Decision makers. You are the first family office to obtain B Corp certification, what does that mean?
Julien Less. First, B-Corp certification involves responsibilities. It allows us to participate in an international community, made up of 300 members in France and 5,000 worldwide. Its very principle is to inspire and help all actors join the movement, using our ecosystem to influence the world around us around five pillars of governance, employees, community impact, environment and ultimately customers. B-Corp certification goes beyond the company with a mission, it involves more constraints. The approach is iterative and also brings us international recognition, which mission company status does not allow.
What criteria must be met to obtain this certification?
The process is long and begins with an assessment: the Impact Assessment B (BIA) that allows you to obtain a score that must reach 80 out of 200 points to obtain this certification. We must also provide all supporting documents to support the assessment and conduct an audit that challenges us in the responses given above. The B-Corp certification, which took us a year to obtain, with a score of 108 points, is the greatest guarantee of commitment to sustainable transformation that a company can achieve with ISO 26000 and company-in-attribution status. Finally, thanks to internally implemented processes, Kimpa joined the B-Corp community, in which the company invests so that its philosophy is eventually adopted by others.
“We are the first family office to position our company for social and environmental impact”
Now that you’ve earned this certification, what’s next?
We are happy that we achieved such a high score and now we must maintain this level of demand and improve it during the next quiz. In fact, labeled companies are re-evaluated every three years to allow them to improve and keep up with evolving social and environmental standards. We are confident in our ability to do so because we are a company with a mission and the first family office to support its clients in allocating part of their capital to social and environmental impact projects. This gives us the strength and ambition to make our business impact. For new generations, environmental impact is a fundamental notion. We do resolutely emotional upstream work to help the entrepreneurial family unite around common projects. Furthermore, we have not forgotten the primary vocation of a family office, which is to combine family harmony with asset protection.
What are your next areas for improvement?
Since our creation, we have developed our own tool called Augmented Portfolio that allows us to structure and manage all of our clients’ assets, the regulatory process and the measurement of impact in four asset classes. We continue to invest in them to enable our clients to measure, across each of the asset classes, their impact through their investments. The goal is to improve your scores thanks to a thorough and documented methodology. It also helps to visualize impact investing opportunities aligned with our clients’ investment thesis and risk profile. We continued, therefore, positioning ourselves as an organization with great diversity – we have 60% women in the company and 40% men -, a multiculturalism with four nationalities among our 17 employees and we structure our company around solid concepts of total transparency in the access to information and shareholding accessible to all. We are also developing a corporate culture based on the concepts of the released company with, for example, the implementation of the concept of unlimited vacations for all our employees.
“The augmented portfolio is the only solution on the market to structure and manage all of our clients’ assets with financial and impact indicators”
Is socially responsible investment a request from your clients?
We quickly discovered that we wanted to help clients who were aspiring to direct some of their capital towards socially responsible or impactful investments. We’re not going to convert investors who don’t have that appetite, but everyone wants to make sense of their investments and we’re there to guide them. There is a difference between generations, the older one is worried about what is happening in the world and the new one is encouraged to change the situation. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals structured by the UN bring the family together around common investments. Kimpa works with her clients on structuring an impact investing thesis and how to implement it across the family’s different asset classes. Finally, it is essential to distinguish between responsible finance, sustainable finance and impact finance, and how they position themselves in asset allocation.
The final word?
As a company with an impact mission, the transversal value for all stakeholders in this business is circularity. This means that where once a company could compete with its competitors, it now collaborates with its ecosystem. Kimpa is pleased to be able to share her skills with her colleagues, thanks to missions that go beyond the company’s work. Finally, we want to involve our community because it is about looking at your competitors today as partners to share our best practices and use the powerful levers of funding to finance the solutions our planet needs and that we leave to our children. We belong to a much more collaborative business than simply supporting wealthy families. It is in this context that Kimpa is currently in advanced discussions with several French and European single and multi-family offices to help them develop their expertise in “Impact Investing”.
Interview by Juliette Woods