News from TBLI Group

From launching TBLI CLUB™, introducing a new world of networking at TBLI CONFERENCE™ with Pathable, and hosting the European Headquarters for GATE IMPACT: There are many new developments that we are pleased to share with you. We hope you enjoy the update and we are looking forward to meeting you at a TBLI event soon.
Kind regards
Robert Rubinstein

Sponsors & Updated Program
Register here to join us for TBLI CONFERENCE EUROPE™ 2012 in Zurich on 8-9 November. The program already includes interesting speakers and updated workshop themes.We are also pleased to announce new sponsors: Bank Sarasin & Cie Ltd, Bank Vontobel AG, BIDx BV, City of Zurich, Inrate Ltd, Thomson Reuters, UBS, and Vigeo have already confirmed their support. If you are also interested in sponsoring the conference or speaking at a workshop, please contact us.

Robert Rubinstein accepted to the
Speakers Academy
The Speakers Academy is the leading institute for professional speakers worldwide. Robert Rubinstein will be covering topics such as ESG and Impact Investing and the future of sustainable finance.

Amsterdam, 2 May 2012

Bringing a regional focus to our network, TBLI CLUB™ invites asset owners and finance professionals in ESG and Impact Investing to come together, draw inspiration and meet new business partners. We are pleased to see this new initiative grow and to welcomeABN AMRO, FMO, Rabobank, Robeco and Mn Services as corporate club members.

Become a member now and secure access to four TBLI CLUB events per year, free registration for online networking via Pathable and a 30% discount on a TBLI CONFERENCE pass.

Or get a first impression of TBLI CLUB and only register for the Launch Event on 2 May 2012 at ABN AMRO Amsterdam with keynote speaker Stephen Brenninkmeijer.

Free networking service at
TBLI events with 


TBLI is intergrating the most innovative online networking tool Pathable for both TBLI CONFERENCE™ Attendees and TBLI Club™ Members to offer effective networking opportunities  – for free and year-round. Attendees will have a chance to upload presentations and best practices, connect and schedule meetings. Sponsors will be able to set up a virtual booth.

Innovating the
TBLI is innovating its INVESTOR SALON™ in Switzerland and the Netherlands. Hosted by private banks and family offices, these in-house, invitation-only events offer a chance to meet committed investors and to discuss pre-screened investment opportunities in a secure and intimate setting. TBLI will be partnering with GATE IMPACT make a tailor-made selection of investment opportunities for the event.

Robert Rubinstein at
Global Impact Economy Forum, U.S.
To support the development of an Impact Economy, the U.S. State Secretary’s Global Impact Economy Forum on 26-27 April 2012 in Washington D.C. will gather 250 high-level investors, business executives, entrepreneurs, philanthropists and policymakers to discuss how to create greater coordination, collaboration and efficiency. Robert will be chairing a panel on Risk Mitigation.

New Impact Investing Leader’s Awards

TBLI intends to present a 6th TBLI Leader Award during TBLI CONFERENCE™ EUROPE 2012. With this additional award, TBLI wants to highlight outstanding achievements of players in the growing Impact Investing sector. Interested to sponsor or qualify? Pleasecontact us.

Robert Rubinstein speaking at 
The CSR Thursday Lunch, Geneva

Robert Rubinstein will speak on 19 April 2012 at the CSR Thursday Lunch on “What hasn’t Goldman Sachs learned that Sustainable Finance has?”. The event is regularly organized by the University of Geneva. You can register here.


Thought leaders, investors and entrepreneurs in Impact Investing will be intersted to know that GATE IMPACT is well on track with its plan to open a European Headquarter at the TBLI Office in Amsterdam. TBLI will also be introducing GATE IMPACT’s innovative platform to its TBLI INVESTOR SALONS, to facilitate investments in that space.

Welcome to FRIENDS of TBLI™

We extend a warm welcome to all our new FRIENDS of TBLI™. Their contributions support TBLI in scaling-up its services and to focus on its two main objectives: Raising awareness and mobilizing private capital for ESG and Impact Investing. To learn more or join up, visit theFRIENDS of TBLI website.


We have had a successful start to FRIENDS of TBLI, but also quite a few inquiries to specify what exactly the benefits of Friends of TBLI are. We have now added a more detailed section on these benefits, which I am including together with the original text on the FRIENDS of TBLI. The list of those Friends who don’t want to be anonymous, will be posted on our website shortly.

Thank you for your help.


After fourteen successful years, TBLI is proud of its global network consisting of successful forerunners in ESG and Impact Investing. Together with our partners we are determined to continue working towards our long-term objective: to help shaping the future of a sustainable economy, revolutionizing attitudes towards environmental, social and governance issues, and mobilizing more capital towards ESG and Impact Investing.

We have cause for optimism as we witness more and more financial institutions placing ESG and Impact Investing higher on their agendas. Especially now, in the current times of tough decisions on how the industry will shape up to the future.

It has become increasingly important to find creative solutions to funding growth. Building on the inspiration and generous support from our network, TBLI will now scale up its activities with the launch of FRIENDS of TBLI and the TBLI CLUB.

The TBLI CLUB will bring together sustainable finance thought leaders. It offers, alongside virtual networking tools, quarterly events in various financial capitals, starting in Amsterdam, with the mission to inspire, share experience about ESG and Impact Investing and provide focused networking opportunities. Annual membership fees are 500 Euro per person or 4000 Euro for corporate membership.

By joining our new investment expert network FRIENDS of TBLI™ with a financial contribution (starting from €250) you will also help us scale up and finance the innovation of our services. You will be entitled to a number of benefits offered exclusively for members.


All members, regardless of their number and level of contributions, will be listed on the TBLI Websites, unless indicated otherwise.

€250 – €500 Contribution

-10% discount on TBLI CLUB Membership for one year

€500 – €1000 Contribution

-10% discount on TBLI CLUB Membership

-30% discount on one TBLI CONFERENCE™ EUROPE or ASIA for one year

€1000 – €2500 Contribution

-25% discount on TBLI CLUB membership for one year

-30% discount on TBLI CONFERENCE™ EUROPE and ASIA for one year

€2500 – €5000 Contribution

-50% discount on TBLI CLUB membership for two years

-60% discount on TBLI CONFERENCE™ EUROPE and ASIA for one year

-1 free Grand Dinner pass for both TBLI CONFERENCE™ EUROPE and ASIA for one year

-Sustainable Finance private advisory session with Robert Rubinstein

 €5000 and above

-Free membership for TBLI CLUB for two years

-Free conference passes for both TBLI CONFERENCE™ EUROPE and ASIA for one year

-2 Free Grand Dinner passes for both TBLI CONFERENCE™ EUROPE and ASIA for one year

-Sustainable Finance private advisory session with Robert Rubinstein

To join the FRIENDS of TBLI™ click Yes I want to become a Friend of TBLI

Thank you for your time and hopefully support.

Robert Rubinstein


KNSM-Laan 53

NL-1019 LB Amsterdam

Its’ the media and education. Stupid

I am constantly surprised and still shocked that after all the years and all the effort by thousands of people trying to anchor sustainability in the business community, executives still need convincing. Recently, I visited one of the leading strategy consultants to catch up with the head of sustainable practice. It was encouraging to see that serious effort had gone into packaging the value and profitability offering. One could see that serious resources had been allocated. What disturbed me that he mentioned that senior management doesn’t really see the opportunity.

How large an elephant needs to fall on their heads before they actually understand their own self interest?

What is blocking or preventing business accepting the obvious? I think the real problem resides with ignorance. Ignorance stems from lack of information and education, both of which can be tracked to the media and educational system. If we look at most of the media, and the financial publication, in particular, it is quite amazing how little attention is given to the money flows in ESG and Impact Investing. Just take a look at the amount of money that has been committed to investments with high environmental impact, as well as a social impact:

ESG growth (public equity), including core(portfolio screening) and engagement went from Euros 187 billion, in 2003 to Euros 5.000 billion in 2009, according to Eurosif. In the private sector, total investment for green investments reached $ 1667, between 2007-2010. This included corporate commitments (R&D), smart grid commitments, cleantech vc, ipo and m&a, green real estate, and renewable energy. In the public sector, the stimulus package, committed $ 1100 billion to social (health, education) and environmental (water, rail, energy) to the private sector. This should have been front page news, and hardly got any attention. How is that possible?

I used to teach at a ranked mba a course on sustainable finance. The course was considered a bee keeping course. Cute, but not important. After all these years, we still see few universities offering a comprehensive program on sustainabilty and fewer still on sustainable finance. This can often be traced to a laziness, and turf wars. If one new program comes in and then another goes out. Yet, sustainability where the jobs are and will be, both in the financial sector and the non-financial sector.

As long as media and education keep the door locked on sustainabilty, and then cement the door, and then barricade the door with trucks and barbed wire, progress will be measured in microns. Educators and journalists. Get out of your ghetto, and do your job!

Ego financed by taxpayers: US billionaires pledge 50% of their wealth to charity

Thirty-eight US billionaires have pledged at least 50% of their wealth to charity through a campaign started by investor Warren Buffett and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
The same effort is underway in Europe to get wealthy individuals to give away half their fortunes before they die to charity. I am against this idea, but for a different reason than most of the European billionaires are using. Names, government should be doing this job. My objection is mainly based on impact.
Traditional philanthropy takes the principal and invests the money to achieve only financial returns, and gives away 5% to maintain non-profit status. Few of these large endowments, family offices, individuals, etc. try to achieve financial returns as well as achieving a positive social and environmental impact (impact investing). This traditional philanthropic route, namely give away 5%, which represents a portion of the interest, to charity, is a very poor use of capital. If the asset owner created a portfolio that achieved social, environmental, as well as financial returns, 100% of the money would be leveraged for society and the environment. In addition, if 5% of the returns were given away, the total leverage would be 105%. I don’t know about you, but I learned that 105% is larger than 5%.
A majority of philanthropy is ego. People love to cut ribbons, see their names on buildings, wings, plaques, etc. If people are driven by ego, that is fine, but I don’t think the taxpayer should finance this. By shifting from interest to principal, we impact more, and don’t require a tax break to mobilize the money. In the United States, Federal tax law requires philanthropies to give away 5% of their total assets each year to maintain their nonprofit status. In these days of tight budgets, it might not be such a bad idea if more money was invested in impact investing.
If Warren, Bill, and the other billionaires are listening, “how about really leveraging money for the commons, by doing impact investing and leveraging much more, without having to go around trying to convince people to give half their money away. As astute businessmen, I am surprised that after all these years, they are still doing the same low impact approach. As Jerry Maguire said” Show me the money”.