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ImpactAssets 50: A Global Landscape of Impact Investment Fund Managers
The ImpactAssets 50 (IA 50) is the first open-source, publicly published database of experienced private debt and equity impact investment fund managers.

ImpactAssets 50

An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers

IA 50 2021 PROFILE

UNICEF USA Impact Fund
for Children

Total Assets Under Management: $50 – 99M
Asset Class: Private Debt - Absolute Return / Notes
Primary UN Sustainable Development Goal: 3 – Good Health & Well-Being
Global Health

Firm Overview

Category: Private Debt - Non-profit/NGO Finance

The Impact Fund for Children, through partnership with UNICEF, provides innovative financial solutions for the biggest challenges confronting children worldwide. UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to protect the rights of children and has helped slash child mortality rates by more than half since 1990. The Impact Fund provides working and flexible capital to UNICEF to support and enable its work, driving toward long-term, sustainable programs. Following the launch of its second fund, the Fast Fund, the Impact Fund manages two pooled debt funds. The Bridge Fund, launched in 2011, uses a pool of revolving capital to fast-track lifesaving and critical assistance around the world when time matters most. The Fast Fund, swiftly created in direct response to COVID-19, is a guarantee facility for PPE purchases critical during a highly competitive PPE market. The Impact Fund will continue to develop solutions-based financing vehicles to reach every child. 

Firm Headquarters: US & Canada
Years of Operation: 10 years or more
Total Assets Under Management:
$50 – 99M
Total Number of Investors: More than 25
% of Capital from Top 3 Investors: 50% – 99%
Investment Thesis:

The Impact Fund relentlessly pursues an equitable world for every child and is on a mission to identify innovative, creative financial solutions to attract impact investment capital that will drive toward a day when every child has a safe and healthy childhood allowing them to survive and thrive.

Investment Overview:

The Impact Fund develops financial solutions, attracting impact investment funding to help UNICEF deliver effective and sustainable programs to children and their families.  The Bridge Fund was created because children often need help before financial commitments are fulfilled and the cash is secured. It provides short-term working capital to ensure UNICEF can purchase vaccines on time to keep immunization campaigns on track, deliver desks that arrive before school starts, and fast-track relief to families just days after a disaster strike. It reduces funding and supply chain volatility for critical UNICEF programs and procurements. The Fast Fund was created in direct response to COVID-19, emerging as an innovative guarantee tool to help UNICEF’s Supply Division secure production capacity and availability of urgently needed PPE and other critical COVID-19 supplies at scale for over 90 low- and middle-income countries.  

Company Differentiator:

Our key differentiation is our connection to UNICEF’s programmatic scale, scope and expertise globally including programming in 190 countries and its strong government partnerships that facilitate sustainable change in LMI countries. UNICEF has a unique ability to engage concurrently at multiple levels - global, regional, country and local - supporting collaborative and innovative solutions in a diverse range of national contexts. In turn, the Impact Fund has a unique opportunity to drive forward progress toward the 2030 SDGs by fostering meaningful collaboration between public actors and private investors, and is the primary way for impact investors to support UNICEF. The Impact Fund has a 9-year track record of disbursing over $350 million, targeting over 1 billion children, to support 40 countries, with zero defaults or write-offs. And, we believe this is just the beginning in the fight to ensure every child survives and thrives, no matter where they are born. 

Investment Example

In March 2020, demand for PPE had reached unprecedented levels as COVID-19 spread globally and governments sought to prepare and respond. The UNICEF Supply Division that functions as procurement agent for over 90 LMI countries was facing challenging market conditions and high volatility trying to connect its cash inflows to required outflows (PPE purchasing needs). In April, the Bridge Fund provided the UNICEF Supply Division with $10 million to accelerate PPE procurement, backed by funding commitments from agencies such as the World Bank. This investment allowed the Supply Division to secure PPE and competitive pricing as procurement opportunities arose. Additionally, this $10 million was provided as a six-month revolving facility, increasing its flexibility and maximizing its impact. To date, over $19 million of PPE has been procured on behalf of countries around the world and the facility remains open to accelerate additional purchases.

Leadership and Team

Cumulative Leadership Experience in Investing:
20 – 29 years
Cumulative Impact Experience of Top Three Firm Leaders:
20 – 29 years
Cristina Shapiro – President, UNICEF USA Impact Fund for Children More Info

Cristina Shapiro, a Mexico City native, joined as the President of the Impact Fund for Children in March 2020 after nine years at Goldman Sachs leading key strategic impact initiatives such as 10,000 Small Businesses Access to Capital, 10,000 Women, disaster response loans after Hurricane Sandy and Harvey, and social impact bonds. In her role in the Urban Investment Group, Shapiro sourced and underwrote over $250M in double bottom line loans to support small business owners unable to access funding from traditional markets or sources. Shapiro also managed the Goldman Sachs Foundation’s partnership with the International Finance Corporation that launched the first ever global facility for women entrepreneurs. Goldman provided the concessionary funds used to provide a first loss to incentivize banks in emerging markets to lend to more women.

Erin Egan – Managing Director, UNICEF USA Impact Fund For Children More Info

Mission-oriented leader with 10+ years of experience spanning both public and private sectors with a passion for driving social change. Deep knowledge and experience in Finance, including Sustainable and Impact Investing, Operations and Development. Specialized skills include: risk management, systems building, due diligence, portfolio management, grant writing and non-profit fundraising.

Brett Robinson – CFAO, UNICEF USA More Info

Percentage of Investment Professionals who identify as women:
50% or more
Percentage of Investment Professionals who identify as a person of color:*
50% or more
Percentage of Senior Management Team who identify as women:
50% or more
Percentage of Senior Management Team who identify as a person of color:*
25% to less than 50%
*People of color include: Black, Latinx, Asian, Native American/Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander, Middle Easterm and multi-racial Americans

Financial Performance

Target Financial Returns Relative to Benchmark:
Near-market Rates
Actual Performance Relative to Target Financial Returns in the Past Three Years:
In line with initial target returns
Financial Reporting Frequency to Investors or Donors

Impact Performance

Percentage of Total Assets Under
Management that are Impact Investments:
Primary Impact Outcomes:
Increasing access to education and improving educational outcomes
Increasing access to healthcare services and improving health
Increasing access to water and sanitation
Other: Increasing efficiency of emergency response after disasters
Secondary Impact Outcomes:
Alleviating poverty
Value-added Services Offered:
Access to markets
Health services
Education services

Investments systematically target companies where social and/or environmental impact is integral to the product/service being created:

The Bridge Fund provides accelerated funding for UNICEF's programs, many of which utilize a results-based approach. Under this framework, UNICEF's country programs are structured around results and outcomes and funds are directed to have the largest long-term social impact on the lives of children. The Bridge Fund's investment evaluation is also in line with UNICEF's focus on equity and inclusion, which means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias or favoritism. 

Impact Tracking and Monitoring

Impact is Tracked:
Social and/or Environmental Impact is Reported to Investors and Donors:
Yes – to investors and donors
Third Party Validations:
Participant on steering committees or leadership roles within impact industry associations
Publisher or contributor to industry white paper or other research in impact investing

Learn More

Key Contact Name: Erin Egan
Phone: 212-922-2571
Mailing Address:

125 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038 USA

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