Alexis Advisors is pleased to announce that we have just become a Certified Benefit Corporation! Certified B Corps are a different way of doing business - one that focuses on the "how" and "why" of business, not just the "what." Becoming a Certified B Corp means we are now measured not just on our net profit, but on a quintuple bottom line.
From the day we launched Alexis Advisors, we have been committed to advocating for the “regular working professional.” Alexis is loosely translated from Greek, meaning “helper, defender, and advocate.” Having had a career in institutional money management for nearly a decade, I left largely due to a disconnect with my values. I re-entered the field to offer an alternative for individual investors and small business owners who are often on the receiving end of product sales, and less-than transparent fees. My vision was to create a firm that focused on consumer education, complete transparency, and accountability.
As a natural progression of the values upon which the firm was established, Alexis Advisors became a Certified Benefit Corporation this spring. The overarching principal of Certified B Corporations --“B Corps”-- is to use business as a force for good, not just for making money. Think of it this way – the B Corp certification is to business what the Fair Trade certification is to coffee and the USDA Organic certification is to milk. Currently, there are 1,752 Certified B Corporations in 50 Countries across 130 industries.
All B Corps undergo a rigorous third party assessment and certification process. Certification signifies that a company applies:
- “Best Practices” - the highest standards of verified performance, transparency, and accountability.
- A "beyond-the-bottom-line" approach - a better way to do business, for clients, workers, communities, the environment.
B Lab is the independent, nonprofit governing body that establishes and administers the standards that distinguish B Corps. The performance standards we have to meet are unlike traditional corporations – or even those that measure the “triple bottom line."(1)
Rather, B Corps are legally required to consider and measure the impact of decisions across five categories, the "quintuple bottom line":
- Customers - evaluate whether our products and services promote public benefit.
- Community - measures our impact on things such as community service, charitable giving and use of local businesses and service providers.
- Environment - evaluates our environmental performance including such things as our recycling policies and use of recycled office supplies.
- Workers - measures how we treat our employees.
- Governance - assesses our accountability and transparency.
As you can see, B Lab focuses on the impact to a company’s stakeholders, rather than profitability, assuming that the company will naturally measure the latter.
What does this mean to our clients, employees and other stakeholders? It means Alexis Advisors is held accountable for such things as:
- Transparency with respect to how we run our business, and fees charged for services rendered.
- Accountability for how much we give back to community – both in dollars and pro-bono hours.
- The Corporate Social Responsibility rating of the individual stocks in which we invest.
- The total invested in individual companies that are harmful to the environment.
- The percentage of local vendors used.
- Our recycling policies.
And this is just the start.
B Lab will continue to measure our performance in “the quintuple bottom line,” with the goal of measuring improvement, over time.
Below is Alexis Advisor’s first “B Impact Report.” And click here to view our write up on the B Corp website.
If you’re interested in discussing, or viewing our assessment, please email or give us a call. We would love to discuss. We are excited to be part of the change we want to see in our industry!
 The “triple bottom line” proposes that companies be measured on three Ps:
- Profit - the traditional measure
- People - how it engages and treats their employees
- Planet - how environmentally responsible it is
The phrase “triple bottom line” was first coined in 1994 by John Elkington, the founder of a British consulting firm called SustainAbility. SustainAbility’s Engaging Stakeholders network is a global group of thirty leading companies dedicated to advancing transparency and stakeholder engagement in pursuit of a more sustainable world.
For more information on Certified Benefit Corps: http://www.bcorporation.net/what-are-b-corps/the-non-profit-behind-b-corps/our-history
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