Newswise — SALT LAKE CITY – (July 20) – The Sorenson Impact Center is pleased to announce the appointment of Hewson Baltzell as the new CEO of the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business. Mr. Baltzell’s appointment comes at a pivotal time for the Center. Mr. Baltzell was appointed by the Eccles School Dean, Taylor Randall, after an extensive national search and is relocating from New York City.
“Hewson is the perfect candidate to lead Sorenson Impact at this time of strategic growth,” said Randall. “His diverse background in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors offers a unique combination of skills that will serve the Center well as it seeks to ‘do well while doing good.’”
“We’re very excited to welcome Hewson, a seasoned veteran in the social impact space with the skills to continue leading the Center to the forefront of innovation,” said Sorenson Impact Center Interim CEO Jeramy Lund, who will resume his position as Managing Director of Impact Investing and focus on running the Center’s University Venture Fund: Impact Investing.
Mr. Baltzell spent 17 years as co-founder of what is now MSCI ESG Research, one of the most prevalent firms in environmental, social and governance research. He led the organization’s growth from a two-person start-up in 1998 (Innovest) to an industry-leading financial service company.
“Hewson brings a great deal of experience and capabilities in the field of impact investing, impact measurement and policy. His leadership couldn’t come at a more important time for the Sorenson Impact Center,” said Founder, Jim Sorenson.
Prior to joining the Sorenson Impact Center, Mr. Baltzell most recently served as the President and Chief Operating Officer at HELiOS Exchange, Inc., the world's first commercial real estate platform for energy retrofit project development, insurance, and financing.
“I am very excited to join a talented and experienced team with a proven track record in Pay for Success programs, an impact investing fund and the benefits of being uniquely situated at a 30,000-student university,” said Mr. Baltzell. “It is an honor to work with Jim Sorenson, a pioneer in the impact investing field.”
Mr. Baltzell holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. In his free time, Mr. Baltzell enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.
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.
He is also a frequent conference speaker and lecturer at institutions such as Wharton and Columbia. He holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Baltzell holds an M.B.A. in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.