Jan Schalkwijk is the founder and lead portfolio manager of JPS Global Investments. Helping clients achieve the financial goals that underwrite their life goals is his life’s work. Meet our team at JPS.
Conservation has been part of my life since childhood. I grew up in a town in Holland, where the garbage is collected infrequently, and all compostable material ends up in the yard. Caring for the environment was not a political act; it’s just the way things were. The reality of living in a resource constrained world is built into the way of life in towns and countries that are space constrained.
Years later, when I started in the investment field, I didn’t realize that investing could reflect one’s values. And as a 20-something I wasn’t yet trying to connect the dots between my career and my values. However, after about a decade in the traditional investment industry, I was ready for a change. I knew I wanted more from my career, but I wasn’t exactly sure what that “more” was. Contrary to sound financial advice, I spent a good chunk of my savings and left a well-paid job to travel the world for a year, visiting over 30 countries on 5 continents. This trip was perhaps the best thing I ever did, rekindling my love for this planet, its pristine landscapes, and its delicate ecosystems.
In 2007, upon my return from that trip, I founded JPS Global Investments with the goal of serving people who wanted something different from what the big financial institutions had to offer, people who wanted a greater connection with how their money was being invested and with the people managing it. That goal led me to impact investing, where clients can earn financial returns and have a more meaningful relationship with their money through the impact their investments are having in the world.
Initially, my impact investing focus was on opportunities that had a positive environmental impact, such as renewable energy, resource efficiency, and land, air & water pollution mitigation. This focus was self-driven, based on my childhood and travels, and it seemed like a natural fit. Over time my focus has expanded as my clients have expressed interest in other areas and they have opened my eyes to a wider variety of impact investments, such as financial inclusion, sustainable agriculture, education, and affordable housing.
I am passionate about listening to my clients, focusing in on the issues they care about, and tailoring portfolios to have the unique impact that each client desires.