Mr. Hewson Baltzell serves as the CEO of the Sorenson Impact Center. Previously, he was the President and Chief Operating Officer at HELiOS Exchange, Inc.
After an early career in finance and real estate, he has dedicated the bulk of his career to social and environmental issues in both the for-profit and the non-profit realms.
Mr. Baltzell spent 17 years as co-founder of what is now MSCI ESG Research, the dominant firm in the environmental, social and governance research field, going from a two-person start-up in 1998 (Innovest), raising angel capital (a program-related investment from the Wallace Global Fund), then institutional capital (State Street Global Advisors and APG, the largest pension fund in Europe), growing the business, selling to a larger financial services company (RiskMetrics/MSCI), then pursuing a roll-up strategy to create the industry leader with a run rate of $60 million. He conceived and built the rating models still used, as well as many of the products – ratings, industry reports, webinars, mutual fund ratings, bond ratings, impact assessment, indexes. The ESG unit now has 275 employees, over 1,000 clients, research on over 9,000 equities, 250,000 bonds, and 35,000 mutual funds and ETFs, covering over 1.6 million securities, and a run rate of $100 million.
He has been on the Board as well as the Finance and Audit committees of the Global Impact Investing Network (a not-for-profit supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, Omidyar Network, Prudential and others) since 2012 and the Standards Advisory Council (rating committee) of B-Lab since 2009.
Most recently, he was President, COO and initial angel investor in HELiOS Exchange, a SaaS business focused on energy efficiency in commercial buildings for reducing carbon emissions. Helios is the world's first commercial real estate platform for energy retrofit project development, insurance, and financing, with analysis of over 160,000 commercial properties nationwide.
Prior to co-founding Innovest, he was in the Principal Transactions Group (the real estate merchant bank) of Lehman Brothers, where he was involved with risk analysis, underwriting, financing and securitization of real estate debt and equity. He previously served as a Vice President with Chase Manhattan Bank, where his responsibilities included the restructuring and securitization of its multi-billion dollar real estate portfolio. He has a wide variety of experience in real estate finance and development as a commercial and investment banker, covering most property types – office, retail, industrial, residential multi-family, single-family, hotels and resorts. Prior to his tenure at Chase Manhattan, Mr. Baltzell managed debt and equity portfolios for a privately-held, foreign-owned investment company. His career in finance and investment has also included working in the international division of Mellon Bank.