Commerce in the Community: Watershed Capital Utilizes Impact Investing as an Innovative Approach to Sustainable Community Development
Ed. Note: This post is part of the Commerce in the Community
series highlighting the work of community leaders and organizations that are
strengthening the middle class and providing ladders of opportunity for all
Below is an interview with Shawn Lesser and Michael Whelchel, Co-founders and Partners at Watershed Capital Group. Prior to starting Watershed, Shawn sold institutional equities to European banks and Michael co-managed two private equity funds in the U.S.
Tell us about Watershed Capital. What is your mission and main focus?
Watershed Capital Group (www.watershedcapital.com) is a boutique investment bank focused on the area of impact investments. Our mission is to scale impact investing with a specific emphasis on helping companies and funds raise capital and execute mergers and acquisitions. Over the past seven years, we've worked with over 20 sustainable companies and over 60 private equity funds.
Question 2: How
is Watershed Capital Group working with the Department of Commerce to expand
In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Commerce around the Obama Administration's impact initiative, last October we organized the first impact and sustainable trade mission to Europe. Specifically, we brought together 10 US-based impact funds and introduced them to close to 90 European investors in London, Zurich and Amsterdam. The trade mission included high-level conversations about the impact investing space and was capped with a policy roundtable in London which brought together stakeholders both from the US and the UK.
Following up on the success of the first trade mission, last month we organized
the second impact and sustainable trade mission to Nordic region with
delegations meetings in Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki. This
October we will be returning to Europe the week of October 20th for the
third impact and sustainable trade mission with delegation meetings in
London, Zurich and Amsterdam.