Will This ‘Back to the Future’ Move Put The Pedal To The Metal For Impact Investing?
Friday, October 23, 2015
When you look at the history of any major movement – or any niche concept or technology that successfully “crossed the chasm” into the mainstream – what you’ll find is a series of important moments. We believe this is one of those moments that we’ll look back on as we evaluate the impact investing movement and the growing focus on business and investing as a force for good.
When the US National Advisory Board on Impact Investing, on which I have the privilege to serve, issued its report – Private Capital, Public Good – more than a year ago, we zeroed in on a number of key policy changes that we believed could significantly increase the amount of capital available for socially responsible business. One of those policy changes centered around clarifying guidance issued by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) — which sets standards for private pension and health plans that protect investors’ money – to allow pension fund managers to consider social and environmental returns in addition to financial returns. Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor, led by Secretary Tom Perez, announced exactly that policy change.