Social Investing: a conversation with Michael Traill AM


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Social Investing at scale in Australia: a conversation with Michael Traill AM


Michael Traill is Chair of Australia’s largest foundation, the Paul Ramsay Foundation, and co-founder of For Purpose Investment Partners. Michael also co-founded Macquarie Group’s private equity arm, was Chief Executive of Social Ventures Australia and holds a Harvard MBA.


This episode provides key insight and detail for anyone who wishes to leverage private capital for social good. We explore a range of topics including:


(1) An overview of philanthropy in Australia today.

(2) Going beyond grant-making and ensuring endowments are invested for impact.

(3) Do investment professionals genuinely value impact investing?

(4) How does a non-profit, impact investment manager actually work?

(5) How do you go about deal flow origination, and what does a deal look like?

(6) How do you go to market with an impact investment proposition?

(7) How will the impact investing market evolve in the coming years?

(8) Do most impact investment opportunities arise from private equity houses, philanthropic foundations, high net worth individuals, or elsewhere?


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About Michael Traill AM


Michael was founding Chief Executive of Social Ventures Australia from 2002-14, after 15 years as a co-founder and Executive Director of Macquarie Group’s private equity arm, Macquarie Direct Investment.


He currently has a range of primarily social purpose Chair and board roles including Chair of the Paul Ramsay Foundation; Executive Director of For Purpose Investments, a Director of M H Carnegie & Co, Australian Retirement Trust (where he is Investment Committee Chair), Hearts & Minds Investments, Australian Philanthropic Services and Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Social Impact at UNSW.


He was Chair of the Federal Government’s Social Impact Investing Task Force and the author of ‘Jumping Ship – From the world of corporate Australia to the heart of social investment’ which won the prestigious Ashurst Business Literature Prize. The book reflects on his personal and professional journey and has been a widely acclaimed manifesto for change and action in the social purpose sector.


He holds a BA (Hons) from the University of Melbourne and an MBA from Harvard University.