family office CIO with his values. Thus, the idea for City Light was born: partnering with experienced entrepreneurs using technology to generate significant financial returns while having a measurable social impact.
Prior to founding City Light, Josh led direct investments for a Greenwich CT-based family office, worked in venture capital for a family office based in St. Louis, was a Partner in a private debt fund, and was the Director of Business Development for Mobility Electronics (NASDAQ: IGOI). He began his career as an investment banker in the technology group of Deutsche Banc Alex Brown in San Francisco.