7.26.2018
By Evelina Soldatenko
The 9th Annual RFKennedy Compass Investor Conference in Hyannis Port

Last month we hosted our 9th Annual RFKennedy Compass Investor Conference in Hyannis Port, bringing together over 300 institutional investors, fund managers and thought leaders around the themes of Diversity, Social Investing and Private Equity at the historic Kennedy Compound.

Fifty years ago, Bobby Kennedy ran an inspiring and pivotal Presidential campaign that challenged the way in which leaders - no matter the part of society in which they led - could take courageous steps in support of social justice and equality. The light and legacy of Bobby was felt throughout the Compass Investor Conference as participants debated and challenged the current state of diversity in the asset management industry, and the balance of achieving profit and purpose in an industry that is almost exclusively profit-oriented.

Gathering at the home of Mrs. Ethel Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy Board Chairman and Founder and CEO of Vista Equity, Robert F. Smith expertly facilitated an engaging conversation between guest speakers Governor Christopher T. Sununu of New Hampshire and Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina. At the heart of the conversation were the shared beliefs that if a State is to succeed it cannot do so for some of its citizens, but all of its citizens. Both Governors provided deeper insights into their policy agendas ranging from the importance of investing in education, building more opportunities for job training, and improving access to preventative health care. What was clear is that no matter the party lines both Governors Cooper and Sununu shared a common agreement that Bobby’s tireless fight for equality remains an inspiration to them and the work they do.

Attendees joined in conversation with Steve Westly, investor and founder of The Westly Group, who took everyone on riveting journey of the growing investment opportunity in clean technology and the growing popularity of ESG principles for the Next Gen Investors of Silicon Valley, and beyond. The points raised by Steve offered a great connecting point to the panel discussions that focused on portfolio construction in today’s geopolitical market, the growing need to create better opportunities for minority and women-owned fund managers to manage investments, and the challenges and opportunities of Private Equity investors in the Asia market.

The Compass Investor Conference wrapped up with a closing keynote from Todd Ruppert, founder and CEO of Ruppert International and Venture Partner at Greenspring Associate. Todd dialogued with the audience while providing an in-depth look at the current state of venture capital, general trends of the industry and insight into why firms valued at billions chose to stay private. The panels that followed discussed the impact of technological innovation and artificial intelligence on human rights, insights into the challenges and trends of investing in technology and a discussion on the impacts of divestment.

No Compass Investor Conference is complete without Sailing with members of the Kennedy Family, a Kennedy Compound Tour led Edward “Ted” Kennedy Jr. and a visit to the JFK Museum. These fun excursions were made that more special at we celebrate fifty years of Back baby’s inspiring Presidential campaign.

We are grateful to all the sponsors and attendees for their engagement throughout the conference. All revenue generated supports the programmatic work of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights including our Human Rights Education and Advocacy and Litigation activites.

More importantly, we a deeply indebted to Mrs. Ethel Kennedy, and the entire Kennedy Family for welcoming our attendees and guests in their homes and lives during the conference. Their commitment continues to make the Compass Investor Conference a truly unique experience!

About RFKennedy Compass Investor Conference

The Robert F. Kennedy Compass Investor Conference is a core program of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights engaging asset managers and investors to promote investment approaches that deliver superior risk-adjusted returns also considering the impact of human rights, corporate governance and diversity within asset management. Through a series of two invitation-only, off-the-record, gatherings held annually, the RFK Human Rights brings together the moguls of the financial services industry who collectively control USD $5-$7 trillion in assets.

For more information, please contact the RFKennedy Compass Team at compass@rfkhumanrights.org.

Attendee Testimonials

"I think the people from Wall Street, New York, Boston, the large financial companies, they walk away with something too, which is a sense that they can do things to change the world." Steve Westly: Founder & Managing Partner of The Westly Group. 

"The conference is incredible in that it brings the world's leading general partners and alternative investments with some of the top limited partners on a global basis. It's really a big networking conference, but what makes it really special is the underpinning of the fact that we're all here for the RFK legacy." Frank Baker: Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Siris Capital, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Board Member. 

"I look forward to meeting people who are working in the corporate and investment world who want to make a difference. It's wonderful when our corporate and business interests can move the needle. We want them to be encouraging diversity, we want them to reduce their carbon footprint, we want them to encourage renewable energy, we want them to make sure people have health care insurance. All of these things are good for everyday people, but it's also good for business." Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina. 

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