Deborah La Franchi

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 $1.48 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.

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. Ms. La Franchi also is on the UCLA Ziman Affordable Housing Advisory Council (AHAC). 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.

Ms. La Franchi Recognitions:

  • Los Angeles Business Journal (LABJ) Women of Influence: Finance (2024)
  • Los Angeles Times B2B Finance and Banking Visionary (2024)
  • LABJ Who’s Who in Real Estate (2023)
  • Los Angeles Times B2B Inspirational Women Finalist (2022)
  • LABJ Women’s Leadership Symposium – Innovator of the Year Finalist (2022)
  • Women’s Leadership Unbound Summit “Rising Star” Award (2021)

SDS Capital Group Recognitions:

  • ImpactAssets 50 Manager (2018-2024)
  • Real Leaders Top Impact Companies – Impact Investing (2024)
  • Pension Real Estate Association (PREA) Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) Award – Social Impact (Supportive Housing Fund – 2023)


Deborah La Franchi Speaking Engagements:


  • PEI: Responsible Investment Forum: February 2024


  • Menorah Partners Los Angeles Forum: May 2023
  • ULI Americas, Homelessness Summit: June 2023
  • BizFed Institute Housing Forum: June 2023
  • Women Presidents Organization: July 2023
  • LA Progressive, Housing for People Who Are Unhoused in Los Angeles: September 2023
  • UCLA Ziman Center, Levin Affordable Housing Program: September 2023
  • Healthcare Anchor Network 2023 Annual Convening, Kaiser Permanente & SDS: October 2023
  • ULI Americas, Redevelopment & Reuse Council: November 2023
  • The Nick Halaris Show (podcast), Impactful Citizenship: November 2023


  • UCLA Ziman Distinguished Speaker Series, Affordable Housing: February 2022
  • Wealth of Nations Advisors Impact Conference: April 2022 (Australia)
  • UCLA MBA Students (ESG for Managers and Investors): May 2022
  • UCLA Real Estate Alumni Group: May 2022
  • Century Housing 21st Annual Developer Roundtable: June 2022
  • ULI Los Angeles Housing Working Group: 2022
  • LA Business Council Homeless Committee Presentation: 2022


  • Cinnaire Presentation: March 2021
  • ACG DFW – ESG/Impact Investing: April 2021
  • Housing Council for ULI Panel: April 2021
  • CHC’s Spring Policy Forum: May 2021
  • Speaker Call: ESG/Impact Investing Webinar: June 2021
  • Eisner/Amper Presenter: ON24  Webinar: July 2021
  • Weingart/SDS Pitch-Miguel Univision interview: August 2021
  • California Multifamily Forum: August 2021
  • PANEL WONA Impact Conference: August 2021
  • INTERVIEW: The Giving List/Daniel Heimpel – SDS-SHF/Debbie La Franchi: August 2021
  • Andre Perry/SDS SHF Interview: September 2021
  • BFI SoCal Transformation: Housing Forum: September 2021
  • Innovation Panel NMTCC Pre-Conference Zoom: November 2021