Jennifer Leonard Joins Syntrinsic as Chief Investment Officer

by | Mar 8, 2021 | Commentary

Denver, CO (April 1, 2021) – Syntrinsic is thrilled to welcome Jennifer Leonard, CFA, to our team as Chief Investment Officer. Jennifer’s 20 years of research and due diligence experience will deepen Syntrinsic’s research capacity, particularly in traditional and impact oriented private market investments. According to Syntrinsic founder and CEO, Ben Valore-Caplan, “Jennifer has developed a national reputation for thoughtful, data-driven due diligence and for her authentic passion for making an impact for investors and for society. Given her stature and quality, we are honored that she has selected Syntrinsic.”

Concurrent with Jennifer stepping into this role, Phil Kirshman, CFA, CFP, will shift into the newly created role of Chief Impact Officer. In that capacity, Phil will help drive Syntrinsic’s public market research into values-aligned investments while advising clients with strong values-aligned mandates. As Akasha Absher, Syntrinsic President, indicated, Phil brings tremendous gifts to advising clients with a passion around values-aligned investing. It’s really an ideal situation.   

With regards to this collaboration, Phil noted, Having worked with Jennifer for several years at a previous firm, I have witnessed first-hand the quality of her research skills and the depth of her commitment to this work. That is why I introduced her to Akasha and Ben in the first place. I’m very excited about the work we will do together.

In addition to her five years as the Executive Director of Market Strategy and Manager Research at Cornerstone Capital, Jennifer has served as the Vice President of Impact Investing at The CAPROCK Group, a multi-family office with a large impact investing practice; Vice President, Equity Research at Morgan Stanley with a focus on Latin American Telecom and Media; investment manager and founding team member of the initial Women’s World Banking Microfinance Equity Fund; CFO at SKS Microfinance, one of the largest for-profit microfinance companies in India; and an equity research analyst at Merrill Lynch. Jennifer is a graduate of Boston University, with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, and earned her MBA and Master’s Degree in International Studies at The Wharton School and the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. Jennifer is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and is based in New York City.

Jennifer strengthens Syntrinsic’s ability to achieve its explicit commitment to co-creating a sustainable and generative world that empowers all people.  Her deep experience in deploying capital to make a meaningful financial and social impact aligns well with the goals of Syntrinsic’s nonprofit and private clientele.

Jennifer joins Syntrinsic at an exciting time. The firm has experienced annualized revenue growth of 14% since its inception in 2008. Having grown to 52 nonprofit clients and just under $2B in assets under advisement, the firm has invested heavily in its team, adding five colleagues through the pandemic. More importantly, 99% of Syntrinsic’s nonprofit clients have retained Syntrinsic over the past five years rather than move to another advisor.

Jennifer strengthens Syntrinsic’s already robust impact investing experience and capabilities. She enhances our efforts to develop impact and DEI policies, identify and allocate to talented managers from historically underrepresented groups, maximize impact across the asset class spectrum, and approach asset allocation with an eye toward maximizing clients’ long-term financial and social objectives.

We look forward to working with Jennifer in the years ahead and to the impact she will have on our firm, our clients, and the community.