Director of Marketing and Impact, TriLinc Global
Joan Trant is the Director of Marketing and Impact and a key member of the TriLinc Global Executive Management team with responsibility for the planning, development and implementation of the Company’s marketing strategies, marketing communications and public relations activities, and for leading the Company’s impact efforts, including supporting the continued development of the impact investing industry. Prior to joining TriLinc Global, Joan launched and was Executive Director of the International Association of Microfinance Investors (IAMFI). IAMFI’s Limited Partner members’ microfinance commitments/investments totaled $780 million, and General Partner members managed an aggregate portfolio of $1.84 billion. IAMFI led the microfinance investment industry with proprietary research, contributions to third party publications, educational and networking meetings, tailored member services and consensus-building for investor best practices.
Prior to IAMFI, Joan was Deputy Executive Director of The Resource Foundation, supporting community-building programs in 20 Latin American countries, benefiting annually 4.6 million underserved children, youths, women and men. Previously, Joan spent 15 years in the financial services industry, holding international sales, financial advisory and operations management positions at Bankers Trust and Citibank, with direct experience in the Spanish, Mexican and Argentine markets. She oversaw a combined portfolio of $225 million in client assets.
Joan is a graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business Executive Level Nonprofit Management Certification Program. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. degree from Georgetown University. Joan serves on the Finance Committee of the Christopher Reynolds Foundation and supports Toniic LLC as its New York Region Chapter Head. She is fluent in Spanish with working knowledge of Portuguese.
Recognizing the growing importance of impact investing, EMPEA established an Impact Investing Council in 2013 to play a leading role in professionalizing and scaling the industry, focusing specifically on market-based solutions to major global social and environmental challenges. EMPEA believes that private equity investors have much to contribute to impact investing in emerging markets. The private equity discipline lends commercial expertise and financial rigor, and private equity practitioners have years of experience operating in underserved geographies and inherently impactful sectors (e.g. financial services, healthcare, education, agribusiness, and housing), with customer segments (e.g. low income people and those excluded from traditional sources of finance).
Since its inception, EMPEA has contributed to the acceptance of emerging markets private equity as a credible and attractive investment approach. Despite the vast potential for impact investing to unlock growth and reduce poverty in emerging markets there is still much skepticism about its power to do so. The domain is fragmented, and the data available to investors on the institutional quality of investment managers as well as their performance, are lacking. The EMPEA Impact Investing Council is well positioned to help private equity impact investing overcome some of these obstacles and realize its potential. The Council seeks to bring together leading impact investing practitioners and thought leaders to share best practices, support rigorous research, assist in the development of innovative business models and performance databases. In this chapter, several Council members describe a range of private equity approaches to impact investing, explain how they add value and measure impact, and highlight the challenges still to overcome.