Impact investing

Impact investing in private markets

We can help you define your impact ambition and source opportunities within private markets that are designed to strike a balance between potential returns and real world outcomes.

Addressing the world’s most pressing challenges with impact investments

Impact investing in private markets is a rapidly growing subset of the sustainable investment universe, particularly for investors that want to allocate to real-world outcomes for society and the environment, while seeking better returns. By aligning your portfolio with efforts to address pressing global issues, you can use your investments as an intentional, powerful tool for positive change.

Three considerations for impact investing

  1. Investing with intention
    Determining your impact goals can narrow down opportunities, identifying the strategies and asset managers that we believe are best suited to your organization’s needs. Ensuring clarity can also reassure stakeholders of your plans and help them understand how you work, making it easier to for you to report back to them later.
  2. Achieving additionality
    “Additionality” refers to the specific impact you want to have within the community in which you operate. Are you aiming to increase the supply of renewable energy or help more people access financial services to lift them out of poverty? Knowing how you want to impact the world will help you achieve your goals and simplify your reporting.
  3. Regulatory compliance
    Institutional investors are under increasing scrutiny as regulators and governments set new requirements for sustainable investing. A well-executed impact investment strategy can help you meet these requirements.

Common impact investment themes

Mitigating the climate crisis requires investing in many areas, including changing energy sources, improving energy efficiency, enhancing infrastructure, and improving physical resilience to the effects of global warming. Investors all around the world are under pressure to adapt their strategies in support of these broader goals.

This theme encompasses industries and companies focused on the protection of natural resources. It includes waste management and recycling, which promote a circular model that eliminates as much waste as possible, allowing us to create an abundant economy that conserves our critical resources.

Access to affordable housing and staples, such as clean food and water, are fundamental requirements of a healthy community. Impact investments made in this area include these basic needs as well as the increasingly important issues of financial wellbeing, digital inclusion and sustainable transport. Investments in these areas can substantially contribute to eradicating poverty.

Education and health are recognized as human rights; nevertheless, they remain out of reach for a significant portion of the world’s population. Our focus on wellbeing and empowerment includes investments in these areas, as well as promoting inclusion and equality in all its forms. Initiatives encompass supporting education for girls, promoting life-saving maternal healthcare and equipping the next generation of entrepreneurs from disadvantaged backgrounds with the skills they need to succeed.

Identifying impact investing opportunities in private markets
Impact investing is often associated with private equity, infrastructure, real estate, natural resources and private debt. Within each of these, there are many opportunities for investors to seek out assets to complement their portfolios. Private equity for example presents a wide range of opportunities, from venture capital to later stage transactions and buyouts. Venture and growth stage investments seek to apply innovative technology and business models, transforming segments and creating new products and services in legacy industry sectors.
  • Impact through private equity
    Impact themes within this asset class include circular economy, energy efficiency, environmental support, waste management, food, agriculture technology, education and financial inclusion.
  • Impact through infrastructure
    Potential investment opportunities in infrastructure include renewable and alternative energy, physical resilience/adaptation solutions, sustainable transport, and water technologies.
  • Impact through real estate
    Impact investment in real-estate focuses on investing in communities that can benefit from social or affordable housing and green or energy-efficient buildings.
  • Impact through private debt
    Impact opportunities in private-debt range from microfinance to green and social bonds, with some lenders including financial incentives linked to ESG considerations and and impact targets in their loan agreements.

How we can help you measure your impact

Measuring overall impact is a key component of your impact investing strategy, allowing you to quantify the outcomes of your allocations and report back to stakeholders and regulators. We can help you identify reporting methods and metrics to suit your portfolio and approach.

Reporting is resource-intensive but vital in helping to ensure you are on track to achieve your goals. Effective reporting also separates genuine impact strategies from those created by clever marketing departments (also known as “greenwashing”).

By having a clear view of your whole impact investing portfolio, you can hold your asset managers accountable and keep an eye on progress as you work towards your ESG goals.

Although there have been notable advances in standards and measurement tools, there are relatively few mandatory reporting requirements. As a result, there can be discrepancies in methodologies.

We encourage investment managers to report at an underlying company or asset level consistent with the Impact Management Project’s Five Dimensions of Impact. This framework gives you confidence in the manager’s impact intention and level of detail adopted.

Depending on your jurisdiction, you may be required to publish regular reports for investors, stakeholders or regulators. Often, the asset managers you work with will report on their impacts using their own methods and measurements adapted to their strategies and portfolio companies – leaving you with a considerable amount of disparate data to compile into one report.

Why clients work with us for impact investing

Allocating capital to real impact isn’t easy, but it's possible. We leverage our global scale, extensive manager research and breadth of experience in private markets and broader investments to help you identify themes, source and integrate opportunities into your portfolio and report and monitor on your progress.

We flex to suit your needs, whether you simply want our advice, or want us to do it for you through our investment solutions platform. We can help you:

  1. Define your ambition and themes
    We can help you determine where you want to make real impact and define what that could look like for your portfolio.
  2. Source and access asset managers
    We have strong relationships with hundreds of asset managers around the world and can help you identify those with the right skill sets and opportunities for real impact.
  3. Find the right balance
    We can help you assess and find an optimal balance between generating returns and accelerating impact, without sacrificing either if possible.
  4. Report on progress
    We can help you monitor and report on your progress and set yourself apart from any organizations that may appear to be greenwashing.
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