Ricardo Bayon is a Founder and Partner of Encourage Capital, a new breed of asset management firm focused on profitable and strategic investments to solve critical social and environmental problems. Encourage Capital seeks to build a community of investors, foundations, market leading companies, governments and non-profits who are working together to address some of the world’s most challenging issues while generating financial returns for its investors. Encourage was formed through the merger of Wolfensohn Fund Management (the firm created by the former head of the World Bank, Jim Wolfensohn) and EKO Asset Management, a firm that Mr. Bayon created with his business partner, Jason Scott. Encourage is managing or has managed hundreds of millions of for Foundations, high net-worth individuals, family offices, and other impact investors. The company has done work and made investments on issues like financial inclusion, carbon markets, solar energy, fisheries, water, and green infrastructure. Mr. Bayon also serves on the company’s board of directors. Prior to co-founding EKO, he helped found and served as the Managing Director of the “Ecosystem Marketplace,” a web site and information/analysis service covering these emerging environmental markets. In that capacity he co-authored a number of publications on voluntary carbon markets, mitigation banking, and ecosystem services including “The State of Voluntary Carbon Markets 2007: Picking up Steam” and “Voluntary Carbon Markets: An International Business Guide to What They Are and How They Work,” and “Conservation and Biodiversity Banking: A Guide to Setting Up and Running Biodiversity Credit Trading System”. For nearly two decades he has specialized on issues related to finance, banking, ecosystem services, and the environment. He has done work for a number of organizations, including Insight Investments, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank, IUCN, The Nature Conservancy, Domini Social Investment, among others. His articles have appeared in publications such as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, the International Herald Tribune,. He has also written numerous articles and books on mitigation banking, renewable energy, biodiversity markets, markets for water quality, and other environmental markets. He was born in Bogota, Colombia, and is currently based in San Francisco.