Casting a Vision for the Impact Investing Movement
Thursday, April 17th, 2014, 9:30am - 11:30am EDT / Streamed Panel Discussion: 7:00am - 8:30am PDT / 10:00am - 11:30am EDT / 16:00 - 17:30 (Paris-Brussels) Meeting in New York
The Impact Investing Movement may be in its infancy, but the baby is growing quickly! While the current size of the Impact Investing market is estimated at $36 billion, various projections predict that it could grow to anywhere from $500 billion to $1 trillion by 2020. To realize this growth, Impact Investing will need to attract mainstream capital from high net-worth investors, investment funds, sovereign wealth funds, university endowments, insurance and pension funds, foundations, and more.
Impact Investing differentiates itself from other investment approaches in that it seeks to measure both financial and social merits of an investment. Other approaches may only screen for investments with negative social impacts, prioritize financial performance over social impact, or provide only unintentional social benefits. Impact investing covers the full range of asset classes, from early-stage to mature, and many sectors, including environment, education, financial services, health, housing, and more.
Consumers, especially the “Millennials”, have widened the scope of their investment lens to include Environmental, Social and Governance factors (ESG) in their decision-making process. They are demanding sustainable investment opportunities that produce positive social outcomes – such as reduction of environmental pollution, improved labor conditions and improved corporate governance.
This client demand, together with the belief that Impact Investing will ultimately lead to increasing sustainability for markets and nations, has driven bulge-bracket firms such as Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, and JP Morgan to begin initiatives in this space.
In this roundtable discussion, we will explore some of the creative solutions that early Impact Investing initiatives have achieved and explore strategies to overcome current challenges faced in attracting mainstream investors to impact investing.
Among the questions we will consider include:
· What may be the most promising emerging sectors for Impact Investing?
· What are the direct (material) and indirect benefits of Impact Investing?
· What are some challenges in categorizing investments as ‘Impact Investments’?