Nancy Pfund — founder and managing partner of DBL Partners, an early investor in Tesla and SpaceX — was named the 2022 Financial Woman of the Year, an annual recognition program conducted by the Financial Women of San Francisco to raise scholarship funds.
Pfund and her colleagues created DBL when they came out of JPMorgan Chase in 2008. They saw an opportunity to create a venture capital firm that could take advantage of more investors wanting to put money in startups that made a social and environmental impact in addition to generating venture-type financial returns. Today, investors considering a company’s environmental, social and governance impact is one of the hottest trends in finance.
“Nancy Pfund was a leader in the impact investing space long before this type of investing gained the widespread recognition it has today,” said Melissa Maquilan Radic, president of the FWSF and managing director of investor relations and capital markets at Impact Community Capital LLC. “She is a champion of social and environmental change, both personally and professionally, and is an inspiring role model for women.”
DBL, which stands for double bottom line, has offices in San Francisco’s Financial District and downtown Palo Alto.
DBL’s double-bottom line focus spurred them to invest early in Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity and Pandora, among others. She served on the board of Tesla, SolarCity and Pandora prior to the companies going public.
“When I first started my impact investing journey, it was a lonely place to be,” Pfund said. “Undaunted, and determined to bring the worlds of finance, investment and social and environmental progress together, I relied on the support of early adopters willing to bet on me and on this vision. Many of these early adopters were women.”
She will officially accept the honor at an Oct. 28 luncheon in San Francisco.
Prior to founding DBL, Pfund was a managing director in venture capital at JPMorgan, having started her investment career at San Francisco investment bank Hambrecht & Quist 1984. Chase acquired H&Q in 1999. She previously worked at Intel and Stanford University.
“Building my finance career in San Francisco over the years, I have always been struck by the abundance of professional women who lead not only in their own fields, but in proactively helping other women advance in theirs,” Pfund said. “I am honored to join the ranks of outstanding women who have won this award before me.”
Recipients include Franklin Templeton CEO Jenny Johnson; Heidi Roizen, partner at Threshold Ventures,;Robin Washington, former chief financial officer at Gilead Sciences, and Carrie Dolan, chief financial officer of Kraken Digital Asset Exchange.
Since 1996 — recognizing former Wells Fargo executive Terri Dial as the first recipient — the FWSF has raised more than $2.7 million to provide scholarships to about 325 women.