Barclays launches a retail ‘impact investing’ fund

14 Sep Barclays launches a retail ‘impact investing’ fund

Barclays announced the launch of its Multi-Impact Growth Fund, offering retail and institutional investors the opportunity to generate long-term capital growth, whilst, the bank emphasizes, making a positive contribution to society

The Multi-Impact Growth Fund invests primarily in specialist third-party funds, which have been identified and blended by Barclays’ in-house fund and manager selection teams. The funds have been selected as best-in-class, based on both their potential for strong financial returns and the consideration of their impact surrounding key social and environmental issues, such as climate or demographic changes, the bank said.

Barclays said the launch is in response to a growing demand from the market for an investing approach that considers the societal effects of investments, without compromising efforts to seek market-rate financial returns. The bank adds its research has found 56 pct of investors are interested in this type of product, but, only 9 pct have already made an investment.

Damian Payiatakis, head of impact investing at Barclays, said: “The launch of this precedent-setting fund also demonstrates Barclays’ commitment to building its impact investing business, and providing financial solutions for global challenges, as part of its Shared Growth Ambition.”

The investment model is a fund-of-funds (FoF), distinct from other impact products by offering a liquid portfolio diversified across equities, bonds and geographies.

As a UCITS vehicle, (Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities), it gives retail investors simple, single-access means of impact investing through a variety of direct and tax efficient wrappers, (e.g. ISAs),  Barclays said.

Payiatakis added: “We see the growing trend of impact investing being driven by many factors, including a demand from investors who are socially and environmentally conscious – and want their investments to reflect their attitudes.

“Our objective, therefore, has been to develop a new and innovative approach that will make impact investing accessible for those looking into these products for the first time.”

Sir Harvey McGrath, who is Chair of Big Society Capital – an independent wholesale social investor – helped seed the fund; he said: “At Big Society Capital, we are very encouraged to see a leading multinational bank and financial institution, such as Barclays, launch their own impact investment product. We are very excited by this proposition because of the potential to scale and replicate this fund. The £5 mln investment from our treasury portfolio demonstrates our belief in Barclays’ ability to bring impact investment to individual investors, enabling them to create a positive impact on people and planet using their personal investments.”