Yasemin X. Saltuk
J.P. Morgan Social Finance
J.P. Morgan Social Finance
Yasemin Saltuk is an Executive Director for J.P. Morgan’s Social Finance team, focused on client advisory and thought leadership. She works with both issuer and investor clients of the firm on their impact investment strategies and publishes data and analysis for investors in the market. She authored Impact Investments: An Emerging Asset Class (2010), which is widely recognized as the seminal work introducing impact investments to mainstream investors. Her research has produced the largest data set for the market and her publications are referenced and utilized by practitioners and academics alike.
Prior to joining Social Finance, Yasemin covered alternative investments and then credit derivatives, where she and the team were ranked #1 by Institutional Investor and awarded Risk magazine’s Derivatives Research House of the Year. She holds a BA in Mathematics and Philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MSc in Financial Mathematics from King’s College London.
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.