“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope or confidence.” ― Helen Keller.

After a tumultuous 2020, the world saw a shocking beginning to 2021. Despite the heartache and political and economic volatility we have seen signs of resilience that inspire optimism. We are optimistic, but understand we must all do our part to rise to the challenges of this moment. This dark time has led Veris Wealth Partners to become even more staunch in our commitment to growing equity and social justice and environmental solutions through impact investing.

Today, jointly as leaders of Veris, Patricia Farrar-Rivas as founding CEO and Stephanie Cohn Rupp as incoming CEO, we wanted to take stock of this last year and share with you some of the highlights that are fueling our optimism, as well as our vision of what Veris hopes to achieve with our incredible clients, managers and partners in 2021.

Our Efforts In 2020

Externally, Veris:

Internally, Veris:

  • Lived our values by remaining 100% impact focused.
  • Transitioned fully to remote work to protect the health of our staff during the pandemic, while also growing our asset base by over 11%
  • Renewed our commitment to independence in the face of staunch market consolidation to preserve that very mission.
  • Veris has started a complete review of its policies and processes to ensure we are aligned with best practices around Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Finalized an internal succession planning effort by promoting two new Partners as two Founding Partners retired.
  • Successfully transitioned leadership from Patricia to Stephanie after collaborating for over 18 months with dedication and openness to honor our past while investing in our future.

While these may seem like two distinct spheres of our firm – our work externally, and how we run our business internally – they are really two sides of the same coin. We could not be an authentic B-Corp focused on social and environmental impact without concurrently implementing these values internally and staying the course of our ideals.

Unlike many financial institutions, we have recommitted to our long term independence and to remaining focused on solving social and environmental challenges, which requires both financial and business acumen. Veris set an important precedent as a 100% impact focused investment advisor while becoming a profitable business capable of reinvesting in its own growth and maintaining on-going succession mechanisms of retiring partners and advancing employees to become partners. All these goals are intimately linked to protect our independence which allows us to stay true to our mission.

Updated Values and Investment Themes

In 2021 Veris will remain focused on authenticity, independence, and our mission. To better serve that mission, we have updated our firm’s values to better reflect who we are today and demonstrate the principles that guide us. We have also updated and refined our investment themes to better meet the most critical challenges of today. Veris is well known as the first Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) to have led Gender Lens Investing as an approach and now we are working to develop a more robust investment platform with solutions focused on Racial and Gender Equity. We also aim to expand our work around Regenerative Agriculture and Renewable Energy Infrastructure solutions and added a theme dedicated to Community Wealth Building to ensure more emphasis on this challenge and potential solutions.

What We Aim to Achieve in 2021

We aim to grow our impact assets under management in 2021 while we continue to serve our clients with a focus on partnership. We will leverage digital solutions to make the experience of wealth management simpler and more interactive. In partnership with Confluence Philanthropy, USSIF, CERES, As You Sow, RFK, Nexus, GIIN, B Lab and many other crucial players in the sector, we will collaborate extensively with the field of sustainable and impact investing. We believe that to build a more equitable, just and sustainable world, we have the responsibility to leverage not only investing but also shareholder activism, policy and dialogue to ensure we effectively pursue our mission.

We look forward to collaborating with our clients and colleagues in the sector, furthering the mission of our firm and our clients, and continuing to fight for social justice and the environment. Together, we will work to ensure that 2021 yields a brighter future for us all.