Where have you been?

My apologies for such a long radio silence., TBLI has been on the road extensively this year, helping to build the infrastructure for TBLI (Triple Bottom Line Investing) in Asia. In addition, we have been expanding our outreach to Private Asset Owners (Single Family Offices, Multi Family Offices, and HNW). It has been quite a journey.

From January to May, I visited Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Bangkok, Dubai, Istanbul, Stockholm, Milan, Wiesbaden and then back to Shanghai. What was surprising was the hunger for information about ESG and Impact Investing. It was as if a paradigm shift had occurred among asset owners. They wanted to believe that Values Investing could work, but needed more convincing.  Most of the talk was dispelling the Myths that Impact was charity, money losing, philanthropy, no good management, etc. Those myths were easy to dispel. Almost as easy as dispelling the myths that all PE Funds and Hedge Funds achieve 30%+ year in year out. Or all fund managers always beat their benchmark.

Nearly all were keen to better understand what is Impact and how can they move large sums into investments that look at all risks and opportunities.

I always said TBLI was an overnight success after 20 years.

With that in mind, TBLI will be doing many more road shows, particularly in Asia to further help build the ESG and Impact eco system. If you would like to host a meeting with clients and staff, let us know and we will be happy to speak at your event.  Contact us 

Forbes Interview

Devin Thorpe of Forbes recently did an interview with me. Here it is. I hope you enjoy it.

TBLI CONFERENCE NORDIC 2018, Nasdaq, Stockholm Sweden Nov. 8-9

TBLI Conference Program is nearly finished. Hope you can join us. We anticipate a significantly larger turnout this year, from last year. The number of Early Bird Registrations is much higher. If you are planning on coming, the Early Bird Discount of SEK 2000, — ends May 31. So register soon. 

GDPR Private Policy

You’ve probably already seen quite a few emails about the GDPR. Europe’s landmark legislation on data protection.   We have updated our Privacy Policy  to comply with the new GDPR requirements. We kindly ask you to read them and get familiar with the updates.

TBLI Special Events

As part of our capacity building outreach on ESG and Impact Investing, TBLI will also be hosting small, intimate events as well as collaborating on larger events for Asset Owners. Asset Owners may attend all Conferences free of charge. Service providers may register to attend for a fee. Dinners and Retreats have a registration fee involved. If you would like to join one of these events, contact us.

Save the Dates:
• TBLI Inspiration Weekend Glen House Castle, near Edinburgh Sept. 21-24
• IMPACT INVESTING: EXPLORING THE PERSONAL JOURNEY  London, 18/9/2018, St. James Hotel Invitation only.
• TBLI Dinners Paris October 30.
• Family Office Event- San Francisco, 12-13th September 2018, The Cabernet Sauvignon Yacht, where 100+ N American Family Offices meet Invitation only.
• Family Office Event-London 9-10th October 2018, The Dorchester, where 140+ London based Family Offices gather Invitation only.
• Family Office Event-Zurich 13-14 November, 2018,  Dolder Grand Hotel, The meeting place for 100+ genuine* Family Offices from all over the world  Invitation only.
• Family Office Event-Dubai, 5-6 February, 2019, Palace Downtown Dubai Invitation only.
• Family Office Event-Singapore 5 – 6 March 2019 The Fullerton: The Asian Forum for 100+ genuine* Family Offices and UHNWI  Invitation only.

TBLI Goes on the Road to China

China Road Show

I will be doing a China Road show to speak about Value(s) Investing in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. Hope you can join us if you are in the area. Thank you to the organisers, particularly Peiyuan Guo of Syntao, for their kind invitation.

No Budget-New Year Resolution

No Budget

A great New Year Resolution would be a solution to the cryptic answer given by companies. “Sorry, we would love to support what you are doing, but we have no budget.” What does that mean? How does someone create a budget? Where do budgets come from? Not complex. You fight for it. Unfortunately, with all the downsizing going on, especially in the financial sector, most staff don’t want to increase their profile by demanding more money, so they might be more effective at their job. The last thing most employees for large financial institution want is to draw too much attention to themselves, so most don’t fight for anything, fearing being let go with the next downsizing. The strategy becomes,  keep your head down and don’t draw too much attention to yourself.

My question is “how is that strategy working out for the employer and employee?”. Are you selling more, getting more clients, inspiring staff, or is everyone in defensive, survival mode. That approach will not bring out greatness of staff. Don’t be  afraid to fight for the tools you need to do your job or for things that should be done. Otherwise you are just coasting through and trying to achieve the minimum and not attracting too much attention to yourself. This strategy won’t help you or your company. “No budget” means you are not willing to ask or work for achieving that budget. You might surprise yourself by going for it. Perhaps you will learn that you are in the wrong place, or your superiors will be impressed with your initiative. Either way you win. Believe me.

Tribute Robert Rubinstein

Several of you asked me to repost this. During the last TBLI Conference in Stockholm, last week, my wife, Rieki Crins, gave me a beautiful surprise. In secret, which is not easy, she had been colleting testimonials from various friends and thought leaders. I was totally surprised and overwhelmed with such a beautiful gesture. Thank you to all who participated.

For those interested, you can find the book here. We have received several more testimonials since publishing the book, so we will update it. If you would like to add one to the book, send via this mail

The Weasel Coffee, Time & Innovation

When did a coffee simply made stop becoming a morning beverage or a drink to enjoy with friends? It seems that the choice of coffee has proliferated, with Caffè Americano,  Caffè Latte, Cappuccino, Macchiato, Double skim soy latte, and the thousands of other flavors. Then we have the continuous search like Holy Grail search for the ultimate coffee beans,

  • Tanzania Peaberry Coffee
  • Hawaii Kona Coffee
  • Nicaraguan Coffee
  • Sumatra Mandheling Coffee
  • Sulawesi Toraja Coffee
  • Mocha Java Coffee
  • Ethiopian Harrar Coffee
  • Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee
  • Guatemalan Antigua Coffee
  • Kenya AA Coffee

Let’s not forget Kopi Luwak made famous by Jack Nicholson in the movie The Bucket List. Kope Luwak is a coffee bean consumed by a palm civet (toddy cat) who eats the beans and then runs them through its bowels only to excrete them,  to create the unique blend.

I am sure there is someone out there who is developing a coffee bean that is grown shaded in the upper Andes or Himalyas, or on top of a warehouse in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. These beans are blessed every day by a Monk, Priest, Shaman, Rabbi, and beautiful music is played to make them grow in perfect harmony. After that, special hand held lasers analyse all the beans to check that they are ripe for picking. Following that a robot harvests specific ripe beans, which are fed to Panda Bears who swallow the beans and then re-appear with their daily digestion. These beans are then cleaned and dried for 7 days in special drying room that maintain the right temperature through solar heating. They are then roasted in a clean room where everyone is wearing surgical clothes and masks so no contaminants come in contact with the beans, during the roasting process. Finally, after the roasting, the beans are ground by hand in a granite mortar and pestle, by Asian women over 45, to achieve the perfect pressure. Finally, a chemical analysis of the ground coffee is made,  and then the coffee is brewed with the special Belgium Kings Court Coffee Syphon, to bring out the special flavour. Cost 100 US Dollars a cup, but the cup is not paper or plastic. True innovation.

If you ask any of the regulars at the Apollo Cafe from the movie Frankie and Johnny or any authentic person who has figured what life should be and the importance of humour, taking the time and empathy, they will all say. “Tastes like coffee” describing this unique blend mentioned above,  “but it is missing a soul. Frankie give me another cup of the house brew in a normal cup.”

I don’t share this constant obsession with trying to find “perfection or innovation only for innovation sake or just dying rich as a goal”. The authentic company you share, the time you take and being in the moment is what matters. This brings out the true flavours of conversation and company. Constant innovation and change just to be different, does not. Take the time today to call someone and just share a funny story or joke. Endlessly rewarding. 

Enjoy Frankie and Johnny