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Credit Suisse joins forces with The Conduit Connect to grow impact investing platform

Four-way collaboration, including Linklaters and Deloitte, aims to match impact investors with impact deal flow

Credit Suisse and The Conduit Connect announce a new partnership, collaborating with Linklaters and Deloitte, on an investment platform established by The Conduit, a London-based club focused on driving positive social change. The Conduit Connect provides the opportunity for the club’s members and Credit Suisse clients to access impact investment opportunities which are tackling some of the most pressing challenges facing us today.

The objective is to broaden the successful Conduit Connect offering, which currently matches early-stage investment opportunities with potential investors, mentors and board members. The Conduit Connect platform sources promising impact-based companies that currently originate within the club’s wider community. The partnership will expand the network of individuals wishing to connect for investment opportunities with impact companies seeking funding. Examples of Conduit Connect companies include CoGo, Cervest, The London Interdisciplinary School, Loop, Library of Things and MoM Incubators.

This unique alliance will build on the existing Conduit Connect commitment to scale solutions and concepts with the potential to deliver transformative impact across the social and environmental spectrum, bringing in selected clients from Credit Suisse as collaborators, idea generators and investors. Linklaters advised on an enhanced onboarding process for companies, entrepreneurs and investors as well as providing support through the legal advice to The Conduit Connect partnership. Deloitte has collaborated with the Conduit Connect to build a robust Impact Framework, and will share its expertise in accounting and professional services.

Credit Suisse enhanced its commitment to sustainability and impact in July 2020 by establishing a new Executive Board level corporate function, Sustainability, Research and Investment Solutions (SRI) led by Lydie Hudson. SRI is dedicated to supporting Credit Suisse’s divisions in delivering innovative products, content and solutions to our wealth management, corporate and institutional clients and was created to accelerate the bank-wide evolution, innovation, and response required to support the changing needs of our clients, regulators and the markets in which we operate.  As part of the SRI function, the bank also created Sustainability Strategy, Advisory and Finance (SSAF), the successor to its Impact, Advisory and Finance Department, established in September 2017.  SSAF’s mandate is to formulate the bank’s sustainability strategy, embedding sustainability throughout the bank, as well as implement the development of sustainable products and services for clients and represent Credit Suisse on important sustainability issues.

Commenting on the partnership, Marisa Drew, Chief Sustainability Officer and Global Head of SSAF said:

“We are delighted to be supporting such a ‘mission-aligned’ partner as the Conduit Connect which is seeking to drive deep impact while generating attractive returns for investors. We are seeing ever increasing appetite from our private banking clients for exposure to opportunities in the direct impact investing space. Our ambition is to be able to support our clients by making a connection to the Conduit’s platform, enabling them to access these early-stage impactful companies or to showcase their own companies and projects that may be seeking funding, thereby helping to bridge critical impact funding gaps that exist in the market today.”

Dr. Annalisa Jenkins, Chair of The Conduit Connect commented:

“In just a year and a half the Conduit Connect has already reviewed over 520 businesses of which sixty of the most promising have been selected to join our platform. What makes the Conduit Connect such a unique platform is its access to a network of over 3,600 mission aligned Conduit members, who bring not just capital but also a wealth of knowledge and expertise. If 2020 has taught us anything it is that we need to invest resources to improve universal access to healthcare, education, and sustainability. Our goal is to ensure the most impressive social entrepreneurs, with big ideas and a meaningful impact, can access the resources need to scale. We are thrilled to be partnering with Credit Suisse and their clients on this journey.”

Tom Shropshire, Partner, Global Head, U.S. Practice & Co-Head, Risk & Resilience Practice, Linklaters LLP said:

“We are pleased to be supporting Conduit Connect.  We understand that it is so critical that young businesses have adequate resources required to grow and scale – and that includes having the right corporate structuring and appropriate governance and compliance. We have been delighted to bring our expertise to bear for the benefit of the platform.”

Katherine Lampen, Partner, Sustainable Finance Practice Lead, Deloitte LLP said

“It’s great that we’ve been able to support Conduit Connect in developing a methodology for screening the impact of potential investee companies. This methodology draws on Deloitte’s sustainable finance expertise, through advising on impact measurement and management. This will help the business and investors in the Conduit Connect community work toward achieving their sustainable development ambitions.”