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BEYOND TRADE-OFFS: Investor perspectives from across the continuum of impact investing

As impact investing grows, investors are beginning to better understand the relationship between risk, return, and impact. Beyond Trade-offs is a series that includes research from the Economist Intelligence Unit on the factors driving this growth, and perspectives from leading investors who have moved beyond the trade-off debate to...

GIIN Investor Forum 2018

This year’s GIIN Investor Forum 2018 will be the largest global gathering of impact investors. Join us on the 30-31 October in Paris to meet with peers, potential partners and co-investors from around the world. The Forum provides a unique opportunity to gain insights from industry...

Impact investing for the SDGs

According to a new survey from the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), the value of the impact investment market has doubled in the last year, and is now worth $228 billion. Whilst this figure sounds impressive, it’s substantially less than the $5-7 trillion needed to...

UK ethical investment market set for 173% growth

Edie reports that the ethical investment market in the UK will reach £48bn by 2027. New research from Triodos Bank, which surveyed 2020 UK investors, shows a growing appetite for socially responsible investment. Given that this commitment is particularly high among millennials and Gen Z,...

Worthstone launches impact investing awards

Worthstone, the social impact investment firm, have announced the launch of a series of ethical investing awards, to celebrate and recognise best practice in impact investment. Award categories include best impact product, best impact firm and an award for individual advisors. Submissions are open now...

Firms join Social Impact Investing Taskforce

Last year, the UK Government commissioned an independent Advisory Group to publish a report with recommendations for growing a culture of social impact investment and savings in the UK. Following publication of the Advisory Group’s report, Prime Minister Theresa May has now asked Elizabeth Corley, vice chair of Allianz...

The financial performance of impact investing through private debt

The GIIN (Global Impact Investing Network) has released a number reports on the financial performance of impact investing, aiming to set sector benchmarks and build a strong evidence base for impact investment. Private debt and fixed income instruments are among the most significant asset classes in impact investing, accounting for...

As a positive investor, can you create real impact? 

When do impact investments create real change? This panel debate on Stanford Social Innovation Review's website features leaders from the U.S. and U.K. impact and sustainable investing world weighing in on the question. Bridges Ventures says focus on under-served geographies; Big Society Capital says look for...

Millenials fueling $9 trillion sustainable investing market

Millennials are driving the nearly $9 trillion sustainable investing market, according to Morgan Stanley's Institute for Sustainable Investing. Sustainable investment products have grown at a rate of more than 33% between 2014 and 2016 in the US, according to data from the US SIF Foundation...

Combining ethics and return remains a challenge to investors

Miles Johnson reports (paywall) in Financial Times wealth section on June 23, that according to the most recent Financial Times Investing for Global Impact report, which surveyed 246 family offices and foundations about philanthropy and impact investing, one of the biggest challenges for these investors...

BUSINESS THINKING IN WILDLIFE CONSERVATION

Partnerships between the third- and private sector have become something of a trend in recent years, and there are many advocating for the benefits of collaboration. In the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Gautam Shah argues that wildlife conservationists need to start thinking like the private...

IMPACT INVESTMENT TRANSFORMING THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT

In case you missed it back in January: Mark Tercek, the president and CEO of the Nature Conservancy (TNC), writes about the ways impact capital has revolutionized conservation in a blog post from Davos. He argues that by using investor capital and business principles in...

Seeking the truth of social investment

Third Sector, the online hub for all things third sector, recently published an OpEd asking 'What is the truth about social investment'. The article is a must-read for those interested in social investing and highlights some of the challenges faced by the sector, concluding that whilst there has...

Who runs the world? Girls!

Impact investors are listening to the wise wise words of Beyonce and embracing the positive influence of women as investors, advisors and executives. Gender lens investing has become something of a buzzword in impact investing over the last year but last week saw a plethora of...

First close for UK’s first Social Investment Tax Relief fund

Resonance Ltd, a Bristol based impact investment fund manager, has announced the first close of its Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) Bristol fund. SITR gives individual investors an additional incentive to get involved in impact investing by offering them a 30% deduction from their income tax...

Impact Investing & Development

The Huffington Post reported this week on the potential role of impact investing in Development. With an estimated $200 trillion financing gap for Development initiatives, it's understandable that new financial tools, like impact investment, are being sought alongside traditional forms of  development finance such as state and...

Case Study: Responsible Rides

This week, the Stanford Social Innovation Review explored the role of auto-lending programme 'Responsible Rides'.  The programme, run by US-based Freedom First credit union, helps low-income households to access affordable auto-loans. Based in Virginia, its primary aim is to enable rural households to access transport in a region where public...

Confused by impact investing?

With the growth of impact investing as a practice, the term itself has proliferated. At first glance this appears positive: more use of the term = more awareness and use of the practice. However, there is also a risk that with increasing breadth of use...

Case Study: Impact investing in a food bank

Often, the big questions and headlines around impact investing distract our attention from the nitty gritty details of impact investing deals. What does an impact investing deal typically look like? And what are some of the challenges faced by impact investing deals? Seattle based impact investor,...

Big Society Capital publishes top tips for financial advisors

Attracting retail investors to impact investing has been high on the sector's agenda for a long time. This has been evidenced in policy action to date, for example the launch of Social Investment Tax Relief - a tax subsidy for investors in social enterprises -...

Social investment & crowd funding

Big Society Capital, the UK social investment bank, have called for proposals for partners to develop a 'Crowd Match Fund' worth £5 million. The fund, which is due to launch in March 2016, will offer match funding through debt and equity to social organisations that are...

Foundations commit to impact investment

The Ford Foundation has announced its commitment to pursue impact investment as part of its endowment investment strategy. The Foundation, which aims to tackle global inequality, has over $10 billion in assets, suggesting a big lift for the sector even if only a portion of...

Governance for social enterprise

Our weekly editor, Sarah, draws upon her experience as an investment associate at Numbers for Good to highlight the importance of governance structures for social enterprises. The effectiveness of established governance structures is often taken as a given; however, social sector organisations raising early rounds of  investment or substantially scaling their...

Landmark £10m impact investing deal reached

HCT Group, a social enterprise, recently raised a landmark £10m from a variety of impact investors. The deal is reported to be one of the largest UK impact investments made in a front line social organisation. HCT Group operates buses, including in London, and reinvests profits...

Finance Matters November Happy Hour with Sam Gill, Current CEO at ET Index

  Join us with Sam Gill, Current CEO at ET Index on "Exploring a concrete mechanism to harness the power of the investment system to tackle climate change".    When: Tuesday 24th November, 7:30pm at Cognolink offices, located in The Steward Building on 12 Steward Street (Liverpool Street station).   This...

Impact Investing: assessing the demand and supply side

Two new reports published by Echoing Green and Omidyar Network explore the shortcomings of impact investing from the perspective of social enterprises and investors (respectively) with a particular focus on emerging economies. Echoing Green, a non profit that supports social entrepreneurs globally, sourced their findings directly...

Financing the Sustainable Development Goals

With the UN Summit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) nearing, questions had been raised about how best to finance the new goals. Following a development financing summit in Addis Ababa in July of this year, key financing approaches were agreed - one of which...

What about failure?

Next Billion, the news site advocating development through enterprise, have published an interview with Daniel Izzo about his experience as co-founder of Vox Capital, a Brazilian impact investing firm. Izzo raises the point of a dual risk of failure in impact investing: the risk that the business...

Social Investment Tax Relief fund launched

UK impact investing advocates have long discussed how to open impact investing to a broader range of individual investors and the announcement of Social Investment Tax Relief last year sought to address just that. The tax relief seeks to encourage investment in qualifying social enterprises and charities by providing...

Introducing the Impact Investing Benchmark

According to a new report by global investment advisor Cambridge Associates and the Global Impact Investing Network, private impact investment funds with social impact goals have posted positive financial returns within about 1 percent of funds that place higher importance to financial gains. According to reports, the...

Social Impact Bonds: 5 years on

Five years after the launch of the first social impact bond in the UK, the success of the product is hotly debated. Brookings Institution, the U.S. think tank, released a substantial report on the subject that offers "grounds for cautious optimism." The report, covering the 38 SIBs...

Introducing the Impact Investing Benchmark

According to a new report by global investment advisor Cambridge Associates and the Global Impact Investing Network, private impact investment funds with social impact goals have posted positive financial returns within about 1 percent of funds that place higher importance to financial gains. According to...

Developing a global financial centre for impact investment

A new report Developing a Global Financial Centre for Social Impact Investment, commissioned by the City of London Corporation and produced by PwC, explores what methods leading financial centres in this field - such as London, might undertake to sustain such global growth. The research...

M&A in impact investing. Did Goldman Sachs just join in?

Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) has announced the acquisition of Imprint Capital Advisors, an institutional impact investing firm. Global head of ESG Investing, Hugh Lawson, characterised the acquisition as "critical to address the needs of our clients". The company announced the goal of building "a...

Impact measurement: asking some difficult questions

A recent report explores the activities of leading UK social investment intermediaries (i.e. funds that make social investments). The report is useful reading for anyone who would like to understand how these intermediaries assess potential investment opportunities, both in terms of financial and social returns, and subsequently how performance of...

Nesta: November 2014 Happy Hour with Matt Mead, CIO of Nesta

Our latest Happy Hour with Matt Mead, CIO of Nesta, was extremely insightful on one of the oldest impact investing funds in the UK. Matt gave us a brief history of his career from chartered accountancy, by way of corporate recovery and a life time of lessons in...

CEO of Big Society Capital to step down

Last week it was announced that Nick O'Donohoe, CEO of UK social investment wholesale bank Big Society Capital, will depart by the end of 2015. Whilst much of the media coverage focused on Nick's achievements to date, for example overseeing drawdowns of £136m since BSC's launch, an OpEd published...

Innovation in Impact

Founder of ClearlySo, the UK impact investment intermediary, Rodney Schwartz blogged this week about the potential use of 90/10 products in impact investing. He asserts that the innovation, a feature of French investment funds, would help attract new retail investors into the impact market, offering them the relative...

Journey in to Impact Investing

For those of our readers who have joined us at one of our monthly Happy Hours, you'll likely know that many of the questions asked of our hosts relate to their journey from traditional finance in to the social finance sector. On a very similar note, the...

GIIN: Impact Investing in South Asia

The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) recently published a report assessing the impact investing sector in South Asia; the report was part funded via DFID which is indicative of the increasing interest by traditional 'development' agencies in impact investing, as well as the UK's interest in being a centre of excellence...

Thinking about impact investment funds

Pioneers Post, the Social Enterprise Magazine, reported that the UK's largest impact investing fund, the Real Lettings Property Fund (managed by Resonance), closed at £57m last week following its initial launch in 2013. The fund provides move-on accommodation for homeless individuals and families in London,...

Finance Matters Happy Hour: Phil Caroe, Director of Social Finance at Allia

This month's Happy Hour brings Phil Caroe, Director of Social Finance at Allia, to discuss the growing market for retail charity bonds. Allia is a charity offering finance solutions, work space and business support designed to help UK social ventures grow. Launched in 1999, Allia's finance solutions...

Do charity CEOs appreciate social finance?

Pioneers Post, the social enterprise magazine, reported this week that 56% of Charity CEOs do not think that repayable financing sources would benefit their organisations. How to interpret this figure? It suggests that over 40% of Charity CEOs think social finance would be beneficial which, for a relatively young form...

OECD releases new report on the impact investment market

The OECD have released a report entitled Social Impact Investment: building the evidence base. The report proposes a framework through which to assess the impact investment market and emphasises the need to gather further evidence in order to improve engagement with the sector and support its growth globally. The...

UBS announces social investment tax relief (SITR) funds

This week saw UBS announce its support for social investment tax relief (SITR) funds in the UK, the first of which is due to launch in Q1 this year. As reported here by Pioneer's Post, the social enterprise magazine, the funds will target alleviation of inner-city poverty whilst also offering...

Finance Matters Happy Hour: Rodolfo Fracassi, Founder of Main Street Partners

Join us for our first happy hour of the year with Rodolfo Fracassi, Main Street Partners. The first Happy Hour of 2015 brings Rodolfo Fracassi, Main Street Partners to host the evening's discussion. Main Street Partners is an independent advisory firm helping institutional investors and private banks...

Accessibility of impact investing: HNWs vs. institutional investors

A couple of articles stood out this week for their portrayal of different investors' perspectives on impact investing. The first, an OpEd from the Huffington Post, highlights the emotive power of impact investments and the potential value to wealth managers in engaging private client interests in such "non-standard"...

Finance Matters Happy Hour: Matt Mead, CIO at Nesta

Join us for our October 2014 happy hour with Matt Mead, Chief Investment Officer at Nesta. This month's Happy Hour promises to be an interesting and practical discussion on NESTA's burgeoning impact investment activities. NESTA is an independent charity seeking to foster innovation in the UK and Matt...

Finance Matters Happy Hour: Jonathan Jenkins, Social Investment Business

Join us for our June 2014 happy hour with Jonathan Jenkins from the Social Investment Business. When: Thursday 26th June, 7:30pm at the The Exchange in London Bridge. Our typical Happy Hours resume this month with Jonathan Jenkins hosting. Jonathan is the CEO of the Social Investment Business,...

Finance Matters Happy Hour: Deirdre Davies, Deutsche Bank

Join us for our February 2014 happy hour with Deirdre Davies, a leader in responsible investment and impact investing at Deutsche Bank.  Deirdre is responsible for Deutsche Bank's Private Equity "ESG integration" strategies, and played no small part in setting up the bank's Impact Investment...

Finance Matters Happy Hour: Nigel Kershaw, CEO of Big Issue Invest

Join us for our first happy hour of 2014 with Nigel Kershaw of Big Issue Invest. We are delighted to host Nigel Kershaw OBE and CEO of Big Issue Invest and Group Chairman of The Big Issue Company at this year’s very first Finance Matters Happy Hour....

Finance Matters Happy Hour: Geoff Burnand, CEO of Investing for Good

Join us for our October happy hour with Geoff Burnand, Chief Executive of Investing for Good. Investing for Good is a social investment intermediary broadly dedicated to mobilising mainstream investment capital to invest for good. The organisation's first product, the Social Impact Bond Programme, launched in...

Finance Matters Happy Hour: Caroline Mason, COO of Big Society Capital

Join us for our September happy hour with Caroline Mason, COO of Big Society Capital,  the UK's social investment bank. Big Society Capital, the world’s first social investment wholesaler, launched in 2012 with a £600m to invest in building the social investment market in the UK. Caroline...

Finance Matters Happy Hour: Mark Cheng, Director of Ashoka UK

Join us for our June happy hour with Mark Cheng, founder of social venture investment and advisory firm Chelwood Capital, Director of Ashoka UK - the global network of entrepreneurial "changemakers" - and a whole lot more. As a founder and Executive Director of Chelwood Capital, an international corporate...

Finance Matters Happy Hour: Vinay Nair, Acumen Fund

Join us for our first happy hour of the year with Vinay Nair, head of Business Development in Europe for Acumen Fund. Acumen Fund is a pioneer in the impact investing space, providing more than $75 million in patient capital to  70 companies in South Asia and...