The GEXSI initiative is managed by Andreas Renner, the founding CEO of its Berlin-based legal set-up, GEXSI Impact.
Andreas Renner joined GEXSi in 2005 and developed the organization’s impact investment portfolio, since 2009 as CEO of GEXSI’s UK registered charity. Andreas is a member of the board of several high-impact ventures, holds a PhD in international economics, with additional qualifications in Geography, Sociology and Cultural Sciences, and speaks 5 languages. He has published various articles and books on the conceptual design of a green social market economy. Before joining GEXSI, Andreas worked for a consultancy that pioneered multi-stakeholder dialogues with multinational corporate clients.
Andrea Rebensburg joined GEXSI in 2015 to strengthen our role as the official country partner for the growing movement of Certified Benefit Corporations. Andrea studied economics and was senior consultant with the Chamber of Commerce of Hamburg prior to moving to Berlin.
GEXSI works exclusively through partnerships. To manage these, GEXSI set-up an advisory board which guides the management on its impact & business strategy. This informal board currently consists of three people:
- David Diallo, a successful Berlin-based serial entrepreneur rooted both in the online as well as the social impact sector. He co-founded, among other, myphotobook, epubli, the GENISIS Institute for Social Business and Impact Strategies and Social Publish Verlag and Impact Partner with their products “enorm magazine” and the online media portal “goodimpact.org”. David has a long-standing tradition with GEXSI, forming part of GEXSI’s executive team from 2010 to 2015, with a focus on building a GEXSI venture portfolio in Sub-Saharan Africa. David’s current focus is on building impact-focused media businesses, with B Corp as a central theme.
- Patrik Elsa, a Swiss serial entrepreneur with a focus on digital impact businesses models, who founded, among others, Crossiety and Sosense. Sosense is a Swiss social business which supports social enterprises and social entrepreneurship organizations around the global through digital collaboration. The online platform Inclusify is a joint initiative of GEXSI and Sosense.
- Tell Münzing, an expert in responsible investing and sustainability who worked, among others, for SustainAbility in London and Impact Solutions in Berlin, which he co-founded. Tell’s new company 1Transformation is a strong strategy partner for GEXSI’s consultancy services, with a focus on development agencies, foundations, and corporates based in Europe.
Network of supporters
GEXSI roots back to the 2001 Annual World Economic Forum in Davos, where the initiative “The Global Exchange for Social Investment” was kick-started by a high-level group of individuals, including Klaus Schwab (Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship), George Soros (Open Society Institute), Kurt Engelhorn (ultra high-net worth individual), Henrik Naujoks (Bain&Company), Hanns-Michael Hölz (Deutsche Bank).
The initiative since then has seen several leading figures, who widened the organisations network:
Before the initiative was transformed into an own legal entity in 2003, the project was managed by the Schwab Foundation’s founding CEO Pamela Hartigan who later became Director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. Pamela also framed the initial corporate legal set-up, a UK registered limited liability company, GEXSI Ltd, managed by its interim CEO Henry Gonzalez, who, after having worked for 6 years in the microfinance space with Morgan Stanley in London, New York and Paris, joined the Zurich based reponsAbility Investment AG as its head of research in late 2012.
Maritta Koch-Weser has been GEXSI’s long-standing CEO and later chair of the board, framing the organizations focus on the intersection of impact investing and venture philanthropy. Maritta is a world-leading expert in development finance and conservation, who held senior positions at the World Bank (director) and IUCN (director general) prior to taking over the management of GEXSI in 2004. Maritta sticked to her love for the Brazilian rainforest and currently works with the University of Sao Paulo in setting-up a Rainforest Business School curriculum in collaboration with leading business schools around the globe.
The circle of supporters includes numerous further people. Find below selected people who formed part of the GEXSI board of trustees or advisory board:
- Tim Radjy, founding CEO of the AlphaMundi group, a Zurich based impact investment fund manager. Before launching AlphaMundi, Tim worked with UBS as a founding member of UBS Philanthropy Services, providing the bank’s wealthiest international clients with guidelines on foundation governance, NGO selection and impact evaluation.
- Cornelius Pietzner, managing partner of Alterra Impact Finance, which is also based in Zurich. Cornelius encompasses more than 25 years of hands-on experience in social finance, among others as CFO of the Goetheanum, General Anthroposophical Society, being responsible for all aspects of finances, with affiliates in 90 countries and approx 8,000 related institutions in education, bio-dynamic agriculture, medicine, socially responsible business and banking for close to 10 years.
- John Goldstein is co-founder of San Francisco based impact investment firm Imprint Capital Advisors which creates and manages customized impact investment programs and portfolios for foundations, families and financial institutions. John played leading roles in various impact investment and philanthropy initiatives. Among others, he co-founded and served as the Executive Director of the Medley Institute, where he worked with a variety of development actors globally, including Global Giving, Distributed Capital, the International Interfaith Investment Group (3iG), Keystone/Access, the Sustainable Food Lab, Synergos/Generon/Monitor’s Social Capital Market Accelerator, Aquaya, Triple Bottom Line Institute, and the United Nations Capital Development Fund.
- Albrecht von Hardenberg had a vital function to liaise GEXSI with the international aid agency GIZ. Albrecht was founding member and long-term head of GIZ’s public private partnership programme, of which GEXSI also benefitted for a limited time (2005-2007).
A great thanks to the following organizations which supported the GEXSI initiative financially or with pro-bono support, in alphabetical order: Avesco, Bain&Company, BMZ/GIZ, Dechert LLP, Deutsche Bank, Foursome Investment, GoodGrowthFund, Partners Group, PwC, Veolia Suisse, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.