Each of the organisations Sir Ronald co-founded harnesses the power of private capital to drive long-lasting and meaningful change for people and the planet.
Sir Ronald Cohen co-founded Bridges Fund Management with Michele Giddens and Philip Newborough. He chaired the firm from 2002-2012 and is currently chair of its Advisory Board.
Bridges Fund Management is a specialist fund manager focused exclusively on sustainable and impact investment. Bridges invests in growth businesses, properties and social sector organisations that generate both positive impact and strong investor returns, through the services they offer or the markets they support.
Bridges was launched in 2002, in the belief that hands-on investment and entrepreneurial talent could be used to tackle pressing social and environmental challenges whilst also driving more inclusive and sustainable growth. Since then it has raised almost £1 billion across a variety of fund strategies, both in the UK and the US. Bridges’ US Office was opened in 2013, and Bridges Israel was established in 2017.
Bridges Impact+, the firm’s advisory service, works to optimise the impact of Bridges’ investments and also to support the growth of the broader sustainable and impact investing sector. It is currently facilitating the Impact Management Project, a global, industry-wide initiative intended to agree on some shared fundamentals for how we talk about, measure and manage impact.
Sir Ronald Cohen co-founded The Portland Trust in 2003 with Sir Harry Solomon.
The Portland Trust is a non-profit ‘action tank’ with offices in London, Ramallah and Tel Aviv. The mission of The Portland Trust is to promote peace and stability between Israelis and Palestinians through economic development. The Portland Trust believes that the development of a thriving and sustainable Palestinian economy is a necessary condition for peace, and that the Israeli and Palestinian private sectors can be powerful forces for stability and moderation.
The Portland Trust identifies and launches initiatives to help develop the Palestinian private sector and to reduce poverty and social challenges in Israel through impact investment. While The Portland Trust aims to raise awareness of the importance of economics in peace-making in the region and initiates programs to promote private sector development and poverty reduction, it is clear that a lasting and sustainable peace will only be achieved through a negotiated political settlement. With this in mind, The Portland Trust has continually highlighted the need for a ‘triple helix’ approach to conflict resolution – involving politics, security and economics.
Each of The Portland Trust’s initiatives: a spatial and economic vision for Gaza, the establishment of an industrial park in the Arab city of Shefar’am in northern Israel (with the potential to create many thousands of jobs), developing the Social Capital Market in Israel and Palestine, boosting IT and Digital Entrepreneurship through education and training, job creation programs in the West Bank, centres around economic development as a critical element on the path toward peace.
Sir Ronald Cohen co-founded Social Finance in 2007, as a social investment bank with Toby Eccles, Bernard Horne, David Blood, Sigrid Rausing, Lord (Stanley) Fink and Phil Hulmear. David Hutchison joined shortly after as CEO.
More than ten years later, Social Finance’s team comprises more than 130 people in the US, UK, Israel, with an office currently being established in India. It works on the most challenging social issues, including early childhood development to diabetes prevention, recidivism, and teenage pregnancy.
Social Finance partners with government, the social sector and the financial community to find better ways of tackling social problems through innovation in finance and interventions.
Social Finance’s team is drawn from diverse backgrounds who share a common passion for solving entrenched social problems work alongside a non-executive board of leading figures from the social, financial and governmental sectors.
It launched the first Social Impact Bond in 2010. Since then, over 100 Social Impact Bonds, catalyzing more than $400 million of investment globally, have helped to pioneer groundbreaking local and international initiatives aiming to improve outcomes for individuals with complex needs.
Social Finance has a network of partners across the world. Prominent among them are the Global Fund, World Bank, Grand Challenges Canada, the Inter-American Development Bank, USAID, and DfID.
Stemming from the work of the Commission on Unclaimed Assets which Ronald chaired, the UK released £400 million of unclaimed bank account assets, to help establish Big Society Capital in 2012 as an impact capital wholesaler. Sir Ronald and Nick O’Donohoe cofounded BSC and first served as Chair and CEO. Today Sir Harvey McGrath, Former Chair of Prudential Insurance, chairs BSC and Cliff Prior is CEO.
Today, Big Society Capital improves the lives of people in the UK by connecting social investment to charities and social enterprises.
Investment can help charities and social enterprises achieve more. Big Society Capital believes the greatest chance to improve lives comes when investors and enterprises are both motivated by social mission.
The organisation engages with investors, fund managers, charities and social enterprises to make it easier to use social investment. Together with co-investors, Big Society Capital has made over £1bn of new capital available to organisations with a social mission, through investments into fund managers and social banks.