Taking the Mystery Out of Impact Investing

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

One mission of ImpactAssets, a U.S. nonprofit financial services firm, is to make it easier for individuals, families, and the advisors who serve them to get their hands on the information required to understand and evaluate potential impact investments—those that aim to generate social and environmental value as well as a market-based return.

Central to this effort is ImpactAssets 50 a free, searchable database of 50 fund managers with at least US$10 million in assets and a three-year track record. ImpactAssets, which also runs The Giving Fund, a donor-advised fund that earns financial returns by investing in companies that generate a social or environmental impact, published the seventh version of its database this week.

The 2017-18 guide includes funds with a collective US$29.2 billion in assets, up from US$10.6 billion a year ago, reflecting an “overall increase in interest and capital in this area,” says Jed Emerson, a senior fellow at ImpactAssets.

The point of the database is to educate investors and financial advisors about a range of existing impact investment options, largely in private equity and private debt. But it’s also “accidentally become an interesting barometer for where impact investing is,” Emerson says. The term impact investing was coined just over 10 years ago.

Photo courtesy of Martin Fisch.

Source: Barron's (link opens in a new window)

impact investing