Wind in the sails of FMO
Steward Redqueen is a specialized consultancy firm advising organizations on impact and sustainability. FMO has worked with Steward Redqueen for over 20 years on a wide range of projects, starting with the development and implementation of our first Sustainability Policy in 2000.
In 2020, our partnership bore fruit again in the form of the Joint Impact Model and an updated ESG Toolkit for Private Equity Fund Managers. Sabine Dankbaar, Director of Steward Redqueen: “We put wind in the sails of development banks. By providing advice, trainings and tools we aim to empower FMO to put its impact strategy into practice.”
Over the past two years, the consultants of Steward Redqueen worked on the Joint Impact Model (JIM), which launched in August 2020. “Because everyone in the impact investing community was using slightly different methods to measure their impact, it was hard to benchmark and track progress. Results were simply not comparable. That is why we brought together FMO, CDC and Proparco to start working on a harmonized model,” says Dankbaar. The JIM helps to gain insight and measure and monitor what impact is achieved with investments. This helps in better managing and therefore improving the impact created.
Starting with a small “coalition of the willing” was crucial to the success of the JIM. Dankbaar notes: “We were lucky to find a few parties who, like FMO, were really committed and had resources available to make the changes needed. It is quite challenging to develop a model that does justice to the differences between organizations, their types of investments and focus areas. In the harmonization process, everyone needs to make compromises. For example, FMO had a different way of measuring jobs for investments in financial intermediaries. Adopting the JIM methodology led to a downward revision of FMO’s results.” Since the initial steps, the founding members have gradually brought in new organizations to the JIM. Now that the model is publicly available, it is gratefully used: over 30 organizations have already created an account, and many others have also shown interest.
Because the JIM is a collaboration between various international organizations, the pandemic did not slow down progress. “We already had experience with digitally coordinating appointments and meetings. Although it is more fun to be able to celebrate milestones face-to-face, it has not hindered us in our collaboration”, says Dankbaar.
“What I like about working with FMO is that it is a genuine partnership. We do not only work for you as a client, but also explore new routes together to make a direct contribution to the wider impact community. As a relatively large player, you influence the industry. In that sense you are a real driver for change. I hope we can continue to explore how to leverage our joint knowledge even more to help that industry forwards.”