Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism (CIC) is a left-of-center advocacy group which promotes “inclusive capitalism,” a business and political policy movement based on aligning capitalism with left-progressive priorities.
CIC was founded by Lynn Forester de Rothschild, a member of the Rothschild financial dynasty and personal friend of the Clinton family. De Rothschild became an advocate for “inclusive capitalism” after the 2008 financial crisis.
In April 2021, CIC co-organized a preliminary campaign of 100 major corporations against politicians and state legislatures considering new voter registration laws.
CIC’s three highest-paid employees are a “director of thought” and two “thought leaderships.”
Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism promotes a policy movement known as “inclusive capitalism,” which emerged after the 2008 financial crisis. The movement advocates for adjusting the motivations, incentives, and legal structures of capitalism to promote wealth redistribution, limit inequality, and protect the environment. Supporters primarily draw from corporate executives who see themselves as stewards for a left-progressive global economic order. Along with Lynn Forester de Rothschild, proponents include Salesforce co-CEO Mark Benioff, McKinsey managing director Dominic Barton, and Pope Francis.
Criticisms of inclusive capitalism have come from the right and left. The libertarian Foundation for Economic Education criticized the movement for supporting policies which allegedly induced cronyism and exacerbated the ills of government intervention into the economy. Meanwhile, the social-democratic newspaper The Guardian has referred to inclusive capitalism as a “Trojan Horse” organized by economic elites to maintain the status quo while paying lip service to more left-progressive ideals.
Framework for Inclusive Capitalism
The Framework for Inclusive Capitalism is a set of 21 government and business policy initiatives recommended by a group of business and political leaders, including former Rep. Steve Bartlett (R-ID), Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, Ford Foundation president Darren Walker, and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) executive David M. Rolf. The recommended policies include increasing government spending on research and development to at least 1% of GDP, and expanding infrastructure spending, job training, and unemployment insurance. The Framework advocates for a higher minimum wage. Businesses are encouraged to lower executive pay and create guidelines for systematically promoting racial diversity among employees and executives.
Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican
Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican is Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism’s sister think tank that maintains close ties with Pope Francis, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. The group has collected 298 commitments from 68 businesses and organizations to achieve inclusive capitalist goals. For instance, Allianz committed to starting five charitable programs to support underprivileged children in 2019.
The group has collected 298 commitments from 68 businesses and organizations to achieve inclusive capitalist goals. For instance, Allianz committed to starting five charitable programs to support underprivileged children in 2019.
The Council is led by the “Guardians,” a group of twenty business and nonprofit leaders including executives from the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, BP, Johnson & Johnson, Mastercard, and the California State Treasury. The Guardians oversee organizations with a combined net worth of $10 trillion in assets.
Pope Francis is serving as the project’s “main advisor” and “moral leader.” Council members meet with Pope Francis annually to discuss the project’s objectives.
Pension Fund Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism
The Pension Fund Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism is an attempt to coordinate major global investment firms to create a set of investment guidelines designed to steer global finance away from “short-termism.” The project is co-run by the Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership at Columbia Law School, and the Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.
Embankment Project for Inclusive Capitalism
Embankment Project for Inclusive Capitalism is an initiative to create a long-term growth framework for the global economy. The goal is to shift the priority of corporate activity beyond shareholders to “stakeholders” including “customers, employees, suppliers, communities.” The project is run by 30 business leaders representing companies with combined assets of $30 trillion, including Nestle, PepsiCo, Aetna, and Unilever. Project members can contribute proposals to an open-source framework for discussion.
Opposition to the Georgia Election Integrity Act
On April 10, 2021, the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute, the Leadership Now Project, and CIC co-organized a call with 100 corporate leaders to coordinate efforts to oppose a new wave of state-level voting laws, particularly Georgia’s Election Integrity Act. The highly controversial legislation is intended to prevent voter fraud, but has been accused of being used for voter suppression, particularly against low-income and racial minority voters who tend to support Democrats. Corporate leaders on the call included representatives of American Express, Merck, and at least one NFL team.
In a press release, CIC stated that business leaders on the call would consider limiting political contributions to candidates who supported new voting laws, and cease future investments in states which passed the laws. Critics framed the gathering as an attempt by corporate interests to override democracy. U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) called the gathering an instance of “oligarchy.”
Lynn Forester de Rothschild
Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism was founded and is chaired by Lynn Forester de Rothschild, a former lawyer and businesswoman who married Evelyn de Rothschild of the Rothschild financial dynasty. She has been described as an “old friend” of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Lynn Forester served as a member of the National Information Infrastructure Advisory Committee and the secretary of the Energy Advisory Board under President Bill Clinton. Lynn Forester and Evelyn de Rothschild were introduced by Henry Kissinger at a Bilderberg Meeting, and spent their honeymoon in the White House during President Clinton’s administration.
Lynn Forester de Rothschild is currently the chief executive of E.L. Rothschild, a private investment company. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Chatham House, the International Advisory Council of Asia House, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and the Foreign Policy Association, and she is a board member of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the Alfred Herrhausen Society of International Dialogue of Deutsche Bank, the Elumelu Foundation, the International Advisory Board of Columbia University School of Law, Fondo per L’Ambiente Italiano, and the ERANDA Foundation.
Evelyn de Rothschild is the vice president of CIC.
Meredith Sumpter is the CEO of CIC and its sister-group Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican. Sumpter was an investment management executive at Eurasia Group and BowerGroupAsia. Previously, she worked at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for five years as a diplomat and analyst. She also served as a legislative aide for Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) for two years.
Michael Clyne is the executive director of CIC. Like Lynn Forester de Rothschild, he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Clyne is also a partner at the Truman National Security Project. He was formerly on policy committees for both the 2020 presidential campaigns of President Joe Biden and Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-South Bend). In 2013, he worked for Senator Cory Booker’s (D-NJ) campaign.
Funding and Partner Organizations
Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism lists the following organizations as its funders: Andersen, the Rockefeller Foundation, Wiggin Osborne Fullerlove, McDermot, Will and Emery, the Ford Foundation, and Inclusive Capital Partners.
Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism lists the following partner organizations on its website: Chief Executives for Corporate Purposes, the Institute for Corporate Governance and Finance, Just Capital, the Columbia Law School Ira Miller Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership, the American Council on Education, the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, the Workforce Innovation Center, and the Boston University Law School.
The following groups are listed as being engaged in “allied effort:” Imperative 21, the Global Impact Investing Network, FCLT Global, the B Team, and B Lab.