Brian Axelrad is chief investment officer at Beyond Capital Fund, a nonprofit social impact fund that invests in social enterprises in India and East Africa. In this role, he oversees investment decision-making and advises on portfolio and overall fund strategy. Axelrad is also a partner at Horwood Marcus & Berk Chartered (HMB), a Chicago-based law firm, and serves as a member of a firm-wide executive committee. He leads the HMB's regionally recognized venture capital practice; is active in the firm’s private equity, mergers and acquisitions, and technology practice groups; and helped launch its philanthropy and social impact practice.
Axelrad is deeply committed to developing the field of impact investing, both locally in Chicago as well as abroad. In particular, he is interested in finding ways to leverage the richness of talent found in Chicago by being part of the link between Chicago and the global community. From 2014 to 2018, he worked closely with the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business where he was appointed as its first impact investor in residence, a post he held from 2015 to 2018. He also taught a course on impact investing as an adjunct associate professor of entrepreneurship. He aims to continue facilitating knowledge sharing and cross-cultural collaboration among the civic, business, and philanthropic communities.
As an active member of the Chicago nonprofit community, Axelrad has volunteered with numerous nonprofits, including Startup Leadership Program and Startup Institute in the technology community, and served on the board of directors of Literacy Chicago (an adult literacy nonprofit) and KIPP Ascend (a charter school in the North Lawndale community).