A recent Report by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) estimated the size of the Global Impact Investing universe to be $502 billion (see: Sizing the Global Impact Investing Market).
It is important to note this is a separate measure “to estimates of the size of related markets (such as ESG or socially responsible investing). Neither, of course, are accurate or complete indicators of the current impact investing market size.”
The GINN report defines “impact investing as investments made with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. Impact investments are made in both emerging and developed markets as well as across all asset classes, including private and public markets.”
They also note that impact investing has gained significant momentum over the last decade “as both an investment strategy and an approach to addressing pressing social and environmental challenges. Through impact investments, investors seek to generate both a financial return and positive, measurable social and environmental impact.”
The Article provides a detailed explanation of their approach and types of organisations included in the analysis. There is also a section on how to interpret the results.
The database captures many types of organizations. Over 60% are asset managers. About one in five are foundations, and the rest include banks, development finance institutions, family offices, and institutional asset owners.
The database also includes a global group of investors. The majority are based in developed markets, including the U.S. and Canada (58%) and Western, Northern & Southern Europe (21%). It also includes investors based in regions like Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America & the Caribbean, the Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East & North Africa.
GIIN estimates the overall global impact investing industry AUM is USD 502 billion, as of the end of 2018.
They estimate that there is over 1,340 active impact investing organizations across the world.
They also estimate the median investor AUM is USD 29 million, the average is USD 452 million, indicating that while most organizations are relatively small, several investors manage very large impact investing portfolios.
Overall, asset managers account for about 50% of estimated AUM who typically channel capital via specialized managers.
Investments are across the board, including venture capital, private equity, fixed income, real assets, and public equities.
This is an important study, previously, as they noted in their article, a well-defined estimate of the size of the impacting market did not exist. This provides a benchmark to measure future industry growth.
The GIIN Report concludes as follows:
“Since the term ‘impact investing’ was formally coined in 2007, the industry has grown in leaps and bounds. With a growing recognition of the power of investment capital to address pressing social and environmental challenges, impact investing has attracted the attention of an increasing number of investors of all types and from all over the world. Indeed, over 50% of active impact investing organizations made their first investment in the past decade.
This research shows that there are over 1,340 active impact investing organizations across the world who collectively manage USD 502 billion in investments intended to bring about positive change. These figures are a snapshot as of the end of 2018, yet the market is quickly growing and will continue to do so. Indeed, it must: trillions of dollars are needed to effectively address the critical social and environmental challenges that face the world today, such as those outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals.
In order to meet global need, much more capital will need to be unlocked for impact investing — but there is good reason to be optimistic. One in four dollars of professionally managed assets (amounting to USD 13 trillion) now consider sustainability principles. There is great potential for these investors, who have already aligned their capital with their values, to more intentionally use their investments to fuel progress through impact investments. The growing consideration of social and environmental factors in investing is also a signal of a larger shift in the global financial markets — an increasing number of people are recognizing that their money should do more than just make more money. Their investments can — and should — also seek to fuel meaningful, sustainable social and environmental impact.”
This is a very interesting study and provides a benchmark to measure future growth of impact investing. Globally it is a large market and it is sure to grow further.
Likewise, impact investing is gaining a growing presence in New Zealand. Based on international evidence, there is a strong demand from investors for investments that generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside financial returns.
Fort those wanting more background on Impact Investing this report posted by the Ākina Foundation maybe of interest (Ākina Foundation Impact Investing Sept 2017).
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