Senior Advisor, Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA)
Patricia M. Dinneen has focused on Emerging Markets for most of her 36-year career. She joined EMPEA in February 2014 as a Senior Advisor and was appointed Chair of the EMPEA Impact Investing Council in 2013, to help professionalize and scale the impact investing industry. Previously she served as Managing Director at Siguler Guff & Company, a global private equity investment firm with over $10 billion in assets under management. During her 9+ years at Siguler Guff, Dr. Dinneen built and managed the BRIC private equity business, focusing on Brazil, Russia, India, China and select frontier markets. She has also held positions at Cambridge Associates, British Telecommunications, Hughes Communications, RAND Corporation and the U. S. White House. Dr. Dinneen holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania (B.A.), London School of Economics (M.Sc.) and MIT (Ph.D.). She is involved in multiple philanthropic and impact investing activities.
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.