We build on cross-sector expertise
Our team comprises experts with long-term experience in venture capital, corporate finance, development and innovative finance, public policy, social entrepreneurship and impact management.
Bjoern Struewer is founder and CEO at Roots of Impact. He has more than 20 years of experience in the finance sector, including 12 years at Credit Suisse, most recently as a managing director. After leaving the banking industry, he started working closely with public funders and impact investors to scale enterprises and innovations with strong potential for positive impact.
With his team at Roots of Impact he developed pioneering solutions such as Social Impact Incentives (SIINC) and Impact-Linked Finance as well as the Social Finance Academy. He also leads the Initiative for Blended Finance at the University of Zurich, is senior fellow at the Center for Sustainable Finance and Private Wealth and mentor at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Impact Investment for the Next Generation program. Bjoern is member of various investment committees and advisory boards, serves as senior advisor to Ashoka on social finance and is co-founder of the Financing Agency for Social Entrepreneurship (FASE).
Dr. Rory Tews
Dr. Rory Tews is program manager at Roots of Impact, where he is responsible for impact assessment and guiding social entrepreneurs on impact generation, incentives and measurement. He currently manages a multi-year blended finance project in Latin America, has authored several articles and co-developed a new impact optimisation approach. Rory has won several awards for his academic work and completed his PhD conducting a socio-cultural analysis of the emergence of social entrepreneurship in the broader institutional framework.
Christina Moehrle is advisor at Roots of Impact, where she mainly designs impact finance content for onsite and online education and is responsible for communications. Since 2010 she is active as a freelance writer, journalist and communications expert in impact finance and social entrepreneurship. Besides Roots of Impact, she leads the education programs at the Initiative for Blended Finance and works with several impact pioneers on publications, communications and knowledge dissemination, e.g. the Financing Agency for Social Entrepreneurship (FASE) and Ananda Impact Ventures. Her previous career spans more than 15 years in the finance industry, among others as a partner and investor relations manager at venture capital firm Star Ventures and director of structured products at DB Trust AG, where she was responsible for venture capital and private equity fund placements to Deutsche Bank’s high net worth clientele across Germany. She is also active as a pro bono advisor to a blockchain-based validation and investment platform for developing countries. Christina holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Mannheim and is member of the German journalist association DFJV.
Maxime Cheng is programme manager of the Social Finance Academy, building the education platform and curating both the online and onsite educational experience in the field of social finance. Before joining the team, Maxime built an impact measurement and evaluation database at Impact Hub (Global), as well as advised mission-driven organisations and policy makers on the subject. She also worked with start-ups creating digital contents on the topic of business model design and leadership training, establishing data analysis processes to drive UX and product development. Maxime holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Hertie School of Governance and investigated the design process of impact indicators of social impact bonds in Europe in her final thesis. She also worked as a marketing officer at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council after graduating from her Bachelor in International Politics and History from Jacobs University Bremen.
Patrizia Baffioni is project manager at Roots of Impact, focusing on Impact-Linked Finance and impact assessment. In particular, she leads and facilitates the open platform initiative for Impact-Linked Finance and manages projects in vocational skills development and ecosystem building. Before joining the team, she worked for over two years for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), first as communications expert and then as project assistant, and was involved in technical cooperation projects in Chad, Benin and Haiti. Patrizia studied and worked in several countries across Europe, namely in Germany, France, Italy, Belgium and Austria, and speaks four languages fluently. She is a member of the Global Shapers, a youth community of the World Economic Forum. She just finalized her second master in Development Finance at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, with a thesis on how to accelerate and scale Impact-Linked Finance.
Sana Kapadia is impact investment manager at Roots of Impact. She is bringing a rich global background in impact investing, venture capital, equity research, and social entrepreneurship to the team. Sana spent the first half of her career in traditional finance and then transitioned to the social impact space, with roles at mission venture fund Renewal Funds and social impact accelerator Spring Activator. At Spring, she continues to support impact entrepreneurs in scaling their impact and raising investment as a part-time Chief Impact Officer. Recently honoured as a “Business in Vancouver Top 40 under 40” winner, she is also a co-founder of the RAISE Collective, a community of female investors and founders changing the gender ratio in investment. For Vancouver-based Active Impact Investments she acts as a gender lens and deal flow advisor. Sana holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Business from the Schulich School of Business in Toronto, Canada and a Masters in Development Studies from Erasmus University in the Netherlands.
Ben West is project officer at Roots of Impact and supports the development and implementation of the firm’s impact measurement and management practice, provides backstopping support to various projects, and coordinates business development activities. Before joining Roots, Ben worked in development consultancies in Afghanistan and humanitarian NGOs in Iraq. During this time, he gained a broad familiarity with business development in the humanitarian and development sectors and also a strong background in monitoring and evaluation. Most recently, he completed a Master’s of Public Policy at the Hertie School of Governance, where he focused on research methods for policy analysis.
Eren Foerster is office manager at Roots of Impact. She is responsible for administration, accounting and customer relationship management. Eren is a tax assistant by training as well as a foreign language correspondent in English and French. Before joining the Roots of Impact team, she worked at international law firms as assistant for partners specialized in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and private equity. During her employment in several tax consultancies as well as in public and private sector organizations she gained experience as a commercial clerk in departments like human resources, accounting, customer relationship, administration and was working with financial reports & analysis, tax related matters as well as translations.
Leonessa Crisci is project officer at Roots of Impact, focusing particularly on Impact-Linked Finance. Prior work experiences span the private sector and intergovernmental organizations. She has worked in various roles and with different stakeholders within the impact investing space, including for a venture capital firm in India, a family office in Germany and a business and investment management advisory firm in Switzerland. Furthermore, Leonessa has worked for two years as communications specialist at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. She is fluent in five languages and holds a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Bachelor’s degree from King’s College London – both with a focus on political economy of development.
Dr. Thomas Scheuerle
Dr. Thomas Scheuerle is scientific advisor at Roots of impact for impact management. He works as a consultant for innovation management and corporate venturing with a focus on sustainable business innovations. Previously, he was at the Centre for Social Investment at the University of Heidelberg where he contributed to several research and advisory projects in the field of social entrepreneurship and social impact investing. Trained in economics and social sciences at the Universities of Heidelberg, Mannheim, St. Gallen and Philadelphia (UPenn), his work focuses on how to leverage market mechanisms to achieve social and ecological goals. In his PhD thesis at the University of St. Gallen, he analyzed cross-sector business models in the field of new sustainable mobility solutions.
Gabriele Guaita is project associate at Roots of Impact, where he focuses on the creation of innovative finance toolkits. Gabriele gathered experience in performing financial analysis and corporate valuations, as well as qualitative and quantitative analysis. He was active in countries such as Germany, Italy, USA, and India, and speaks three different languages fluently. Gabriele holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Bocconi University and is finalizing his Master of Science in Corporate Finance at Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
Melanie Siow is a project coordinator at Roots of Impact, bringing eight years of experience in environmental sustainability and social impact development sectors. Upon graduation in BSc Biotechnology from Hochschule Mannheim, Germany, she was involved in monitoring and evaluation of environmental engineering projects with multinational consultancy firms in Malaysia. At the Foundation of Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, she spearheaded Malaysia’s first Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) initiative, a sustainable financing mechanism for management of natural resources. She also gained extensive experience in Pay for Success methodologies and cost-effective and customer-centric impact measurement. Melanie holds an MSc in International Development Management from the University of Nottingham, UK, where her dissertation was specialized in impact measurement practices in the impact investing industry.
Vilma Manjani is a project associate at Roots of Impact, supporting the team on Impact-Linked Finance projects. Previously, she worked as a sales account manager for the UK market in a business outsourcing company. Vilma has been very active on social impact initiatives in her country of origin, volunteering in various projects of United Nations Youth Association of Albania and AIESEC in Albania. She is very passionate about data and is part of the Frankfurt Data Science Initiative. Vilma holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from Epoka University and is now a first-year student of Master of Science on International Management at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany.