Founder's Story

Janet was raised in a middle-class family during the 1950s. Every Saturday, she attended classes at the Cleveland Music School Settlement, which was founded in 1912 to provide free or inexpensive musical training for the children and wage earners of Cleveland’s newly arrived immigrants. Decades later, the school still provides training to low income minority children.

Her mother was volunteer board chair of The Florence Crittenton Home for Unwed Mothers of Cleveland (founded in 1911). Despite the family’s strong community involvement, all sense of financial security ended with the severe recession of 1960-61. Her father lost his job, and her family moved east to find work, juggling the bills to make ends meet for many years to come.

But it didn’t stop the family from looking outward — taking a public stand on civil rights, inner-city poverty, the war in Vietnam, and a woman’s right to care for her own body.


Janet attended Smith College on a work-study scholarship and attended the University of Krakow in Poland in 1975 as a Fulbright Scholar. She began her professional career in the finance department at International Paper Company.

She was eventually recruited by the investment management firm, Capital Group, where she spent 22 years managing global portfolios in a number of the largest equity mutual funds in the world, as Principal Executive Officer of The Income Fund of America, and a Director of Capital Research.

In 2004, she moved on to her next chapter as Chair of Oxfam America – taking on some of the world’s hardest problems.

Janet was an early and enthusiastic supporter of microfinance and self-help women’s savings groups. In 2012, she turned her focus to the formal economy, launching Advance Global Capital to help address a gap in funding for formally organized smaller businesses in need of flexible working capital. More specifically, she was looking to put her own money to work for two principal reasons:

One, for many years she had been an active philanthropist and impact investor. However, she wanted her efforts to go beyond philanthropy to help local economies build and strengthen local financial ecosystems and provide “woman-friendly” financing.

Two, when she researched whether there were funds already providing short-term revolving lines of credit to local NBFIs globally and their SME clients, she found there were none. Hence, she launched AGC with commercial and impact returns inherent in the strategy from the outset — because to make the strategy scalable, it would have to offer reasonable risk-adjusted returns in order to attract and retain a strong investor base.

Janet was a board member of UC Berkeley, Chair Emerita of UC Berkeley Endowment Management Company, and former chair of Oxfam America. She was a board trustee of Smith College, the Deutsche Bank Microfinance Consortium Fund and MicroCredit Enterprises.

She received her bachelor’s degree from Smith College, was a Fulbright Scholar at Jagiellonian University, and attended NYU Graduate School of Business.

Janet lives in San Francisco and is enjoying her retirement together with her husband.