Crain Currency teamed up with Mission Throttle’s Founder, Phillip W. Fisher, and Douglas Bitonti Stewart, executive director of the Max M. Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, to curate a collection of stories that showcases the power of impact.
Daryn Dodson is Managing Partner of Illumen Capital, an impact fund of funds addressing systemic inequity by reducing racial and gender bias in investing. Previously, Dodson led the Special Equities Program as a consultant to the board of the Calvert Funds, a $12 billion pioneer in impact investing. Through this vehicle, Calvert maintains a portfolio of more than 40 funds on five continents, representing over 350 underlying portfolio companies.
Would you share with us a bit of your journey into impact investing?
I started my career at the Self-Help Credit Union, where we lent more than $6 billion. There we applied systematic frameworks, controlling for many variables, to uncover more than $9.1 billion in annual overcharging of fees and interest by some of the world’s largest banks because of the race of the borrower. That analysis was used in 18 states by advocates to pass consumer protection laws. I then went to Stanford Business School, where I took a deep dive into how companies transform communities in powerful ways; before heading to New Orleans, where I worked with entrepreneurs rebuilding their lives and businesses after Katrina [in 2005]. For the eight years before launching Illumen, I served the Calvert Funds working on deploying impact capital.