Snowball CEO made an OBE in the King’s Birthday Honours

Author image

Laura Boyle, Head of Marketing, Snowball

Sat 15 June 2024

Featured asset

London, 15 June 2024: Daniela Barone Soares, an early architect of the UK’s impact investing movement, is calling for continued change in financial services as she is made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the King’s Birthday Honours.

The CEO of fund manager Snowball, Barone Soares has been awarded an OBE for her contribution in turning the theory of impact investing into investible products and strategies. Over the last two decades, Brazilian-born Barone Soares has helped to facilitate a significant flow of capital into businesses that support the wellbeing of people and planet. But, she says, there is much more to do.

“Most of us want to live in a society where people are cared for, and a planet which is in balance. I am so honoured to be awarded an OBE and want to use this opportunity to highlight the need for positive change in financial services.” Barone Soares says.

“Finance is the organising algorithm of the economy. It determines what is funded, what is not, what grows, and what doesn’t. It is rational for us as fiduciaries and risk managers to think about the social and environmental impacts of the allocation decisions we’re taking.

“This is about flipping our approach from seeing people and the planet as inputs in service of financial returns, to seeing finance in service of people and planet.”

Barone Soares spent her early career in private equity and went on to be named CEO of Impetus, a role she held from 2006 to 2015. Here, Barone Soares was a driving force behind the early efforts to use financial tools to achieve social impact, funding the first ‘social impact bonds’ in the UK. Under her mantle, Impetus pioneered venture capital models for social enterprises and charities, piloting new impact measurement tools and using different forms of impact finance. She was also on the advisory board that led the creation of Better Society Capital (formerly Big Society Capital) and the G7 National Advisory Board, as well as boards for the Education Endowment Foundation and the International Venture Philanthropy Association.

As CEO of Snowball, she has further proven that investing can benefit people and planet, while providing healthy financial returns. Her role in pioneering a new segment of the investment sector is particularly noteworthy, given that just 3 per cent of senior investment roles in private equity and venture capital are held by women from ethnically diverse backgrounds.

Barone Soares is now committed to pursuing wider access to impact investing, thereby ensuring that the market can scale with quality.

“I see the healthy returns and the deeper impact you can get in private markets. But hardly anyone can access this. I’m more determined than ever to open that up to all investors – and quickly, so we can put more money into solutions for a better world,” Barone Soares says.

“Most investors still make investment decisions by looking at the past and extrapolating those results into the future. We think we are at an inflection point where this will no longer hold – the practices of the past may have produced what looked like growth and value, but they ignored too many of the longer-term consequences – and those consequences are increasingly coming home to roost.”


Nigel Kershaw, chair of The Big Issue Group and co-founder of Big Issue Invest and The Big Exchange: “I’ve known Daniela since 2007 when we met at the European Venture Philanthropy Association conference in Madrid. It’s true to say not many people had a clue what we were talking about back then when we were saying that you could help make a more sustainable positive impact for people and the planet other than through traditional charitable giving. Daniela has always been there and always at the forefront, and I remember Daniela, driven by a deep sense of mission, and her inspirational contribution on the then-Big Society Capital board and the G7 National Advisory board. I am so proud and happy that Daniela has been recognised for how she has positively impacted the mainstream and most importantly, what that has meant to so many people.”

Kieron Boyle, Chair, The Impact Investing Institute: “Daniela has played a major role in making impact investment more global, democratic, and urgent. Inspiring leaders like her in the impact investing community are showing how capital can change the world for the better.”

Stephen Dawson, founder, Impetus Private Equity Foundation: “Daniela has achieved success and made an impact across the investing spectrum, from venture philanthropy, through impact investing, to private equity. This breadth of experience has given her an unusual insight into finding the right tools to tackle a broad range of societal challenges. She led Impetus through its early growth stages, developing the team, fine-tuning the model, raising the profile, building some key partnerships and diversifying the funding base. By the time she left, we had established a strong and unique position in the social sector as a thought leader, a respected authority in our field, and a relentless driver of impact.” 

Doug Miller, Founder of International Venture Philanthropy Association: “I'm very pleased to see that Daniela has been awarded an OBE. Her work on the development of Impetus is inspiring to the founders, to the team and to the market. She showed determination, discipline, innovation and made good things happen.”


Daniela joined Snowball as CEO in September 2019 and is excited about systemic solutions for a healthy, prosperous and peaceful future in this planet. Snowball is a diversified investment fund that aims to create positive outcomes for people and planet whilst generating competitive financial returns.

Daniela has over 15 years’ experience as a CEO and Board member at the intersection of the commercial and impact worlds, starting her career in private equity and venture capital investing and then spending nine years at the helm of Impetus, a global venture philanthropy leader. Daniela is a non-executive director at InterContinental Hotels Group Plc, a Trustee of the Institute for the Future of Work and of the Haddad Foundation, and a board member of Toniic an impact investor network. She is a Senior Advisor for the Forward Institute.

Among her various accolades are Fifty Most Influential in Sustainable Finance (2023 - Financial News), top 100 women in engineering (2019 - Financial Times), “20 People who are Changing Brazil and the World for the Better" (2017- Istoé Dinheiro) and 100 people who make Britain a better place (2008 – Independent on Sunday “Happy List”). Daniela holds a MBA from Harvard Business School and a BSc in Economics from Unicamp.

About Snowball

Snowball exists to prove that investing can benefit the planet while generating healthy financial returns. One investment in Snowball gives easy access to over 800 incredible impact solutions for a better world. Snowball is the only asset manager to publish the detailed findings from an independent verification of their impact processes – so investors can see first hand what deeper impact looks like. 

[1] The UK impact investment market was an estimated £58 billion in 2020. (Impact Investing Institute)