Groupama Asset Management and the AlphaOmega Foundation are establishing a structuring philanthropy partnership to finance the education of future generations
The partnership with the AlphaOmega Foundation - expert in scaling high impact charities through capacity building - will enable Groupama Asset Management to widen 7 key educational organizations' impact throughout France.
“Education is a strategic priority of our CSR policy,” says Jean-Louis Autant, Director of CSR and Prospective at Groupama Asset Management. “It’s the most powerful lever to boost social upward mobility in every part of France. We want to act on a large scale: 2 million French children from underpriviledged backgrounds are underperforming at school. Our partnership with the AlphaOmega Foundation will enable us to have an impact on 260,000 of them. Our social investment will help expand the number of beneficiaries over the course of the partnership”.
AlphaOmega, a pioneer of Venture Philanthropy in France, draws inspiration from the funding and growth-boosting methods applied in the private equity sector to help top-performing charities strengthen their structure and broaden their impact to the national level. The Foundation acts as a “label” and a professional intermediary between social investors and the charitable sector: after a rigorous due diligence, the most efficient organizations fighting against school drop-out join AlphaOmega’s portfolio and benefit from an accelerator programme managed by the Foundation’s social investment directors.
“By choosing to invest in social organizations through the intermediary of our Foundation, Groupama Asset Management is guaranteed to maximize its social impact”, explains Elisabeth Elkrief, Managing Director of AlphaOmega. “We provide our charities with the financial, strategic and operational support they need to accelerate their growth, with the additional participation of some of the biggest names in finance and corporate patronage, such as Oliver Wyman or Devoteam. We focus our support on capacity building to strengthen the organizations, an investment that traditional philanthropy refrains to fund. Groupama AM is now enabling these high-impact charities to benefit from the same support as in the private sector, in order to address societal problems efficiently and on a larger scale”.
In practical terms, Groupama AM will donate more than 700,000 euros per year, over 3 years, to AlphaOmega. The Foundation will submit a series of capacity building projects every year. Ultimately, 2 or 3 organizations will be selected, under the responsibility of the CSR Department, on the basis of an active and responsible support policy.
Acting on the larger scale
This initiative is a real step forward for Groupama Asset Management, which has placed environmental, social and governmental (ESG) criteria at the heart of its approach for the last two decades.
Indeed, the first step made towards this long-term strategy was the launch of “SRI” (Socially Responsible Investment) labelled funds in 2001 and the development of an in-house team of non-financial and compliance analysts. Then, Groupama AM institutionalized its ethical commitment by progressively integrating ESG criteria into its managerial expertise processes, which eventually led to the creation of an ESG Strategy Department. Thus, and in accordance with all these moves, a CSR Department was established in 2016 and helped implementing actions for the “E” (Environmental) and “S” (Social and Societal) pillars throughout the company.
“The partnership signed with AlphaOmega is a new step toward increasing our societal impact by widening the scale of our action. It will help us better shape our approach and make education the main focus of our investments for children and young people ” explains Jean-Louis Autant.
This partnership is also a major achievement for AlphaOmega that will benefit from the donation to significantly increase its financial and managerial support.
“One of the charities’ major challenges is the digitization of their educational tools. Indeed, it would help them reach more underprivileged young people. Yet this process requires a significant investment and a very specific expertise. Our partnership with Groupama Asset Management will thus help us boost the scale up of the charities we support” says Elisabeth Elkrief. The first donation made by Groupama Asset Management is already helping Entreprendre pour Apprendre (EPA)* upgrade its educational programs. Through its entrepreneurship program, EPA makes more than 33,000 young people experience what the professional world feels like and helps them better shape their future. Thanks to the support of AlphaOmega, EPA is now working on the digitization of its programs and firmly hopes to reach 100,000 young people within the next 3 years.
“As asset managers, we are driven by the long run and are convinced that finance has a major role to play in a constantly changing world”, adds Jean-Marie Catala, Deputy CEO of Groupama Asset Management. “We are convinced that transferring experience to the next generations is a societal challenge that education will help better achieve”, he concludes.
Besides the partnership with AlphaOmega, Groupama Asset Management is working on the launch of a diversified fund dedicated to the future of the next generations by the end of the year.
* “Entreprendre pour Apprendre” aims to help 9 to 25 years old young people reveal their talents through active participation in educational programs that combine teamwork and entrepreneurship. Every year, more than 33,000 young people are invited to create and manage a mini-enterprise during a whole school year under the supervision of their teachers and mentors from the business world.