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Advice, Ideas and Resources
for Integrated Capital

New blog posts and monthly newsletters. View archives.

About. Leslie Christian, CFA, investment advisor for integrated capital

Leslie Christian has been a leader and innovator in social and environmental investing for more than 20 years. Leslie is currently focused on the development of Integrated Capital, a new foundation and framework for portfolio management that accounts for the global risks of our time as well as the personal vision, values and aspirations of each client.

Leslie’s career in finance began at Washington Mutual, Crocker National Bank, and Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette. She then moved to Wall Street, working in the emerging market of fixed income derivatives at the New York office of Salomon Brothers. After more than 15 years in the industry, Leslie realized there was something crucial missing from mainstream finance, and became passionate about using finance for the benefit of all stakeholders, including employees, the community, and the environment.

Leslie joined Portfolio 21 Investments in 1995 and served as its President and CEO until 2012. During this time, she co-founded the Portfolio 21 mutual fund, one of the first public-equity funds based on long-term ecological risks and opportunities, as well as Upstream 21, a uniquely-chartered regional holding company for socially and environmentally responsible businesses. Leslie was also an early pioneer in addressing women’s issues in corporate America, co-founding the Women’s Equity Mutual Fund, which is now a part of Pax World.

Today, through Leslie E. Christian, LLC, Leslie offers consulting and portfolio advisory services to individuals and institutions seeking an integrated capital approach. Leslie also serves as Integrated Capital Specialist at NorthStar Asset Management in Boston, and as Senior Advisor at RSF Social Finance in San Francisco. She is a Board member and treasurer for the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE).

Leslie is a graduate of the University of Washington and holds an MBA in Finance from the University of California at Berkeley. She lives in Seattle, WA with her spouse Heather Andersen.

Advice. For individuals and institutions seeking an integrated capital approach

Integrated capital is a framework for investing and philanthropy that integrates the client’s whole self – values, priorities, and passions – with an understanding of the ecological, social and financial limits of our time. Climate disruptions, resource depletion, population growth, demographic shifts, and irresponsible management of financial assets have become new “global givens” that seriously challenge conventional expectations of growth and risk. In contrast to the industry-standard asset allocation model, an integrated capital framework begins with these global givens, questions assumptions about economic growth and evaluates risk and reward in a holistic context of long-term well-being.

My approach is rooted in a comprehensive view of the role that finance plays in the world and in our lives and requires a significant commitment of time in order to develop a decision-making framework that is uniquely suited to each client. With this framework in place, we then work together to design a portfolio and to assemble advisory resources that will truly meet the client’s individual needs and goals. While offering my full expertise and guidance at each step of the way, the process is fundamentally collaborative.

Integrated capital invites you to align your vision and priorities with the kinds of financial structures and vehicles you choose, the people you choose to work with, and the relationships you choose to have with your investees and your advisors. I expect engagement and leadership from my clients and promise the same to you. Healthy relationships between clients and advisors are a critical element of integrated capital and depend upon mutual respect and transparency.

Ideas. To inspire, inform, and challenge

It’s been just about a month since Donald Trump officially became the Republican candidate for President of the United States, and I am finally forcing myself to face reality. To date I have relied upon derision, disbelief and incredulity to persuade myself that this just could not happen.

Read more »

Resources. In the field of Integrated Capital

The following organizations and publications represent some of my closest collaborators and sources of insight and inspiration. I am a great believer in the serendipity of resource chains and networks. If one of the resources below sparks your interest, I encourage you to follow that spark and see where it leads.

A New Foundation for Portfolio Management

A New Foundation for Portfolio Management is a paper that proposes new principles for creating an investment portfolio. Authored by Leslie Christian with the support RSF Social Finance, this paper challenges current assumptions about risk, growth and utility, and proposes new principles to bring portfolio theory into the 21st century. Click here to download the paper.

Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)

BALLE is the fastest growing business alliance of values-aligned entrepreneurs, business networks, and local economy funders in North America. BALLE's work is focused on creating real prosperity by connecting leaders, spreading solutions that work, and driving investment toward local economies. Learn more at bealocalist.org.

Northstar Asset Management

Northstar Asset Management specializes in comprehensive investment services for individuals seeking to balance financial objectives with their social and political values. Since its founding in 1990, Northstar has been on the cutting edge of socially responsible investing, working closely with clients in an educational process to examine the financial and social impact of each investment, and then take action through investment, divestment, shareholder activism, and strategic charitable giving. Learn more at northstarasset.com.

RSF Social Finance

RSF Social Finance (RSF) is a pioneering non-profit financial services organization dedicated to transforming the way the world works with money. In partnership with a community of investors and donors, RSF provides capital to non-profit and for-profit social enterprises addressing key issues in the areas of Food & Agriculture, Education & the Arts, and Ecological Stewardship. Learn more at rsfsocialfinance.org.