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White Oak Global Advisors Expands Commitment to Impact Investing

June 25, 2020, 09:00 AM
Filed Under: Industry News

White Oak Global Advisors, LLC, reiterated its commitment to responsible credit investing by dedicating additional resources to deploy capital in senior-secured, non-sponsored debt investments in companies that are focused on environmental and social outcomes, particularly in the areas of healthcare, environment and well-being. As a leader in the private debt asset class, White Oak is uniquely positioned to provide senior secured first lien loans that benefit small to middle market businesses that are mission driven to make a positive impact and reduce the footprint on our earth.

White Oak has an established 4-year track record in the ESG space and hopes not only to continue to provide attractive risk-adjusted yields to investors, but also to help investors deploy capital into businesses that will make a positive impact to the environment and society.

Terésa Cutter leads the Firm’s ESG and impact initiatives, and has extensive experience in building and managing ESG initiatives, including on behalf of the California State Teachers Retirement System. “As a firm, it is in our DNA to pioneer innovative ways to help small- and medium–sized businesses. We have learned a lot since we launched our first responsible investment strategy over four years ago, before most of our competitors had even thought to enter the space. We have not wavered in our commitment to sustainable environmental and social solutions – this isn’t a check-the-box marketing initiative for us,” says Ms. Cutter.

The Firm looks to help investors who wish to reduce reliance on traditional fossil fuels and mining for energy, proactively locate new sources of alternative energy, democratize access to education, and support medical solutions that improve health and wellbeing. Typical areas of interest include businesses that aspire to have a social or environmental impact in sectors like agriculture, water, renewable energy, energy efficiency and storage, and/or in responsible waste management, affordable housing, healthier and more sustainable products and services, upgrades to declining industry and infrastructure, education, the arts, elder care, and healthcare.

White Oak CEO Andre Hakkak comments, “Given the times, responsible investing could not be more relevant. Small and middle market businesses have been struggling as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and as one of the few approved small business lenders alongside bigger banks in certain parts of the world, we are able to play a key role in helping these business owners get back on their feet. Importantly, we have historically helped finance the dreams of minority business owners and will continue to work with all of our borrowers supportively, versus capitalize on their pain, as we see happening with a spate of distressed strategies that have recently hit the market.”

White Oak is guided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which provide a global blueprint for dignity, peace, and prosperity for all people and the planet. The Firm continues to focus primarily on non-sponsored opportunities, for which they believe present fewer conflicts of interest relative to sponsored lending strategies.

According to Ms. Cutter, “The global issues that the world is grappling with, from coronavirus to its disproportionate effects on health and race, underscore how environmental and global disasters entrench inequity, and further highlight the importance of responsible investing and allocating resources toward solutions that support a just and sustainable world.”

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