Family Offices & the SDGs

A time to act - Season Two Episode 01

Credits @UNICEF/2019/Elyor Nematov
Published on February 1, 2021

In our first episode of 2021, Joint SDG Fund Head of Secretariat Lisa Kurbiel interviews our guests, Sergio A. Fernández de Córdova, Chairman PVBLIC Foundation, and Robert Lawrence Skinner, Executive Director, UN Office for Partnerships on the intrinsic motivations of legacy and impact of family offices, and their unique flexibility in making significant investments without return demands.

According to the most recent UBS Global Family Office Report, a quarter of family offices are engaged in impact investing. Over a third expect to increase their impact allocation to as much as 24% over the next five years, while 30% will allocate 25% or more. The Joint SDG Fund aims to bring the UN system into the impact investment space, connecting with investors, funds and philanthropists to mobilize financing to accelerate the SDGs. Family offices have a special opportunity to experiment with investments, and this discussion explores why building a relationship with these investment firms has the potential for profound growth and change.

The episode explores practical, profitable and creative solutions in channelling public and private investments towards sustainable development, and explores the role of Family offices in SDG Advancement.

Read the full blog on Family Offices and the SDGs

Panel

Sergio A. Fernández de CórdovaChairman PVBLIC Foundation

Robert Skinner, Senior Special Advisor, United Nations

Moderated by Lisa Kurbiel, Head of Secretariat, Joint SDG Fund

Speakers

THE PANELIST

Sergio A. Fernández de Córdova

Chairman PVBLIC Foundation & active investor in many ventures

As Chairman of PVBLIC he leads the foundations engagement with Governments from the White House to the United Nations and multinationals; public & private. In all of his work, he leads the global development and policy work behind structuring Public Private Partnerships (PPP) that embrace social change. 

Over the last ten years Sergio has helped launch or played an instrumental role in developing platform and initiatives to advance impact across the globe. From his work at the United Nations helping develop the Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) of the SDG Fund at UN, SDG Media Zone, UN Family Office for Sustainable Development, Blockchain Commission, SDG Data Hub, Alianza de Impacto Latino, to the White House’s “Its On Us”  & “Drink Up” initiatives and many other notable global movements with associated Donor Advised Fund structures to support the investment of development of the various initiates. 

Sergio has been celebrated locally & internationally for his work over the last 15 years. He was most recently honored with America’s most distinguished award, the 2019 Ellis Island Medal of Honor given to American Immigrants whose life work exemplifies the American Dream.  

Sergio is a graduate of Rutgers University with a Bachelor’s in Sociology, Sergio also completed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Birthing of Giants® executive program. 

Robert Skinner

Robert Skinner

Senior Special Advisor, United Nations

Robert Skinner is currently serving as a Senior Special Advisor in the UN’s Department of Global Communications, focusing on the UN’s COVID-19 Communications Response Initiative.  Prior to taking on this role, Robert was the Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Partnerships. He began his tenure with the UN in 2015 as the Director of the United Nations Information Center (UNIC) in Washington, DC.

Prior to joining the UN, Robert was the Executive Director in the New York Office of the United Nations Foundation.  Before joining the Foundation in 2006, Robert held several positions in the United States Department of State, including as Deputy Spokesperson at the United States Mission to the United Nations in New York, and as Public Affairs Officer for the United States Embassy in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. He also held posts in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire and San Salvador, El Salvador. 

Robert was an attorney in the Office of the Cook County Public Defender, Chicago, Illinois before starting his diplomatic career. Robert holds a law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Oakland University in the United States. He is married and has two children.