Ben Valore-Caplan, Chief Executive Officer

As a long-time social entrepreneur, Ben Valore-Caplan is Founder & CEO of Syntrinsic Investment Counsel. Syntrinsic is an independent Denver-based investment advisor and strategic partner to foundations, endowments, civically engaged private clients, and others committed to making a meaningful impact. Prior to launching Syntrinsic, Ben was Senior Vice President of Investments at UBS where he led the BVC Institutional Consulting Group. Ben earned his Bachelor’s degree from Brown University and his MBA from the University of Denver.

A fourth generation Coloradan, Ben’s first career was as an educator and nonprofit founder and executive director. Certified in college to teach secondary English, Ben also taught math and coached soccer. Chief among his efforts, Ben created and directed Denver Summerbridge, an academically rigorous educational opportunity program enabling economically disadvantaged young people to attend and succeed in college and beyond while training talented high school and college students to become impactful educators and community leaders. The program has served as a model and catalyst for several other educational opportunity programs, and it continues to thrive over twenty years later under its new name, Breakthrough Kent Denver.

From 2012 – 2015, Colorado Governor Hickenlooper appointed Ben to be one of three independent trustees for Colorado’s $40+ billion Public Employee’s Retirement Association (PERA). He served on the PERA Investment Committee and was elected by his peers to be the Vice-Chair of PERA’s Board of Trustees. Currently, as a private citizen and member of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Ben remains actively engaged in striving to make PERA financially sustainable and a meaningful part of compensating educators and other people of service.

Ben serves on the Board of Trustees of Colorado Succeeds, the Colorado Zoological Trust, and Qualistar, is an active member of The Colorado Forum and Colorado Concern, and serves on the Rose Community Foundation Education Committee and the President’s Leadership Council of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Ben is the author of the award-winning book, Leadership Magic, while his articles and insights have been featured in numerous media, including the Financial Times, Washington Post, Denver Business Journal, Denver Post, Pro Publica, and American Public Media’s Marketplace. He is a former editorial board member and author for the Investment and Wealth Monitor. Ben has been a frequent speaker on fiduciary duty, behavioral finance, and investment management at conferences throughout the country hosted by Exponent Philanthropy, the Society of CPAs, and several other affinity groups.

Ben, his wife, and children enjoy the outdoors. They travel, play music, make stuff, write, cook, play games, and generally enjoy each other’s company from their home in Denver, Colorado.

Ben’s Story

She was from Cambodia and in Cambodia, girls did not play soccer. But she was in America now. And not just in America, but attending a prestigious independent school. She had been a student in a nonprofit educational opportunity program in which I had served as dean of faculty. Her spunk and intelligence were apparent and she took advantage of every opportunity. I got to know her as a student first and was not surprised when she earned a full-ride scholarship to the independent school. Then, fortunately for me, I got to be her soccer coach.

We all knew that soccer was in some ways a luxury for her, for the odds were not in the favor of girls from her economic and cultural situation. One of her peers—equally bright, equally deserving—lost a similar scholarship when she was forced into an arranged marriage at age 14. Yes, in America. But soccer was also a way of taking charge, gaining confidence, and having a very good time. She did well, so good that by the end of the season, she had earned an award for most improved female athlete not just in soccer, but across the school.

I have been blessed to teach and coach many young people over the years and each one of them has impacted who I am today.