Deborah La Franchi
Founder & CEO
Deborah La Franchi is the founder and CEO of SDS Capital Group. SDS is a national leader in impact investing with over $1.3 billion of active assets under management in six different fund and product strategies. Ms. La Franchi founded SDS with the express vision of engaging the private sector in the battle against poverty. Each impact fund on SDS’s platform serves a different geography and employs a unique investment strategy, but they all generate positive impacts for low-income communities and people. Each fund – depending on the focus of the specific fund – either targets a risk-adjusted rate-of-return or provides capital at a below-market cost. Ms. La Franchi’s core role is to ensure each fund is supported by a team with the key expertise needed to execute the specific investment strategy. Ms. La Franchi leads the structuring of each fund’s investment strategy, spearheads fundraising, oversees the senior managers of each fund and division, and participates on each fund’s investment committee.
SDS and Ms. La Franchi have been widely recognized for their accomplishments in the impact space. For five consecutive years, SDS has earned a spot on the ImpactAssets 50 (IA 50) list, which recognizes the leading impact fund managers in the world. The SDS Supportive Housing Fund, a first-of-its-kind private equity approach to financing permanent supportive housing for unhoused Californians, was awarded the 2023 Pension Real Estate Association (PREA) Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) Award in the Social Impact category. Ms. La Franchi was also the winner of the Women’s Leadership Unbound 2021 General Partner “Rising Star” Award sponsored by Deloitte, a Finalist for the 2021 and 2022 Los Angeles Business Journal Women’s Leadership Awards in the Innovator of the Year category and a Finalist for the 2022 Los Angeles Times B2B Inspirational Women Award.
Outside of her work with SDS, Ms. La Franchi is the founder and board chair of Sustainable Communities Fund, which provides capital for small and micro loans to low-income and diverse entrepreneurs. Before founding SDS, she served as Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan’s Assistant Deputy Mayor for Economic Development; she then went on to serve as the first CEO of Genesis LA, which launched the Genesis Family of Funds. She is a former director for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater L.A. and Secretary and Director of the National New Market Tax Credit Coalition.
Ms. La Franchi earned a BA in Political Science and History from UCLA, an MBA from UCLA, and an MPP from Georgetown University. She also holds a Series 65 license.