Impact Investing Tribute #1: The beginnings of a different view of TIME: (Click Picture)
My father, William Herbert Moore, was born in Belfast, Ireland in 1906. Within the first few days of my beginning kindergarten, he turned 65 years old. He and my mum have always been - AND will always be - my heroes.
Daddy, as his four children called him, used to take me to get my haircut at a barbershop where everyone thought he was my grandfather. When people congratulated him on his little grandson, we both used to smile at each other and not tell anyone that I was actually his son. Growing up spending a lot of TIME with an older dad, hanging out with his friends and our relatives and engaging in all sorts of different types of conversations with an older crowd, gave me a slightly different view of TIME from my earliest days of childhood.
Daddy was larger than life to me for many reasons. He spent a little over a year in the sub-Arctic in the late 1920’s seeking what I once understood to be hidden treasure (minerals) as part of an expedition with Dominion Explorers. His job at first was as a sea-going wireless operator and the balance of the time up North he was an engineer and operator in charge of the establishment, operation and maintenance of a 500 watt short wave radio telegraph station and gas power plant. I heard amazing stories, and still marvel each time I flip through albums full of tiny black and white photos from his journey. I have always had a love for Inuit art, and it is clear where it comes from.
At the outbreak of World War II, Daddy was a Captain in the 4th Division Signals (Reserve) and subsequently qualified as a Major in 1941. Active in the Reserve Forces and working for C.I.L. (Canadian Industries Limited), he was transferred to D.I.L. (Defence Industries Limited), deemed to be an important part of the war effort. Daddy could have been called up anytime but was not. There is correspondence in his Army file showing that he visited and wrote to authorities in Ottawa in an attempt to be accepted for overseas service with his rank of Major. It was 1943 and there was a great need for men in the Army overseas, but not for a thirty-seven year old Major! He could have gone into the active army but to maintain his rank would have a meant a desk job in Canada.
Not wanting to do this and anxious to make a contribution on active service overseas, Daddy joined the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals as a Reinforcement Officer with the rank of Lieutenant. He was soon to be sent overseas in 1944. Daddy was attached to the headquarters of the 2nd Canadian Corps which helped provide communications for the Allied Forces when they landed in France on D-Day. Daddy later landed at Ambelic, France on June 27th, 1944. By mid-April 1945, the Canadian Corps fought their way north into Germany, establishing their headquarters at Borken on April 13, 1945. When VE Day took place on May 8, 1945, Daddy was with the 2nd Canadian Corps Headquarters established at Bad Zwischenahn in Germany. On May 5, 1988 my mother, sister Lynn and I were invited to go to Wageningen, the Netherlands together with Daddy in recognition of his service. We attended the annual ceremony and watched him march in the parade commemorating Liberation Day.
I mostly read about other stories of Daddy's experiences during World War II, because he did not want to talk about them. He retired as a lieutenant-colonel and commanding officer of the 10th Signal Regiment in 1954. From my lens on TIME, I have always been SO, SO PROUD of him.
Another facet of Daddy was his dedication to the Board of the United Theological College. He served on the Board of the U.T.C. for 26 years, twelve of those as Vice-Chairman and seven years as Chairman. He was a very thoughtful, spiritual, adventurous man; but most of all he was a man with a love for his family and an appreciation for the miracle we are all living (a DEEP appreciation of the Value of TIME). He was a man who believed in humanity and in peace.
Daddy’s love of tennis was another amazing gift for me. Through a lifetime of competition, I have gradually been able to rise (most things of true Value take TIME - he emphasized patience) to become a nationally ranked veteran player in both singles and doubles in Canada; and then an ITF (International Tennis Federation) world ranked veteran player as well. Daddy (and Mummy - as my siblings and I affectionately call her) opened the door for my TIME enjoying the sport.
I always tell a friend who loses their father that the best advice anyone gave me after my dad passed away was to mourn to the extent and whenever you need to, but just remember to live your life in tribute to him whenever you can (that is what I am extremely proud to be doing right now). Never forget that memories of happy times are just the blink of an eye away. I have been blinking a lot over the past twenty-six years.
In January of 1996, I was hired to open the Bank of Ireland’s Canadian office in Montreal. Though I have kissed the Blarney Stone and some might say I am full of it... (smiley emoji required!), it isn’t impossible to me that my dad pulled a few strings upstairs to help me get the job, and perhaps occasionally looked down during the 5 years I led BIAM’s efforts in Canada and flashed the same proud smile that he used to give me at the barbershop.
I shocked myself and a senior executive of a prominent investment firm I was interviewing with a few years ago when I gave a spontaneous answer to the following question: “What is the toughest thing you’ve ever done?”. I immediately responded: “Giving the eulogy at my dad’s funeral.” We both stared at each other in silence. My head went down, and when it came up a few seconds later, he said he hadn’t heard the question answered that way before and wanted to pass along his condolences. The Value of Time has always been in the back of my mind, but it just makes me want to try (whenever possible) to live with a greater appreciation and sense of adventure, as well as genuine hope for the future.
In 1977, Daddy was awarded the Silver Jubilee Medal for volunteer service to the community commemorating Queen Elizabeth’s 25th Anniversary. In 2002, Mummy was awarded the Golden Jubilee Medal for volunteer service to the community commemorating Queen Elizabeth’s 50th Anniversary (for among other reasons, becoming an elected city councillor for the first time in her early 70s... She turns 91 years young today!). There is a section in the family history book my mum put together called: “Volunteering – A Way of Life”. I learned an enormous amount from what they were able to accomplish with TIME.
I know that I will need to appeal to both hearts AND especially to minds through a number of Tributes to my heroes in order to make a strong case for why "With TIME, everyone can find value in Impact Investing". But Daddy never backed down from a challenge he truly cared about, AND neither will I. That is why in future posts I will suggest different angles on how this thesis can relate to actuarial assumptions, fiduciary duty, risk-adjusted returns, traditional and alternative investing, and the question: “What is in it for me?”. A potential "golden era" for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing is emerging, but at the same TIME as part of this there remains enormous untapped potential for Impact Investing. I would like to give my heroes in Impact Investing a hand-up with their tremendous efforts. I love sports analogies, AND some day I hope all investors will realize we are actually all on the same team with regards to the greatest issue of our time which starts with the sustainability of the planet. The most powerful force in the world is not money or TIME, it is love. And we'd better all love our own home - planet earth - enough to fight for it on behalf of our own parents, our own families AND their future families.
After blinking my eyes, I can certainly see my Dad smiling now...
As a result of all the above, AND because I am also a dad AND have an awareness of many of the pressing global issues of our TIME, I will follow the lead of my parents and at least have the courage to make the strongest case I can for an important idea.
One last thought that comes to mind as I embark on these posts is that Daddy, among his many achievements, also ran for the McGill Harriers (long-distance runners). He would have been an also-ran had he tried to sprint. We used to talk about sports and strategy when we would go for walks together, and if he was advising my kids - grandchildren he never got to meet - I would expect he might provide the wise advice that if you enter a sprint, give it everything you've got. If you enter a marathon, the sprinter will be a hero until he cramps or throws-up. What is the game you are playing kid? And what are your goals? That should guide you towards your best, most sustainable strategy. Game after game, all season long AND even throughout your TIME in your chosen sport. How do people get to the Olympics or their sport's Hall of Fame??
As you might have seen in an earlier post, Daddy loved technology as much as anyone AND would have been fascinated AND amazed by the tools we have today. But I think if I was talking with him AND he was advising his grandchildren - my kids - on its use, he would also advise on a balanced approach. Ultimately that will lead towards one of my final points at the end of the posts - I have great respect for the TIME Value of Money, but to not balance this focus with a reality check on the Value of TIME may be the greatest risk anyone can ever take.
THANK YOU DADDY (& MUMMY). I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU BOTH.
I hope you will consider TIME you invest in contemplating the messages in this and any future posts to be well spent. I also hope that you will laugh sometimes! AND I have no problem if at times it is very skeptical laughter. Laughter is the best medicine, they say, and surely part of the road map to finding more sustainable solutions while each of us chooses our own path to enjoy our individual journeys. My biggest hope is that at the end of my posts, the laughter will be WITH me (emoji time again!)
My next post will be a tribute to Daddy's 105-year-old cousin AND perpetual jokester, Alf. I hope you can invest the TIME to read it...
I do not intend to waste anyone’s TIME. :)