As a principal at Vodia Capital, Deutsch matches investors with funds that are aligned with their personal values. “My clients are interested in financial returns while also seeking to make a positive impact with their investment,” said Deutsch. “For instance, we look for organizations and companies that treat their workers fairly, strive towards gender equality among their staff and boards, and work to mitigate their environmental footprint.”
Deutsch’s clients are also interested in using their investments to meet social challenges, like food sustainability and education in low-income communities. “I identify market-based solutions to tackle some of these challenges, and then see if these are valid investment opportunities for Vodia’s clients,” said Deutsch.
Deutsch, who grew up in Jerusalem and now lives in Manhattan, is well suited for a job emphasizing values. He volunteered at different programs in Jerusalem for at-risk youth and spent a year in Rwanda mentoring young teens at a youth village. During Deutsch’s four years in the IDF he held various roles, including a stint in Lebanon during the 2006 war.
It was in Rwanda that Deutsch first started seeing the potential for viewing capital as a critical tool for social change, a realization that led him to his current career path. Outside of work, Deutsch also seeks to inspire positive change: In 2016, he co-founded LAVAN, a not-for-profit organization and network of investors who want to think about what it means to align their investments with Jewish values.
“We strive to look for market-based solutions to challenges the Jewish community is facing in areas like educational affordability or Jewish engagement,” Deutsch said. “For instance, JDate is a for-profit venture and an essential tool for decreasing intermarriage rates. LAVAN is interested in helping found other for-profit companies that will positively impact the greater Jewish community.”
LAVAN’s initial cohort of 26 fellows participate in monthly education sessions and commit to using their own capital to make values-aligned investments.
“If there’s something that was impressed upon me from my Jewish education, it’s that it’s important to give back to the greater community,” said Deutsch.
Prized possession: If you see a man speed past you on a bright yellow Ducati motorcycle in upstate New York this summer, it’s probably Deutsch.