WEF Offers Impact Investing Road Map for Wealthy Families

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The World Economic Forum has a message for wealthy families thinking about impact investing: don’t just buy on the buzz, do your homework.

Seeking investments with the dual purpose of making a profit and improving society has become trendy among wealthy people and money managers, who rarely have the expertise or tools to put it into practice, according to a report released today by the forum as it gathers heirs to some of the world’s fortunes for a discussion on the sidelines of Art Basel in Miami.

“We’re making sure that there’s a little bit of a moderating voice, hopefully getting ahead of the potential hype or bubble,” said Abigail Noble, head of impact investing initiatives at the WEF, the international organization that holds an annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. “I am very passionate about impact investing, but I recognize it might not be for everybody. We want to make sure that decision-makers within family offices begin by asking the right questions of the sector and of themselves.”

Impact investments, a phrase popularized in 2007, have attracted an estimated $50 billion. That’s a fraction of the $62.3 trillion in global assets under management, according to figures cited in the report. It also represents a small portion of the estimated $4 trillion held globally by family offices, which manage money for the world’s richest people.

Source: Bloomberg (link opens in a new window)

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