An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers


An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers

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ImpactAssets 50: A Global Landscape of Impact Investment Fund Managers
The ImpactAssets 50 (IA 50) is the first open-source, publicly published database of experienced private debt and equity impact investment fund managers.

ImpactAssets 50

An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers

IA 50 2024 PROFILE

WaterEquity, Inc.

Total Assets Under Management: $100 – 499M
Asset Class: Private Debt - Absolute Return / Notes, Private Equity
Primary UN Sustainable Development Goal: 6 – Clean Water & Sanitation
Water and Sanitation
Microfinance, low-income financial services & micro-insurance
Global Health

Firm Overview

Category: Private Debt - Financial Inclusion (Microfinance, SME Finance and/or CDFIs - Emerging Markets)

WaterEquity is an asset manager exclusively focused on solving one of the most urgent issues of our time—the global water and sanitation crisis. We invest in financial institutions, enterprises, and infrastructure in emerging markets delivering access to safe water and sanitation to low-income communities, aligning investor values with risk-adjusted returns. Founded by award-winning entrepreneurs Gary White and Matt Damon of, the success of WaterEquity is built on decades of experience investing in water supply and sanitation (WSS) in emerging markets. Since 2016, we have launched four funds, raised more than $350 million in committed capital for Sustainable Development Goal 6, and reached more than 4.5 million people with access to safe water or sanitation, of which women comprise 95% of microloan end-clients. 

Firm Headquarters: US & Canada
Years of Operation: 5 – 9 years
Total Assets Under Management:
$100 – 499M
Total Number of Investors: More than 25
% of Capital from Top 3 Investors: 25% – 49%
Investment Thesis:

Lack of financing is the key barrier preventing individuals from securing safe water or sanitation, and the infrastructure necessary to deliver it. WaterEquity identifies investment opportunities in the water and sanitation sector aiming to accelerate universal access to safe water and sanitation for millions of women, children, and men.

Investment Overview:

Economists estimate a $1 trillion market opportunity for providing water and sanitation services to all people worldwide by 2030. Our goal has always been to build a sustainable, global capital market for safe WSS that will directly reach those in need. We focus on two areas:  Household Solutions: Among low-income consumers, at least 600 million people could access WSS products, services, and upgrades if financing was available, equating to a $35 billion market demand. Climate-Resilient Infrastructure: While infrastructure investments have grown by 350% in the last decade, only 1.9% of private infrastructure financing went toward WSS infrastructure specifically. There is an urgent need to expand and rehabilitate these systems globally to reach billions of people who are increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.  WaterEquity believes that investment capital can bridge the financing gap that separates 1 in 10 people from safe water, and 1 in 4 from sanitation. 

Company Differentiator:

WaterEquity emerged out of, a renowned NGO that built the case for WSS microfinance. Our genesis and deep experience in emerging markets and the WSS sector uniquely sets us apart from our peers. WaterEquity’s team is comprised of individuals with decades of banking and water/sanitation experience, and an unparalleled understanding of the barriers low-income consumers face. This unique combination enables us to identify investment opportunities with an attractive mix of financial returns and social impact.  In 2022, WaterEquity and identified a goal of reaching 100 million people with access to water and sanitation. This initiative leverages’s network to source and originate investable opportunities for WSS household solutions and infrastructure.’s market building activities strengthen and expand our investment pipeline by bringing technical assistance and advocacy activities to nascent markets. This shared goal further cultivates the most promising opportunities for both impact and financial return. 

Investment Example

Located in Nairobi, Kenya, Sidian Bank is a commercial bank with a dedicated water, sanitation, and hygiene initiative focused on empowering entrepreneurs to create wealth through provision of transformational financial solutions. WaterEquity disbursed a $5 million investment to Sidian Bank to finance loans to small-and-mid-sized enterprises delivering water and sanitation products and services. Sidian Bank, which has a strong track record and reach into underserved communities, has been working for several years to develop solutions for the water and sanitation challenges in Kenya. With only 62% of the population having access to safe drinking water in Kenya, WaterEquity’s investment, coupled with Sidian Bank’s local reach, will expand access in a country with enormous water needs. WaterEquity estimates that Sidian Bank will on-lend nearly 1,100 loans to local water and sanitation enterprises, resulting in more than 400,000 low-income consumers being reached with water supply and/or sanitation services. 

Leadership and Team

Cumulative Leadership Experience in Impact Investing:
30 years or more
Cumulative Impact Experience of Top Three Firm Leaders:
20 – 29 years
Paul O’Connell – President More Info

Paul O’Connell oversees and manages WaterEquity’s day-to-day activities. He brings over 25 years of experience in the research and practice of international finance and asset management to the organization. Prior to WaterEquity, he spent more than 20 years as President and Managing Partner of FDO Partners, LLC, a quantitative asset manager providing currency and equity advisory services to sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, and other institutional investors. His research interests include exchange rate behavior, international capital flows, and labor migration, and he has published extensively on these topics.

John Moyer – Chief Investment Officer More Info

John Moyer oversees WaterEquity’s investments including strategy, due diligence, structuring, and monitoring. He brings 15 years of experience in the financial services and water and sanitation sectors in emerging markets. Previously, John led’s market entry into Southeast Asia, where he launched operations in three new countries and led engagements with 20+ financial institutions and water utilities. Prior to, John worked for CHF International’s (now Global Communities) Office of Development Finance, managing a network of financial institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.

Catherine Colyer – Chief Operating Officer More Info

Catherine Colyer provides operational and compliance oversight of WaterEquity’s business and its funds. She manages teams that are collectively responsible for maintaining WaterCredit’s status as a Registered Investment Adviser with the SEC, domestic and international regulatory compliance, fund management, operational strategy, corporate governance, HR, and systems. Catherine brings to her role 25 years of experience in regulatory compliance, financial services, fair lending, and balancing business and legal objectives.

Percentage of Investment Professionals who identify as women:
25% to less than 50%
Percentage of Investment Professionals who identify as people of color:*
50% or more
Percentage of Senior Management Team who identify as women:
Less than 25%
Percentage of Senior Management Team who identify as people of color:*
Less than 25%
*People of color include: Black, Latinx, Asian, Native American/Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander, Middle Easterm and multi-racial Americans

Financial Performance

Target Financial Returns Relative to Benchmark:
Near-market Rates
Actual Performance of Impact Products/Funds Relative to Target Financial Returns in the Past Three Years:
In line with initial target returns
Financial Reporting Frequency to Investors or Donors

Impact Performance

Percentage of Total Assets Under
Management that are Impact Investments:
Primary Impact Outcomes:
Increasing access to water and sanitation
Secondary Impact Outcomes:
Addressing climate change and environmental issues
Alleviating poverty
Increasing access to education and improving educational outcomes
Increasing access to financial services
Increasing access to healthcare services and improving health
Addressing gender inequities
Value-added Services Offered:
Access to markets
Business and legal training
Financial literacy training
Technology training
Education services

Investments systematically target companies where social and/or environmental impact is integral to the product/service being created:

WaterEquity invests in financial institutions or enterprises targeting the water and sanitation needs of low-income communities, particularly women. Understanding the client base served by our investees is a key part of the due diligence process. All loan agreements with investees contain covenants requiring that WaterEquity’s investment be used exclusively for water or sanitation, and that the investee meet certain impact targets related to number of people reached and client demographics.

Investments systematically include social and environmental sustainability practices in the due diligence process:

During due diligence, WaterEquity’s Regional Investment Directors conduct comprehensive risk assessment on investee candidates using an ESG scorecard, identifying any key issues and the potential risk associated with those items, such as compliance with local environmental laws. Findings are presented to the Investment Committee with specific short-term and long-term recommendations to address risk and enhance practices. Any candidates that do not have acceptable ESG risk levels and are unwilling to agree to action plans to close ESG performance gaps will be disqualified from WaterEquity funding.

Impact Tracking and Monitoring

Impact is Tracked:
Impact Verified by an Independent Third-Party:
Social and/or Environmental Impact is Reported to Investors and Donors:
Yes – to the public
Third Party Validations:
Member of Impact Capital Managers
Impact Frontiers Cohort Participant
Implement recommendations from Task Force on Climate Related-Financial Disclosure
Net Zero Assets Managers Initiative
Utilizes standardized impact metrics (e.g. IRIS+, GIIRS, etc.)
Participant on steering committees or leadership roles within impact industry associations
Publisher or contributor to industry white paper or other research in impact investing

Learn More

Key Contact Name: Laney Beaman
Phone: 913-624-1905
Mailing Address:

117 W 20th Street, Suite 204, Kansas City, MO 64108 USA

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