This week marks my one-year anniversary as Chief Investment Officer of InBC; it’s hard to believe how quickly it has gone by and how much our team has accomplished so far. I am proud of the progress we have made and am excited for what’s to come.
What have we been up to? When I began at InBC in April 2022 we were in start-up mode, building a team and an organization from the ground up, and developing our processes and strategies to align with our values to steward positive change, champion inclusivity and with the ability to scale for the opportunities we know are out there in the market. Since then, we have:
- Developed and received approval for an investment strategy to generate financial returns and measurable economic, social and environmental benefits for British Columbians — and launched it with a series of public information sessions and engagements across the province
- Hired and onboarded a talented team of additional investment and support staff
- Developed our Impact Measurement and Management framework, Investment Risk Management Policy, and due diligence tools and templates
- Finalized our Conflict of Interest and Ethical Wall policies
- Established an External Advisory Circle and Investment Review Committee
- Closed and announced our first venture fund investments
Now we have opened the intake process to begin evaluating opportunities to invest directly in companies, alongside other investors. We are looking for companies in their scale-up phase, with strong connections to B.C. and aligned with at least one of our impact objectives. As such, we are currently focusing on companies raising a Series A or beyond financing, generating revenue and seeking an equity investment to support their growth.
From my engagement with communities across the province, I know we have many amazingly innovative companies needing financing. While we have $500 million to invest, we want to do this with careful consideration over the next few years, striking a balance between creating impact and building a high-performing portfolio that generates financial returns and is diversified across geographic regions, sectors, industries, stages of business growth and more.
I know the task will not be a simple one, requiring thoughtful diligence — and we will have to say no more often than we say yes — but it is nevertheless an important one, guided by our principle to be responsible stewards of the funds entrusted to us. Our investments are ongoing and we celebrate potential; we encourage companies that may not be a fit now to engage with us again in the future.
InBC is here to invest in a more prosperous, sustainable and inclusive future for British Columbians. As we begin a new fiscal year, I am pleased to continue advancing this work. I look forward to reviewing opportunities to invest in companies generating financial returns and delivering economic, social and environmental benefits for the province.
— Leah Nguyen, CIO