Innovations in Impact Investing + The New Normal

November 18, 2020 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Innovations in Impact Investing + The New Normal 

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 @ 5:30pm PST (1.5 hours)

Registration details coming soon..

Can you really align your values to your personal or business financial goals and will you have to sacrifice performance to do so? Where do you even begin with accessing such solutions? And, how are you able to measure the true impact?

On November 18th 2020, we are distilling down the notion of impact investing and discussing traditional and non-traditional ways of deploying capital to make the biggest impact at both a global and local community level.

Hear from San Diego innovators, David Lynn, CEO & Co-Founder of Mission Driven Finance, and Christian Braemer, CEO & Founder of Benefunder, who are filling the know-how gaps to serve individuals and businesses to achieve their financial goals while making positive impacts in the community and world around us.

Additionally, Merrill Managing Director and Associate Market Manager, DeAnne Steele, CFA®, CAIA, will breakdown the history and future of impact investing; address performance myths and realities, and highlight available investment solutions.

Other Topics to be Discussed:

  • Performance misconceptions vs. realities
  • This is not a trend, it’s the way of doing business now
  • United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
  • You do not need to be an accredited investor to make a positive impact through investments

Impact Themes that May Surface:

Climate change, Clean water and sanitation, Clean energy, Homelessness, Health & Wellbeing, Childhood Education, Gender Equality, Sustainable Business Practices, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Working Conditions

And, We’ll Discuss Different Avenues to Invest:

  • Private vs. Public
  • Equity + Debt vs. Alternative Asset Classes (uncorrelated)
  • Global vs. Local
  • New Channels for Funding – Philanthropic Dollars



Christian BraemerChristian Braemer, CEO, Benefunder

Christian is the CEO and founder of Benefunder, a platform that connects philanthropists with leading researchers and entrepreneurs across life sciences, tech, environment, education sectors to help bring new innovations to market. Benefunder has over 700 leading researchers under contract and profiled on the platform which it integrates with major wealth management platforms and family office networks to provide a solution for rising client demand for impact.

Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Christian began his career as a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley and later, Merrill Lynch. In 2006, he founded Joe Media, the first national free WiFi network which was later acquired by a leading digital out of home media company.

Throughout his career, he has always volunteered with various non-profits in both a board and executive capacity. Christian currently serves as an entrepreneur in residence with CONNECT and is a past speaker at TEDMED and MIT Enterprise Forum.

Christian completed military service as sergeant/section commander in the 1st light infantry division in the royal Danish army, where he was also elected vice national spokesman for enlisted personnel. He has a degree in international business from Copenhagen Business School.

David LynnDavid Lynn, CEO, Mission Driven Finance

David Lynn has been working in the financial and philanthropic sectors for over 20 years. He found a way to blend those two worlds in 2016 as the founding CEO of Mission Driven Finance, a private impact investment firm dedicated to building a financial system that ensures good businesses have access to sufficient, affordable capital. Mission Driven Finance manages multiple private funds that provide inclusive commercial financing to small businesses, social enterprises, and nonprofits, all with the goal to close capital gaps that close opportunity gaps.

Prior to focusing on impact investing, David specialized in private investment management,
including reporting and risk management. Most recently, David has been the Investment
Manager for the Price Group, a family office and charitable foundation environment, including
directly running an actively managed equity derivatives portfolio and serving as a director with
the Price Philanthropies Foundation.

With a long dedication to community involvement, David has served in a board leadership capacity for a variety of nonprofit and philanthropic initiatives, including San Diego Grantmakers, San Diego Impact Investors Network, Education Synergy Alliance, Mission Edge San Diego, San Diego Social Venture Partners, and San Diego Humane Society.

David is a San Diego native with a BS in Mathematics from Whitman College. When not working or volunteering, he’s likely to be found adventuring in the mountains with the dogs or other crazy people.

DeAnne SteeleDeAnne Steele CFA®, CAIA, Managing Director and Associate Market Manager, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc.

DeAnne Steele CFA®, CAIA is Managing Director and Associate Market Manager at Merrill. She brings years of wealth management and leadership experience to her role with expertise in the many strategies and services within our firm to help drive impact for our advisors, clients and community. She welcomes any opportunity to share her experience and knowledge and is a frequent speaker on topics such as the global economy, financial markets, ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance), Women and Wealth and Diversity and Inclusion and enjoys mentoring those building their careers in our company.

Prior to joining the firm, DeAnne co-managed a mutual fund in addition to serving in various leadership and investment positions. She has written, co-authored and contributed to articles for various publications and has appeared on Reuters and Bloomberg Television.

DeAnne earned her MBA in Finance from UCLA Anderson School and a BA in English and Political Science from UCLA. She has received the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designations and is a member of the CFA Institute.

As first-generation college-graduate in her family, DeAnne believes in giving back to the community and is active in many community organizations, including serving on the board of directors of the San Diego Center for Children.



Kaitlyn WilczinskiKaitlyn M. Wilczynski, CIMA®, CPFA, First Vice President, Wealth Management Advisor and Senior Portfolio Advisor, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

Secretary, MIT Enterprise Forum San Diego

Kaitlyn joined Merrill in 2008, spending six years within Merrill Private Wealth Management Group and later joining Merrill Lynch Wealth Management to form Bradshaw, Wilczynski & Associates.

She enjoys working with successful women and their families to organize their financial lives and find ways to invest in a meaningful and impactful way while helping them achieve specific financial goals.

She earned the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) and the Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA) designations, holds the CA Life, Accident & Health license, as well as, the Series 7 & 66 FINRA registrations. She earned a B.S. in Business Administration degree from Bryant University with a focus in Financial Services and a minor in Communications.

Kaitlyn is President of the Merrill Women’s Exchange – San Diego chapter, Secretary of the MIT Enterprise Forum San Diego chapter, active member of the National Association for Women Business Owners (NAWBO) San Diego and member of Merrill’s Military Support & Assistance Group (MSAG) San Diego chapter. In her spare time, she enjoys trying new restaurants, wine and craft beer, Pilates, skiing, traveling and all things San Diego has to offer. Originally from Boston, MA, she and her husband Matt now call La Jolla, CA home.


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We look forward to connecting with you,

The Chapter Executive Committee & Advisory Board
MIT Enterprise Forum-San Diego Chapter