Why Impact Investing Has Reached a Tipping Point

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

More major mainstream investment managers are flocking to impact investments. Already, funds invested in it are well into the tens of trillions and some foundations are committing to invest their endowments in it.

Perhaps even more telling than these indicators suggesting that impact investing is heading toward the mainstream: More students are enrolled in the impact investing class of Christopher Geczy, an adjunct professor of finance at Wharton, than in his traditional investment management class. “I think we’ve reached a tipping point,” said Geczy during a panel discussion titled “Mainstreaming Impact Investing” at this year’s Social Impact Conference, sponsored by Wharton’s Social Impact Initiative.

Impact investing, the practice of taking environmental, social and governance factors into consideration in making investment decisions, refers to the full range of approaches within the category, including socially responsible investing.

The enthusiasm for Geczy’s impact investing class echoes another data point cited by panelists as an indicator of the ascendance of impact investing: According to a recent Bank of America survey, 85% of millennials are interested in, or are actively doing, impact investing.

Source: Wharton School of Business (link opens in a new window)

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