A growing number of global investors are seeking to put money in impact investments that will generate both social and/or environmental value and financial returns, at a minimum returning capital to investors and in many cases offering market-rate or even market-beating financial returns. This investment interest is sparking the emergence of a new industry that operates in the largely uncharted area between philanthropy and a singular focus on profit maximization.
In October 2007, the Rockefeller Foundation launched an Impact Investing Collaborative (see Alliance, April 2008, p10). At a follow-up meeting in June this year, Rockefeller hosted a gathering of investors to gauge support for impact investing at scale. The following projects are currently under way:
- Establishment of an independent Global Impact Investing Network representing the large-scale family offices, institutional investors, pension funds, investment banks, wealth managers, impact investing funds, retail investment aggregators, and private foundations that can steer billions of dollars of capital, support collective action, set standards, and back new businesses that can fill the gaps in the current impact investing ecosystem.
- Development of a standard for assessing the social and environmental impact of investments and preparation for the launch of an independent standard-setting body.
- Formalization of a multi-sector investment club, Project Terragua, focused on demonstrating a viable investment model for African agricultural investments that generate positive social and environmental return.
- Launch of an Impact Investing Fund of Funds through which investors new to the field can put capital to work in credible impact investments with reduced transaction and due diligence costs.
The launch of the Global Impact Investing Network is currently planned for the summer of 2009 following a series of regional consultations over the next four months.
For more information
Contact Network Coordinator Nina Sen at firstname.lastname@example.org