Our Voices

RFK Board Member Robert Smith on ESG Investing

In a Bloomberg interview with Francine Lacqua from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Robert Smith, Vista Equity Partners Chief Executive Officer and board member of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, discussed the importance of ESG investing, the genesis of the RFK Compass Investor Conference and the challenges facing the next generation of workers.

“Inclusive capitalism is really a great system with which to operate,” Smith said.

“It’s really a redistribution of opportunity,” he says. “Our global economy is really being enabled by technology. We need to skill our people to participate.”

Smith, who announced he’d pay off the student loan debt of more than 400 students at his alma mater, Morehouse College, called education “a fundamental basis for ensuring that that happens.”

Smith also spoke at length about the practice, and challenges to having more corporate investors lead by example.

“You have to meet, you have to convene in order for that to happen,” he said, noting Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights’ Compass Investor Conference was “designed to get corporate leaders to think about ESG at the forefront of what they do, how to create sustainable returns.”

“When you get smart people who are motivated to make a change together, you can make some things happen. If you don’t meet…it surely won’t happen,” he said.