Who We Are
WE USE OUR RICH EXPERIENCES AND PERSPECTIVES TO HELP PRIVATE MARKET FUNDERS WITH THEIR IMPACT STRATEGIES, IMPLEMENTATION AND FUND MANAGEMENT
Finance is a powerful tool for social change. When invested strategically, it can influence and shift norms, knowledge, attitudes and practices. It can lift structural and institutional barriers, and empower marginalized individuals with the capacity, skills and confidence to participate and benefit throughout society.
If you’re looking to use all or just a portion of your money to make a difference in the world – in addition to earning a return on your investment – we’d love to help you do it.
Marigold Capital offers strategic consulting and fund management in the private-market impact investing space, with a focus on social justice in domestic and emerging markets.
Our founder, Jonathan Hera, is one of Canada’s leading impact investors. He offers a unique blend of strategic and tactical skills, diverse experience in the field and rich networks. He is a translator across stakeholders, funders, sectors and experiences. He has designed and managed a wide variety of portfolios, and expertly supports clients through the entire investment cycle – from sourcing to exits.
At Marigold, we understand how to construct and manage a diversified portfolio across private asset classes, geographies and sectors in order to maximize both impact and financial return targets.
Since 2010, we’ve placed nearly $25 million dollars and managed over $100 million dollars while reviewing more than 2,000 social enterprises and 400 funds globally. We’ve invested under various mandates from numerous funders, including:
- An emerging and frontier market private equity fund of funds
- A Canada-focused impact fund housed in the country’s largest financial institution
- A ‘base of the pyramid’ global health innovation portfolio funded by the Government of Canada.
Jonathan Hera has nearly 10 years’ impact investment experience – domestically and within lower and middle income countries – having worked with and for government agencies, multilateral organizations, large financial institutions, venture capital and private equity funds, angel groups, enabling intermediaries (accelerators/incubators), collective impact platforms, and universities.
He has led the development of investor relations, impact reporting and investor reporting at Sarona Asset Management; investor relations, due diligence and portfolio construction and management at the Royal Bank of Canada and the Youth Social Innovation Capital Fund; and most recently the investment strategy, due diligence, portfolio management and funder relationships at Grand Challenges Canada. It is here where Jonathan co-led the development of the organization’s gender strategy and its implementation throughout its investment process and entrepreneur supports.
In addition, Jonathan founded and teaches an MBA course on impact investing at the Schulich School of Business and serves as Board Director, Advisor Board Member, Advisor and Mentor to various organizations within the impact investing ecosystem.
He lives in the west end of Toronto with his partner and two young daughters, who helped inspire his approach to impact investing – and Marigold itself. For more on Jonathan’s ‘why’, please see How to invest with a Gender Lens where he shares pieces of his personal journey.
Abigail Slater has over 20 years of experience in concept development and creative strategic thinking, developing, executing, and managing of start-up foodservice operations. She and her sister created Canada’s only traditionally manufactured bagel bakery/café.
Abigail’s most recent board appointment has been to the Venture for Canada Board, an organization that places top recent graduates into innovative start-ups across the country. In her capacity as Treasurer, she brings experience and rigour to a dynamic emerging organization.
Currently, she manages a private investment fund focused on women led companies, impact investing and asset based lending.
In addition to mentoring and advising entrepreneurs she is chair of SheEO Fund Inc.’s Radical Generosity pilot. Her work in the food sector continues through her board position with FoodShare Toronto and the implementation of it’s next strategic initiative creating Toronto’s next Community Food Hub.
Abigail is a Governor of Centennial College, where she has participated on the Learning and Engagement Committee, as well as currently on the Policy and Procedures Committee, bringing her entrepreneurial and start-up experience and support to the College leadership team.
The year 2017 marked Eat to the Beat‘s 20th year. Created and run by Abigail and her sister, this event has raised over $4mm for Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada’s operations (now merged with Canadian Cancer Society). It continues to be the only all-women food event in North America, celebrating women’s contributions to the foodservice industry while supporting an important cause.
In 2014, Abigail was the very proud recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for the work she and her sister have done in the charitable sector.
Jory Cohen is the director of social finance and investment at the Inspirit Foundation where he played an integral role in launching Inspirit’s 100% impact portfolio. He continues to lead the roll-out of that strategy while managing all aspects of the finance department. Before joining Inspirit, Jory was the Managing Director of Youth Social Innovation Capital Fund (YSI), an impact investing fund. He also co-founded an impact venture in East Africa based on the fair-market-value sales of honey. Since graduating from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University as the Valedictorian of his class, Jory quickly garnered a reputation as a next-generation leader in the impact investing field. Jory is often called upon to share his expertise within the sector and academic institutions. He’s also co-authored a children’s book.
PK Mutch is a serial social purpose entrepreneur and publisher who is deeply committed to creating a more inclusive, just, human-centered and generative economy through the power of feminist business practice, pedagogy, theory, innovation and entrepreneurship. Her enterprise, Eve-volution Inc (2014) is a B Corp certified, lean, networked feminist enterprise advocates for and designing programs that promote equity and inclusion in startup and community-based economic development ecosystems. Her magazine, LiisBeth serves as a convenor, capacity builder and voice for the growing, 10 000+ all gender, entrepreneurial feminist community.
Mutch currently serves as the Executive Director for Food Starter, a food entrepreneur incubation program with a 20 000 sq ft facility which supports over 180 start ups. Mutch is also is a certified Feminist Business Model Canvas Master Coach and holds an EMBA from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. Mutch is also a co-founding co-producer of the Entrepreneurial Feminist Forum—an educational, collaboration and resilience-crafting conference for entrepreneurial feminists of all genders. Her work was recently recognized in the Canada 150 Women: Conversations with Leaders, Champions and Luminaries book which was published November 2017. Mutch was recognized as one of Canada’s Inspiring 50 women in STEM in April 2018.
Erik Nielsen brings over twenty years of professional leadership and advanced academic experience at the nexus of governance, innovation, policy advocacy and strategic partnership creation. He was most recently the Portfolio Director of a global innovation fund that leverages greater collaboration and resources for improved women’s health and nutrition in Africa and Asia. The fund, Nutrition Leverage for Influence and Transformation, is a $25M initiative of Nutrition International, Canada’s global nutrition organization.
Erik has worked in senior positions with a variety of international agencies including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Transparency International, EcoAgriculture Partners, and Global Affairs Canada. In addition to Marigold Capital, he is a board advisor to three other non-profit organizations including: Evidence Action, WelTel International and The Lucky Iron Fish.
Erik has studied at Guelph, Cornell and Harvard universities and holds a doctorate focused on networked governance from MIT, where he was a Presidential Scholar. A Canadian national who currently resides in Ottawa, Erik has lived in ten countries on five continents and has visited over 70 on his travels.
Sucheta Rajagopal has been involved in Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) for over 15 years, advising clients on how to integrate environmental, social and governance issues into their investment portfolios.
A Portfolio Manager and Certified Financial Planner at Mackie Research Capital Corp., Sucheta manages one of the largest exclusively SRI books of business in Canada. Using plain English and a practical approach, Sucheta helps clients align their investments with their values. A trailblazer in Canadian SRI, Sucheta is excited to be helping build capacity and community in Impact Investing.
She is a past President of the Board of the Responsible Investment Association, and has also volunteered on the Boards of East End Community Health Centre, Straight Goods and Planet in Focus.
Sucheta has an LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School. She is a graduate of the Canadian Securities Institute’s Professional Financial Planning Program, a Certified Investment Manager (CIM), a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute (FCSI) and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). Sucheta has also earned Canada’s Responsible Investment Advisor Certification (RIAC).
Vision and Mission
OUR MISSION IS TO CREATE A MORE PROSPEROUS SOCIETY, ENABLED BY DIVERSITY AND INCLUSIVITY
The following beliefs and values underlie everything we do at Marigold:
- Above all else, we are committed to gender lens investing. We work to uncover – and capitalize on – ‘hidden’ issues and value across an organization’s team, product and services, business model, and supply and value chains, which allows us to consider opportunities that would normally be excluded from traditional impact investing.
- We want to build a world where all organizations have intentional positive social benefit – making all investments are impactful.
- We believe that greater intentionality, analytics and discipline throughout the investment cycle leads to better processes, systems, people and results.
- We use transparent models of selection, process, financial instruments and portfolio development approaches.
- We believe there are appropriate times for all types of capital use. Aligning the needs, goals, use of proceeds, timing and interests of funders and entrepreneurs is of utmost importance.
- We walk the talk.
The result? More opportunity for you and an opportunity to better support marginalized populations and markets.
Our investment values are represented at every level of our organization, and our commitment to societal improvements starts on the inside. We actively strive to create an inclusive, respectful and safe workplace for all. We are a proud member of the #MovingForward movement, an open source directory of VCs committed to diverse, inclusive and harassment-free workplaces. To learn more about our policies, we’ve added our anti-harassment policy here. We will add more in the near future.
While we strive for perfection, we will always favour imperfect action over perfect intention
What’s in a name?
Marigold Capital is named after the marigold flower. While it was historically offered as a sacrifice to many gods, the marigold is known for its power to resurrect despite being connected to despair and grief. This conception and symbol of remembrance for the flower within the Mexican Dia de los Muertos celebrations is where we draw our inspiration.
Working with Mexican migrant workers for several years is where Jonathan fell in love with all things Mexican – flautas, cumbia, and more specifically, the spirit of its annual Dia de los Muertos, a joyful and colourful annual celebration of lost loved ones. The marigold flower reminds us that as impact investors we must stand on the shoulders of our ancestors to make the world a better place for our children. And, we can do so with style, colour, and a dash of kitsch.