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Roundtable: Embedding impact in investment funds

19 Jan 2023

Impact investing directs capital to enterprises that generate social or environmental benefits as well as financial returns to investors. It is a rapidly growing industry powered by investors who wish to make a tangible positive impact as well as profit. Indeed, social and environmental impact objectives increasingly go hand-in-hand with attractive financial returns.

According to the GIIN’s recent report, released in October, the worldwide impact investing market has grown to US$1.164 trillion – signalling the first time ever that the total value of impact assets under management has exceeded the trillion-dollar mark. And despite the turbulent macroeconomic headwinds, impact allocations appear to be staying strong.

As impact becomes increasingly mainstream, fund managers must determine, implement and clearly articulate their impact strategy in order to attract impact-focused investors. With rising concerns about greenwashing and growing sustainable finance regulation, we’re seeing a distinct shift from “tell me” to “show me”, with more pressure being placed on managers to show real evidence of the claims made in their marketing materials and to demonstrate how impact is embedded throughout the fund’s lifecycle.

On 18 October 2022, IQ-EQ joined forces with specialist impact investing advisory firm Innovest Advisory to host an in-depth roundtable at our London office, focused on the effective embedding of impact throughout the investment fund lifecycle.

Featuring a select group of experienced impact fund managers and advisers, the dynamic discussion included an abundance of first-hand experiences and fascinating examples relating to everything from finding the right commercial opportunity, through the quirks of impact due diligence and risk mitigation, to how to measure results and where to draw the line in ensuring on-the-ground impact.

Roundtable participants:

Together, the group showcased how best to integrate sustainability criteria in the investment process and addressed a number of hot topics including impact-related financial incentivisation and the challenges presented by sustainability regulation, specifically the European Commission’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) and their ‘Article 9’ fund classification, which requires sustainable investments to be the fund’s primary objective.

In a new whitepaper, we’re pleased to share a detailed summary of the October session split across a number of key themes, which each deliver real insight into the opportunities, hurdles and future of impact investing. I hope you find the commentary as useful and interesting as I did being part of it.

Download the Insights paper

Working with IQ-EQ has been seamless – you and your team understand our business, advise us appropriately, and handle your side of our collective partnership so that we can focus on making good investment decisions. Evan Gibson SVP, Merchants Capital

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