Impact Capitalist is an approach to understanding business ownership and its potential positive impact on society. The ideas arose from a number of intellectual exercises by co-founders Mark Aubry and Tom Fediuk (often when they should have been working on something else). From the constant Socratic challenges and inquires, the Impact Capitalist narrative emerged (Mark often refers to each conversation as another stinkin’ Master’s Degree defense). Together, they developed the foundations of the Impact Capitalist platform. As Impact Capitalists themselves, they share a desire to help business owners understand, manage, protect, and grow their resources.
What brought Mark and Tom together was that desire to help others. Mark was a financial planner that struggled with the limitations of traditional financial planning services in helping business owners. Tom was an assistant professor at Illinois State University (teaching Strategic Communication in the Public Relations department) with an interest in helping family businesses/enterprises. A foundational problem was that business owner resources are usually tied up in their businesses (not as market investable finances). Further, business advising theory and education (as well as lucrative compensation) was primarily focused on large-scale businesses. Traditional advising and consulting services were not designed to help small and medium sized family business owners.
Mark and Tom have worked together in a variety of business arrangements since 2006. They continued to bridge theory and practice in ways that help business owners. In 2015, they established the Impact Capitalist, which is a culmination of the lessons they learned through life’s harshest teacher: Hard Knocks.
- Mark’s background is in economics and history. Tom comes from the social and behavioral sciences. Their views emerge from cross-disciplinary perspectives and theories to better understand human decision-making.
- Mark enjoys the challenges of start ups and young companies, while Tom prefers exploring and advising trans-generational family enterprises.
- Mark is in the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame. Tom has watched basketball on TV.