Avocados have nourished our skin and bodies for thousands of years. As early as 5,000 B.C., Aztecs considered them as food, to prevent parasites and as face masks. Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, D and E, avocado oil is now manufactured globally to create a range of products – from cooking oil…
Making Money Matter.
We aim to make smart investments that leave the world better than we found it.
We aim to make smart investments that leave the world better than we found it. We have a strong sense of “enoughness” and are grateful to have the resources to put to work. We believe that money is most useful when it is in motion and working for the benefit of others.
Our core areas of interest are inclusive financial services, climate change mitigation and adaptation, innovative educational initiatives with an overarching focus on women.
We wanted to find better ways of putting money to work.
Money in Motion LLC, our family office, was established in 2011 to find better ways of putting money to work. As a limited liability company, we have the flexibility to make both grants and impact investments. We focus on four related areas: Inclusive financial services, climate change mitigation and adaptation, innovative approaches to education, and humanitarian initiatives. Our structure allows us the flexibility to support both for-profit and not-for profit organizations to get things done.
We put money in motion all around the world – and we’re actively involved in the process. We support inclusive, market-based solutions in underserved communities worldwide by investing in insightful entrepreneurs and organizations. We leverage our experience in traditional finance, impact investing, philanthropy and small business development. And we use both philanthropic and investment capital as tools.
Our earliest grants, beginning in the 1950s, were checks to organizations supporting gun control, racial equality, and local communities.
Later, we also began repaying the generous assistance we received from our alma maters – University of Pennsylvania, University of California, Berkeley and Smith College.
In the 1970s and 80s we also began to fund some environmental initiatives. In the 1990s we expanded our funding of environmental initiatives – particularly those related to global safe drinking water, healthy rivers and water pricing policies. Later, our focus shifted to investing in adaptation to climate change in places being hurt first and worst.
In the 1990s we were pioneering investors in microfinance in Asia, Africa and India and funded innovative financing tools such as grant equity, securitization of MFI loan books, guarantee mechanisms, capacity building and women’s nano-credit group formations. In 2012, we established an impact investment company, Advance Global Capital, to help address the unmet financing needs of small businesses in the formal economy worldwide.
We are continually learning and have shifted our approach and focus over time.
This is where we have put money to work.
Inclusive Financial Services
For decades, our core interest has been finding ways to put our capital to work financing hard working people – particularly women – who are left out of global capital markets.
We were involved in the scale-up of micro finance more than 25 years ago. Our investments included TYM, a collaborative effort between the Vietnamese Women’s Union, Oxfam America, Sparkasse Bank and Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) Bank which now serves more than 160,000 clients.
We were early investors in Deutsche Bank’s Global Microfinance Consortium (I and II), the Grameen Foundation USA, Global Microfinance Equity Fund, Blue Orchard Microfinance, and MCE Social Capital, among others. We also provided early funding to develop Oxfam America’s Saving For Change Program to empower women and build local communities’ resilience. It eventually received follow-on funding from the Gates Foundation.
In 2012, we shifted our attention to the formal economy by launching our own investment firm connecting investors with underserved smaller businesses – especially those led by women. Our company, Advance Global Capital Ltd, is based in London and extends working capital to small and medium businesses (SMEs) by partnering with local financial institutions in more than 60 countries world-wide.
Innovative Approaches to Education
In addition to scholarships and support at our alma maters, University of California, Berkeley, the University of Pennsylvania, and Smith College, we have supported some innovative approaches to education.
Our flagship initiative in education is the Miller Scholars Program at UC Berkeley, established in 1997. Each year, 12 low-income students transfer from community colleges as rising juniors at UC Berkeley, receiving scholarships and support to help them develop leadership, research or community service skills, and then put those into practice.
Other organizations we support include the Level Playing Field Institute, a group based in Oakland California that is working to remove barriers to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) for underrepresented people of color.
We support the the Bronx Conservatory of Music, a nonprofit arts organization that has provided low-cost education in classical music to a constituency that has been historically underexposed to that tradition. In the Bay Area, we support The Young Musicians Choral Orchestra, an organization that gives musical training and academic support to low income students in Berkeley California has been a strong pipeline for university recruiters and highly regarded music schools.
Climate Change Mitigation & Adaptation
Attention to the consequences of climate change are rooted in a family history of conservation.
We have worked closely with organizations such as the Environmental Defense Fund, the Sierra Club, Save San Francisco Bay and Terra Alpha, an innovative public equities fund.
We have also invested in organizations whose climate-related work directly ties to regional economic growth. We were an early funder in the R4 Resilience Initiative – a partnership between Oxfam, the United Nations World Food Programme and the insurance company, Swiss Re in Ethiopia, Senegal, Malawi, Zambia and Kenya. The R4 Initiative helps vulnerable communities achieve food security and manage climate risk by providing crop insurance, savings, credit, and asset creation programs to small scale farmers in Africa.
We were also an early funder in Oxfam’s program to promote the System of Rice Intensification, (SRI) in Vietnam and Cambodia where, in partnership with the Vietnamese government, over one million small farmers have applied SRI techniques helping to reduce methane emissions, raise farmer incomes, lower costs and build sustainable livelihoods.
To address the stress of population growth on the planet we support the Marie Stopes Foundation, whose work in global family planning helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
We allocate a portion of our giving to respond to urgent humanitarian needs often related to climate change.
We support organizations that are good at solving the immediate need, collaborate well with others, and approach their assistance in a way that supports long-term, inclusive, and sustainable economic development.
Some of the organizations we have supported in the past include Oxfam America, and the Asia Foundation. In Vietnam, we support Swim Vietnam (non-profit) and Swim Vietnam (Social Enterprise), organizations that save lives by teaching children how to swim.
Janet McKinley believes that people who have more than enough money to take care of themselves and their families have a duty to invest in solutions that make the world a better place, a philosophy she can trace back to her early childhood.
Janet was raised in a 1950s middle-class family. Every Saturday, she attended classes at the Cleveland Music School Settlement which was founded in 1912 to provide free or inexpensive musical training for the children and wage earners of Cleveland’s newly arrived immigrants (Decades later, the School still provides training to low income minority children). Her mother was volunteer board chair of The Florence Crittenton Home for Unwed Mothers of Cleveland (founded in 1911). But all sense of security ended with the severe recession of 1960-61. Her father lost his job. Her family moved east to find work and juggled the bills to make ends meet for many years to come. But it didn’t stop the family from looking outward — taking a public stand on civil rights, inner-city poverty, the war in Vietnam, and a woman’s right to care for her own body.
Janet attended Smith College on a work-study scholarship and attended the University of Krakow in Poland in 1975 as a Fulbright Scholar. She began her professional career in the finance department at International Paper Company.
She was eventually recruited by the investment management firm, Capital Group, where she spent 22 years managing global portfolios in a number of the largest equity mutual funds in the world, as Principal Executive Officer of The Income Fund of America, and a Director of Capital Research.
In 2004, she moved on to the next chapter as Chair of Oxfam America – taking on some of the world’s hardest problems.
Janet was an early and enthusiastic supporter of microfinance and self-help women’s savings groups. In 2012, she turned her focus to the formal economy launching Advance Global Capital to help address a gap in funding for formally-organized smaller businesses in need of flexible working capital.
Janet is a board member of UC Berkeley, Chair Emerita of UC Berkeley Endowment Management Company, and former chair of Oxfam America. She was a board trustee of Smith College, the Deutsche Bank Microfinance Consortium Fund and MicroCredit Enterprises.
She received her bachelor’s degree from Smith College, was a Fulbright Scholar at Jagiellonian University, and attended NYU Graduate School of Business.
Read more about McKinley’s approach to philanthropy via her alma mater, Smith College.
George A. Miller
George A. Miller was raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. His father was a local banker, an advocate for conservation, and an activist on behalf of indigenous rights. A child of the Great Depression, Miller was raised to appreciate what was “enough” to live on, and to make a difference with the rest.
He began his 35-year career in the investment industry at the Fireman’s Fund of America / American Express. He went on to manage Capital Group mutual funds and was Chairman of Capital Research & Management Company. In the industry he was also known for his “one-liners” such as “Don’t confuse a bull market with brains.”
Miller has a reputation for always looking ahead. While building his wealth at the Capital Group he developed a modified version of the Giving Pledge by donating 50 percent of his income to donor advised funds as a tax efficient strategy. This allowed him to make larger, more strategic philanthropic investments in the future.
Miller earned his BA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in 1958, thanks to a ‘geographic scholarship,’ and received his MBA from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business in 1961.
Miller’s “estate plan” is simple. Give everything away, live to be 80, have a double vodka and die broke.
Read more about Miller’s investment interests and philosophies via his alma mater, UC Berkeley.
Sam Miller Hicks
Sam Miller Hicks is CEO of Money in Motion and Global Head of Impact for Advance Global Capital Ltd.
She was raised in Mill Valley, California. Her father, George A. Miller, first introduced her to investing at age five by encouraging her to invest her 10-cent allowance in the ‘market’ — planting a seed for the importance of investing money wisely. In high school, she visited the Soviet Union where she experienced the contradictions of a global super-power that could not manufacture shoes its citizens wanted to buy.
After the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, Sam served as Head Administrator for the Central European University’s Graduate Program in Economics in Prague, which was funded by the Soros Foundation. She later provided public relations support to the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Director of the Bohemia Foundation, helping launch the newly independent Czech Republic.
After earning her MBA, she worked in corporate and investment banking for Citibank in Prague where she was a Senior Relationship Manager for multinational corporates, and in London where she structured and arranged syndicated loans with a focus on the media and telecoms industries in emerging markets.
Back in California, Sam worked for a global medical device company, Align Technology where she led the consumer marketing, dental channel and small business development departments. Excited by the challenge of helping small businesses thrive and motivated by the belief that it is possible to do well while doing good, she went on to launch a sustainable business consultancy, Xanh. Xanh has helped thousands of small businesses worldwide implement sustainable and inclusive business practices while increasing revenue and creating jobs.
Hicks is a trustee for Swim Vietnam, a non-profit that saves lives by teaching children how to swim and helped Swim Vietnam launch a sister social enterprise to provide a sustainable source of income for its charitable activities.
She attended the University of Pennsylvania where she majored in International Relations, Slavic Studies and a minor in Women’s Studies in 1990 and earned her MBA from the Czechoslovak Management Center / Katz School of Business in 1994.
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