What about people?
Impact investing is having a profound impact on the delegation of capital from investors. There’s more pressure on companies to act more responsibly—highlighted by the CEO of investment firm, BlackRock, in his 2019 letter to CEOs around the world—and investors are looking to assets that will generate a positive social and environmental return, alongside a financial gain.
And as anything business-related it’s making it into the world of MBA programs.
In April 2019, Yale School of Management hosted their second annual Impact Investing Conference. The conference explored the transformative impact you can have by using capital to invest in social and environmental issues.
Kodjo Adovor—a 2018 MBA graduate from Yale who helped organize the school’s first impact investing conference—is the founder and CEO of his own impact investing company, Kevi Capital LLC, based in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Kodjo, who has a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s in financial mathematics, says he pursued an MBA for the sole purpose of setting up a private equity fund focused on investments in Africa.
We caught up with Kodjo to find out more.
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA at Yale?
I chose Yale because it has a large network of African alumni who have a history of starting successful enterprises and having an impact in Africa.
The Yale program stood out because I knew it would give me the platform to explore my interests and potential. This turned out to be true in many ways.
I was the co-founder of a podcast focused on impact investing and the cofounder and co-organizer of the first Yale Impact Investing Conference. Also, I am an Italian Wine sommelier, so I got the chance to lead an Italian wine tasting class with a group of MBA students.
Tell us about the idea behind Kevi Capital?
I had always seen a future where I’d contribute to the growth of the African continent through investing in the talents of our people.
Kevi Capital is a Pan-African private equity fund based in Accra focused on investments in social infrastructure, particularly student housing facilities for universities, and healthcare facilities.
Our second fund will be more general, and will focus on key themes like water, high value commodities, social infrastructure, education, women and youth employment, recycling and waste management, and hotels and hospitality.
How did the MBA help you set up the business?
I set up my business during the MBA program. I see the MBA as a convergence of everything I have learned over the years. It was an affirmation of my thoughts and gave me the confidence to pursue my plans fully.
An MBA is of great value to any entrepreneur who understands their potential, and who is willing take the necessary steps to bring people and resources together to accomplish their goals.
A key component of the Yale MBA program is leadership training and coaching. This was key in expanding my understanding of different approaches of interacting with others, which I believe is one of the primary responsibilities of a CEO.
Why is impact investing important for you?
I am originally from Ghana. I have seen the potential of our people to thrive in spite of many challenges.
All investing that truly adheres to the Sustainable Development Goals and seeks to enhance Africa and Africans and give Africa a seat at the table in my view is impact investing.
There are also many opportunities here in all sectors of the economy.
I have signed agreements to provide funding for student housing development for approximately 2,000 students in Ghana.
This is just the beginning. My goal is to be a vertically integrated developer providing funding, construction, and post-construction management. We will be one of the few if not the only indigenous Ghanaian company managing all segments of social infrastructure development within one company.
Tell me about your Impact on Record podcast?
The podcast was co-created with my Yale School of Management classmates, Jenny Chan and Kristina Whyte. We have spoken to a lot of great people doing their share to make an impact through investing around the world.
My co-hosts Jenny and Kristina have had the most impact. Their passion and dedication to impact investing has been a learning experience for me.