Founded in 2002, The Abraaj Group is a leading private equity investor operating in the growth markets of Asia, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Turkey and Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America. The Abraaj Group currently manages USD 7.5 billion across 25 sector and country-specific private equity funds and yield-generating real estate investments. The Group is a signatory to the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment and the United Nations Global Compact. Through its stakeholder engagement program, the Group has supported best-in-class organizations focused on entrepreneurship, job creation, healthcare, education, and community engagement.
Accion is a global nonprofit dedicated to building a financially inclusive world. Accion works to create economic opportunity by connecting people to the financial tools they need to improve their lives. A world pioneer in microfinance, Accion was founded as a community development organization in 1961 and issued its first microloan in 1973. Over time, Accion has helped to build 63 microfinance institutions (MFIs) reaching millions of clients in 32 countries on four continents—Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the U.S. By building strong MFIs, pushing the frontier of financial services through innovation and investment, and developing high industry standards that center on the needs of clients, Accion is striving to reach the nearly three billion people worldwide who still seek these crucial financial services.
Accion provides early-stage equity, quasi-equity financing, and loan guarantees to help grow MFIs sustainably and support a financial ecosystem that will radically enhance the efficiency, reach, and scope of financial services at the base of the economic pyramid. Accion provides financing and credit enhancements through four vehicles. Frontier Investments Group is an early and growth stage impact investing fund focused on investing in new technologies and disruptive innovation that can enhance the way financial services are delivered to the un/underbanked. Venture Lab, founded in 2012, is dedicated to providing patient seed capital and management support to innovative financial inclusion startups (earlier stage than Frontier Investments), fostering experimentation and promoting business models that improve financial access for people at the base of the pyramid. The Gateway Fund is a private equity fund that makes direct investments in MFIs to generate a social and financial return. Finally, the Global Bridge Fund is a loan guarantee fund that serves as a conduit between socially responsible investors and microentrepreneurs in the field. The Bridge Fund extends loan guarantees that support the access of MFIs to local capital markers, expanding their funding sources and enabling their growth and development.
Read a profile of an Accion impact investment >
Acumen is working to create a world beyond poverty by investing in social enterprises, emerging leaders and breakthrough ideas. Acumen invests patient capital in business models that deliver critical, affordable goods and services to the world’s poor, improving the lives of millions. Since 2001, Acumen has invested more than USD 85 million in enterprises that provide access to water, health, energy, housing, agricultural services and education to low-income customers in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Acumen is also building a global community of emerging leaders that believe in creating a more inclusive world through the tools of both business and philanthropy.
Acumen was incorporated on April 1, 2001, with seed capital from the Rockefeller Foundation, Cisco Systems Foundation, and individual philanthropists. Headquartered in New York City, Acumen also has offices in Kenya, Pakistan, India, and Ghana. Individual investments range from USD 250,000 to 2 million.
Read a profile of an Acumen Fund impact investment >
Established in 1948 and based in Baltimore, MD, the Annie E. Casey Foundation is a private philanthropic foundation dedicated to building better futures for disadvantaged children in the United States. In pursuit of this goal, the Foundation provides grants and investment capital to support innovative, cost-effective responses to children and families’ needs. The Foundation’s grants support work at the state, city, and local levels.
“Social investing” is part of the Casey Foundation’s broader strategy to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and families. In 2002, the Foundation established a formal Social Investments program, and has since increased the allocation of the endowment dedicated to social investments twice, to USD 100 million in 2004 and to USD 125 million in 2010. Today, the Foundation manages a range of social investments, including program-related and mission-related investments that focus on family economic success and community change. Additionally, the Casey Foundation strategically makes mission-driven deposits in federally insured depository institutions to support its programmatic priorities.
Athena Capital is a multi-family office and investment manager based outside of Boston, Massachusetts with approximately USD 5 billion in assets under management. Athena provides investment advisory and wealth management services to a select group of private clients, institutions, and endowments. With impact investing mandates growing across its client base, Athena is actively integrating impact investing strategies into client portfolios, covering a range of geographies and sectors.
Big Society Capital Ltd (BSC) is an independent financial institution established in 2012 to develop and shape a sustainable social investment market in the UK. The overarching aim of Big Society Capital is to help frontline social sector organisations increase their social impact by improving their access to long term, effective finance. BSC is financed with GBP 400 million from the English share of dormant bank accounts (i.e. those that have been inactive for 15 years or more), which will be transferred to BSC as equity investment capital over four years. In addition, four banks – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, and RBS – are each investing GBP 50 million in BSC.
To achieve its goals, BSC invests in social investment finance intermediaries (SIFIs) that provide appropriate and affordable finance and support to social sector organizations. SIFIs include social banks, social funds and social impact bonds. By supporting SIFIs, BSC connects socially motivated investors with social sector organizations, thereby bringing more capital into the social sector than BSC alone could provide. BSC invests both equity and debt in SIFIs that focus on broad areas of financial inclusion, education, employment and skills, housing and shelter, mental health, physical health, social cohesion, and well-being.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people's health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people--especially those with the fewest resources--have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, WA, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.
The foundation has allocated USD 1 billion to program-related investments (PRI) in the form of guarantees, debt, and equity investments. Through this initiative, the foundation structures its investments as assets or contingent liabilities on its balance sheet; returns generated from debt and equity investments are allocated back to the USD 1 billion fund. The foundation has made investments across a variety of asset classes and in support of each of its program areas (Global Health, Global Development, and the U.S. Program).
Read a profile of a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation impact investment >
Bridges Ventures is a specialist fund manager dedicated to sustainable and impact investment. Founded in 2002, Bridges Ventures is majority-owned by its senior management team, with Bridges Charitable Trust having minority ownership interest. Bridges Ventures manages eight funds that fall into three distinct fund types: Sustainable Growth Equity Funds, Sustainable Property Funds, and Social Sector Funds. Each fund type has distinct criteria, and aims to achieve dedicated social or environmental goals along with attractive financial returns for investors.
Through Sustainable Growth Equity Funds, Bridges Ventures invests between USD 3.5 million and USD 26 million in businesses pursuing organic growth, buy and build, or roll out strategies in the impact sectors of education, health, underserved markets and sustainable living. Through its Property Funds, it undertakes transactions both directly and in joint venture in the same impact sectors. Lastly, Bridges’ Social Sector Funds support social entrepreneurs and social impact bonds. To date, Bridges Ventures has over USD 800 million in funds under management.
Profile coming soon.
Calvert Foundation is a nonprofit organization that connects impact investors with people living in underserved communities around the world through its Community Investment Note. The Note, which starts at USD 20 and is available in various terms and rates up to two percent, invests in organizations around the world developing affordable housing, promoting education and healthy living, creating jobs, and protecting the environment. In addition to this work, Community Investment Partners (CIP), a wholly owned subsidiary of Calvert Foundation, provides institutional impact investors with a range of asset management services. Together with CIP, Calvert Foundation manages approximately USD 420 million.
When an individual or organization invests in a Community Investment Note, the investment is pooled and placed in a professionally-managed portfolio of affordable loans to more than 200 leading nonprofit organizations and social enterprises. Calvert Foundation’s on balance sheet loan portfolio is approximately USD 184 million, with loans extended across multiple sectors, including microfinance, agriculture, and affordable housing. Since Community Investment Notes are consistent with guidelines for program-related investing, many private foundations have purchased them to support their own programs. Over its 17-year history, Calvert Foundation has had a 100 percent repayment to its investors, whose support has created hundreds of thousands of jobs worldwide, built over 20,000 affordable or transitional housing units, and financed the development of essential community facilities and programs.
Read a profile of a Calvert Foundation impact investment >
Capricorn Investment Group is a private, independent investment firm designed for clients who desire a global portfolio driven by consistent returns and underpinned by a principled philosophy. Established more than seven years ago, Capricorn currently manages approximately USD 3.5 billion in total capital across a highly diversified, global blend of investment funds and opportunistic direct investment strategies. Capricorn's vision is to provide consistently strong investment performance and disciplined risk management, true independence, and a principled investment approach. On behalf of its clients, Capricorn has developed strategy, process, and relationships to generate equity-like returns through a diversified global portfolio of leading funds and proprietary direct investments with mitigated permanent capital loss risk at the portfolio level.
Capricorn believes that achieving strong investment returns does not preclude a principled investment approach. Principled, to Capricorn, means seeking uncompromising quality, ethical, fair, long-term oriented investments which are not directly or intentionally harmful to the world or people. Capricorn has invested in the development of green field agriculture in Africa, both working with large farms and engaging smallholder farmers in preparation of land and education about sustainable farming techniques. In the long-run, Capricorn believes that being mindful of sustainability elements in an investment program can improve the return opportunity and risk management.
CDC is the U.K.’s development finance institution, owned by the British Government’s Department for International Development (DFID). CDC is a provider of scarce long-term capital to private sector entrepreneurs in developing countries, and as such is one element of the U.K.’s endeavor to reduce poverty and help people prosper in the poorest countries in the world. CDC recently redefined its investment policy to embed development impact into its investment strategies. It supports building businesses and creating jobs, and focuses on Africa and South Asia, especially the poorer regions. It backs commercially viable, successful businesses, financial institutions, and essential infrastructure and will avoid sectors that are already well-served by other investors. CDC will continue investment through funds, supplemented by a mix of instruments including debt, direct equity investments, and guarantees. Debt and direct investments will each represent up to 20 percent of CDC’s portfolio by 2015.
In late 2012, CDC’s shareholder, DFID, launched an initiative aimed at developing new ways to foster the market for impact investment in Africa and South Asia. As part of this, CDC is managing a new GBP 69 million impact investment Fund (The DFID Impact Fund). The DFID Impact Fund will invest in impact investment intermediaries providing capital to businesses and projects improving the lives of people at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Unlike CDC’s typical investment approach, the Impact Fund will operate on an impact-first basis and has no set target for returns beyond capital returned upon exit. Investments will back businesses that achieve positive impact for the poorer sections of the population.
Christian Super is a not-for-profit superannuation fund based in Sydney, Australia. Operating since 1984 and with a strong non-denominational Christian focus, the pension fund serves over 20,000 members from over 1,800 ministry organizations across Australia, managing over USD 700 million in retirement savings. It offers members a choice of five ethical portfolios with differing risk and return profiles across asset classes.
Christian Super searches for investment opportunities that provide both strong investment returns and a valuable contribution to society and the environment. The firm seeks to invest capital according to Christian values, including respect for life and sustainability, and with a vision that sees finance as a tool for long-term value creation. The fund invests in areas such as microfinance, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and social enterprise. Christian Super is a signatory to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment.
Citigroup is a global financial services company that does business in more than 140 countries and has approximately 200 million customer accounts. The New York-based Citi Foundation is committed to individual and family economic empowerment, and targets its strategic giving across four priority focus areas: microfinance and microenterprise, small and growing businesses, education, and financial education and asset building.
Having supported the microfinance sector philanthropically for more than 20 years, Citi recognized that, as the microfinance sector matured and grew, leading microfinance institutions (MFIs) would benefit as clients and partners of banking service providers. At the same time, MFIs also began to seek this type of support. In 2005, Citi institutionalized this business by creating Citi Microfinance, which leverages Citi's businesses to serve more than 100 MFIs, networks, and investors in more than 40 countries as clients. Citi Microfinance offers a diversified set of financial services to the sector, including direct and structured financing; local currency financing, leasing, foreign exchange, and interest rate hedging; cash management solutions; and product distribution partnerships with MFIs for micro savings, remittances, and life insurance products.
Community Capital Management, Inc. (CCM) is a registered investment adviser and manages fixed income impact investing portfolios. The firm was founded in 1998 on the belief that portfolios of government-related securities could produce competitive returns while promoting community development. CCM’s primary goal is to offer investment vehicles that produce above-average, risk-adjusted returns while benefiting the community and the environment. CCM offers investors two impact investment products – the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Qualified Investment Fund and a separately managed account. The CRA Fund was launched in 1999 and offers three share classes – one for non-financial institutional investors (Ticker: CRANX), one for individual investors (Ticker: CRATX), and one for banks/thrifts interested in CRA investments (Ticker: CRAIX). CCM offers separately managed accounts for institutional investors that include pension funds, foundations, religious organizations, and insurance companies. Institutional investors in the mutual fund or in a separate account can choose to support specific impact initiatives or geographies through their investment.
Founded in 1856 and headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, Credit Suisse is a global financial services company with expertise in the areas of private banking, investment banking, and asset management. It provides specialist advisory services, comprehensive solutions, and innovative products to serve companies, institutional clients, and high-net-worth clients worldwide from 550 offices in 50 countries, and also serves retail clients in Switzerland. Credit Suisse engages in impact investing across three areas of operations: (1) a dedicated business line which structures, manages and offers impact investing products to retail, high-net-worth, and institutional clients; (2) in-house research which publishes reports on industry developments and impact sector trends; (3) capacity building grants through the Credit Suisse Foundation which strengthen the impact investing industry, its institutions, and their management.
Within its impact investing business line, Credit Suisse manages USD 1.8 billion in impact investments, primarily focused on microfinance and sustainable agriculture, on behalf of approximately 4,000 clients, including private individuals, institutional investors, and development finance institutions. The bank has a decade-long history of engagement that includes managing microfinance funds for its clients and facilitating capital markets transactions in microfinance (e.g. IPOs and structured finance). In January 2012, in collaboration with Swiss fund manager responsAbility, Credit Suisse structured and distributed the Fair Trade Fund which provides working capital to agricultural cooperatives supporting small farmers in developing countries. As Credit Suisse continues to expand its impact investing practice, the bank is also exploring new impact areas that include health and education.
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation is a private family foundation created in 1964 and guided by some of the same innovative approaches that helped transform a small electronics shop in a garage into one of the world's leading technology companies. The Foundation, based in Los Altos, CA, invests in issues its founders cared about most, including conserving and restoring the earth's natural systems, improving the lives of children, advancing reproductive health, and investing in its local community.
Since 1980, the Foundation has made a diverse array of program-related investments (PRIs) to extend its impact, encompassing all of the Foundation's program areas. The Foundation currently has a USD 180 million allocation for this purpose, which is available for investments that advance specific programmatic strategies of the Foundation, while maintaining preservation of its capital to serve future needs. The Foundation has made loans, guarantees, and equity investments. It has the ability to make both PRIs and other types of mission-related investments from its USD 180 million capital allocation; to date all of its investments have been structured as PRIs as the most suitable tool to achieve its programmatic objectives.
Deutsche Bank AG is an international commercial and investment bank with headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. The bank operates in 76 countries and has a large presence in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific, and the emerging markets.
Deutsche Bank’s impact investing activities are concentrated in community development and microfinance, and are carried out by the bank’s New York City-based Community Development Finance Group. Over the last 16 years, Deutsche Bank has placed over USD 2 billion of social capital, recognizing less than USD 11 million in write-offs. In the U.S., Deutsche Bank has invested more than USD 1.2 billion in community development, which includes affordable housing, green real estate, new business development, and support services. Internationally, Deutsche Bank has provided loans, sub-debt, guarantees, and other financial products to microcredit institutions since 1997 and currently manages six microfinance funds totaling over USD 200 million. In addition, Deutsche Bank has a community development loan and investment portfolio of USD 550 million. Separately, the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation has an USD 10.1 million program-related investment portfolio, which supports social enterprises in education, housing, environment, and community development throughout the world.
Stichting DOEN, or the DOEN Foundation, was set up in 1991 by the Dutch Postcode Lottery. The DOEN Foundation’s aim is to build a green, socially-inclusive, and creative society by tapping into diverse entrepreneurs and organizations committed to this mission. DOEN supports the early efforts of entrepreneurs operating within two themes, Green and Inclusive Economy (e.g. Climate Change, Designing New Economy and Social Entrepreneurship) and Culture and Cohesion, by providing subsidies, loans, and/or equity investments. The foundation also helps connect pioneers with other parties and resources in its network. The DOEN Foundation funding comes from annual contributions received under long-term contracts from its founder, the Dutch Postcode Lottery, and the two other Dutch charity lotteries, the BankGiro lottery and the Friends Lottery.
The impact investing activities of DOEN Foundation total approximately USD 180 million and are concentrated in the areas of fair trade, renewable energy, social ventures, and micro, small, and medium enterprise financing. Portions of DOEN’s impact investments are carried out through its own investment fund, DOEN Participaties BV. Investees in this fund include Tendris Holding, two green venture capital funds within Start Green, and Gray Ghost Social Ventures DOEN, a social venture fund that invests in transformative, scalable, and high impact, socially conscious business opportunities. DOEN is also an investor in ProCredit Group, a group of 21 microfinance banks; Progreso Fund, an agricultural trade finance facility; and several SME investment funds, such as Agora Ventures in Nicaragua and Business Partners International in Africa.
Enclude, formerly doing business as ShoreBank International and Triodos Facet, is a global advisory services firm dedicated to building an inclusive and prosperous global economy through integrated capacity and capital services. Enclude’s Capacity Solutions business assists financial institutions and public and private sector organisations in improving their profitability and effectiveness to better meet the needs of the un(der)served by designing, connecting, financing, and building inclusive financial products and services. Enclude’s Capital Advisory connects clients with the capital they need to finance their growth, and links public, private, and philanthropic investors to inclusive investment opportunities. Such investments aim to enable un(der)served markets to participate in advances in science technology, communications, and finance that generate both financial and social returns.
As of January 31, 2014, Enclude’s Capital Advisory team has intermediated more than USD 250 million in impact investing. The unit advises on capital structuring and the mobilization of debt and equity, mergers and acquisitions, and transaction-related services, such as loan servicing, due-diligence, and guide valuations. Enclude also has USD 20 million under management, all in the impact sector, and periodically invests its own capital in individual transactions where it can demonstrate a first-mover business model in an un(der)served market. Investments include significant minority stakes in greenfield financial institutions targeting unserved segments of emerging economies, such as small and growing businesses. Enclude focuses on delivering total return expectations that can both catalyse the operating institution’s growth trajectory in accordance with its mission and stimulate other investor participation.
Enterprise Community Partners is a leading provider of the development capital and expertise it takes to create decent, affordable homes and rebuild communities. For 30 years, Enterprise has introduced neighborhood solutions through public-private partnerships with financial institutions, governments, community organizations, and others that share its vision to create vibrant communities. Enterprise has raised and invested more than USD 13.9 billion in equity, grants, and loans to help build or preserve nearly 300,000 affordable rental and for-sale homes. Enterprise leads research and undertakes policy advocacy work in U.S. community development and investment in affordable housing, green retrofits, and community facilities across the U.S with support from its two subsidiaries Enterprise Community Investment and Enterprise Community Loan Fund (ECLF).
Enterprise Community Partners’ two subsidiaries lead its impact investing activities. The first, Enterprise Community Investment, is a financial intermediary that structures investments for institutional investors to finance affordable housing, community facilities, and commercial development in economically distressed communities. Additionally, it provides long-term multifamily mortgage financing, and is a leading syndicator of Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity and a top recipient of New Markets Tax Credits . Annually, Enterprise Community Investment finances and develops nearly USD 2.3 billion in high-quality affordable housing and related community facilities. ECLF, the second subsidiary, is a U.S. Treasury Department-certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that offers predevelopment and acquisition loans, green retrofit financing, and construction or bridge loans to developers and nonprofit organizations. In September 2011, ECLF launched the Enterprise Community Impact Note, a fixed income product with a minimum investment of USD 5,000 to help finance affordable housing and community development projects. In partnership with other financing organizations, ECLF manages several local funds, including regional Transit-Oriented Development Funds and the New York Acquisition Fund.
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation (EF) is one of the largest independent grant-making institutions in the United Kingdom (U.K.). Founded in 1961, EF works to improve quality of life throughout the U.K. The foundation makes grants to support diverse organizations working in the arts, education and learning, environment, social change, and sustainable food. In 2008, EF launched the GBP 21 million Finance Fund to make mission-focused investments that combine social and financial impact. Through the Finance Fund, EF seeks to support the development of the impact investing market and to attract investment funds to the voluntary sector (e.g. non-governmental organizations, social enterprises, and community-based projects). The Finance Fund invests both through intermediaries and directly in charities and social enterprises, offering equity, debt, and loan guarantees. As of December 2012, the Finance Fund had 45 investments, representing GBP 11.9 million of funds drawn and another GBP 7.5 million in commitments that have not yet drawn.
Read a profile of an Esmee Fairbairn Foundation impact investment >
The F.B. Heron Foundation (Heron Foundation) was created in 1992 to help people and communities lift themselves out of poverty. Today, the foundation is focused on building a better economy in the United States, one in which reliable employment and income are available to every willing worker or household. The New York-based foundation aims to deploy its entire endowment towards that mission, and invests all of its assets through a single capital deployment office, removing the traditional foundation’s operating distinction between investments and grantmaking.
The Heron Foundation seeks investment opportunities in enterprises with a track record of positive social and financial returns. Portfolio companies and organizations increase and maintain reliable employment, advance systematic innovations to help communities be resilient to the changing nature of work, and contribute to society in a way that leaves everyone better off. Heron Foundation’s capital is most commonly used to support an enterprise’s growth, or to support a change of business model that improves, preserves, or sustains an enterprise in order to increase employment and livelihood for people in the community. The foundation invests in direct debt and equity, and also invests in bonds and fixed income securities, private equity, and public equity through active managers. As of February 2013, Heron Foundation has committed approximately 40 percent of its USD 260 million endowment – or USD 90 million – to program-related investments and mission-related investments to date.
Founded in 1970, FMO is the Dutch development bank. FMO supports sustainable private sector growth in developing markets by investing in ambitious entrepreneurs. It believes a strong private sector leads to economic and social development, empowering people to employ their skills and improve their quality of life. FMO specializes in sectors where its contribution can have the highest long-term impact: financial institutions, energy, and agribusiness, food, and water. When financing companies and projects in other sectors such as telecoms, manufacturing, and infrastructure, FMO works with a worldwide network of partners with thorough expertise in that area. With an investment portfolio of EUR 6.3 billion, FMO is one of the largest European bilateral private sector development banks.
FMO's high quality profile, rated triple-A by Standard & Poor’s, allows it to invest in higher risk markets, either with its own capital or on behalf of the Dutch government. FMO principally provides long-term finance, although it also offers shorter-term project financing. It works with clients to understand their specific needs, tailoring the financial package to fit. FMO’s participation often acts as a catalyst – attracting interest from other suitable investors who would otherwise avoid what are still considered higher-risk projects. FMO also deploys capital through government funds: the Emerging Markets Fund (FOM), which uses medium- and long-term facilities to encourage Dutch companies to invest in emerging markets; the Access to Energy Fund (AEF), which creates sustainable access to energy services; Massif, a fund which increases financial resources to intermediaries such as funds and local banks to develop financial services for MSMEs; and the Infrastructure Development Fund (IDF).
The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than half a century it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the Foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
The Ford Foundation began making program-related investments (PRIs) in 1968, and has invested more than USD 575 million in PRIs since then. Today, the Foundation’s PRIs complement grant-making across its program initiatives and advance its mission. The Foundation currently manages a USD 280 million PRI allocation, which is invested in the form of equity investments and long-term loans, primarily through intermediaries. While the PRI Fund is available to support all of the Foundation’s program initiatives, the current pipeline is concentrated in investments supporting livelihood development, affordable housing, and provision of financial services.
The Gatsby Charitable Trust, endowed by David Sainsbury, has more than 40 years of grant-making history. Gatsby's grant-making in the U.K. supports research on plant science and neuroscience, science and engineering education, government effectiveness, mental health, and the arts. Additionally, Gatsby has a significant program supporting African economic development. Gatsby supports Aquifer Ltd, a company created in 2004 to help create jobs and improve incomes for the poor in sub-Saharan Africa. Aquifer seeks to develop businesses that can earn market rates of return, even if the company itself takes a subsidised return to get those enterprises to scale.
Gatsby has funded programs in Africa since the mid-1980s with the aim of stimulating economic growth. The Foundation has a strong heritage of disseminating agricultural research to smallholder farmers and providing assistance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). In 2004 Gatsby created African Agricultural Capital (AAC), a venture capital fund that invests in agriculture-related SMEs in East Africa, with a goal of unlocking opportunities in agricultural value chains. More recently, the focus of Gatsby's grant-making has shifted to include support for large-scale programs aimed at developing sub-sectors of an economy, and there are now programs supporting the cotton, textile, and tea sectors in Tanzania. Gatsby also uses program-related investments as a complementary instrument to strengthen its initiatives, with early allocations going to AAC and to microfinance institutions across East Africa.
Generation Investment Management, co-founded in 2004 by Al Gore and David Blood, is an independent, private, owner-managed partnership with offices in London and New York. Generation's investment approach is based on the idea that sustainability factors--economic, environmental, social, and governance criteria--will drive a company's financial returns over the long term. Sustainability factors are examined and integrated into a traditional investment research process. Some key factors examined are: climate change, pandemics, poverty and real needs, water, human capital, lobbying, corporate governance, stakeholder engagement, bribery and corruption, and demographics.
Generation's Global Equity portfolio strategy is focused on concentrated, long-term, global public equities. Additionally, Generation's Climate Solutions Fund invests growth capital to help scale both private and public companies focused exclusively on solving the climate crisis.
Founded in 2001, the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group’s (UIG) mission is to invest Goldman Sachs’ capital to help transform distressed communities into sustainable and vibrant neighborhoods of choice and opportunity. UIG provides flexible financing for community development projects that respond to the needs of low- and moderate-income communities and support public sector priorities. The group, based in New York, is also responsible for implementing the Access to Capital component of Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses initiative, which provides USD 300 million in lending and philanthropic capital to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to expand their capacity to deliver financing and technical assistance to small businesses in underserved communities.
Since its inception, UIG has committed approximately USD 2.4 billion to revitalize underserved and emerging urban areas in the U.S. UIG follows a place-based strategy, partnering with developers, non-profits, governments and other local stakeholders to finance a comprehensive community development strategy that includes affordable housing, small business creation, neighborhood-serving retail, and community facilities such as charter schools and health clinics. Utilizing its expertise in complex financing structures, UIG develops new strategies and structures to solve the challenges of low- and moderate-income communities and deploys capital through a variety of debt and equity products.
Gray Ghost Ventures (GGV) is an impact investment firm dedicated to providing market-based capital solutions to entrepreneurs who are addressing the needs of low-income communities in emerging markets. Founded by Bob Pattillo, the Atlanta, GA-based GGV has served as creator, sole funder, investor, general partner, and limited partner in operating companies and investment funds around the world. GGV's focus areas include microfinance, social venture investment, and affordable private schools.
With the establishment of the Gray Ghost Microfinance Fund in 2003, GGV became one of the earliest private investors in microfinance. Today GGV's USD 69 million microfinance portfolio helps create and finance locally-managed regional microfinance funds through a combination of debt and equity. In 2009, GGV, along with the DOEN Foundation (DOEN), formed the Gray Ghost DOEN Social Ventures Cooperatief, a leading impact investment fund focused on early- and seed-stage enterprises in the developing world that use innovative applications of proven technology to address the needs of underserved populations. Most recently, GGV initiated efforts to provide financing to affordable private schools in emerging markets. The Indian School Finance Company (ISFC), based in Hyderabad, is a centerpiece of this activity. GGV also manages the USD 10 million mission-related venture capital investment portfolio of the Gray Matters Capital Foundation.
Read a profile of a Gray Ghost Ventures impact investment >
Impact Community Capital LLC is a for-profit corporation founded by leading insurers in 1998 to promote socially responsible impact investments in underserved communities across the United States. Impact Community Capital, through Impact Investment Adviser LLC, structures, manages, and administers impact funds for its founding owners, which currently include eleven major insurance companies as well as foundations and other institutional investors. To date, Impact Community Capital has committed over USD 1.7 billion to finance affordable housing and community facilities that benefit low-to-moderate income individuals, families, and communities.
An affiliate, Impact Community Capital CDE, LLC is certified by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund as a Community Development Entity, and by the state of California as a CDFI. It manages investments through its subsidiary, Impact Investment Adviser LLC, a registered investment adviser. The firm has pioneered the pooling and securitization of community investment portfolios and the use of U.S. New Markets Tax Credits to finance community childcare, healthcare, and commercial facilities through a combination of equity and debt. Impact’s funds also invest in private equity funds focused on commercial real estate, affordable housing, mezzanine business financing, and historic property preservation.
Established in 1959, the Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB) is a multilateral finance institution that supports the efforts of Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) countries to reduce poverty and inequality. The IDB is the largest source of development financing in the region and has 48 member countries, including 26 Latin American and Caribbean borrowing members. It serves national, provincial, and municipal governments, as well as non-governmental organizations and private sector companies through loans, grants, and technical assistance. The IDB’s funding is primarily raised through borrowings from international capital markets, retained earnings, and contributions from its member countries.
The IDB Group is a leader in channeling impact investment capital to LAC countries, particularly to countries underserved by commercial banks. Each of the IDB Group’s four private sector windows engages in impact investing: 1) Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) supports access to finance, markets, and basic services through loans, guarantees, equity, and quasi-equity, as well as through grants and technical assistance; 2) Opportunities for the Majority Initiative (OMJ) invests in innovative business models that provide high-quality goods and services to low-income people; 3) Structured and Corporate Finance (SCF) leads the IDB’s non-sovereign guaranteed lending through loans, guarantees and technical assistance; 4) Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) promotes private sector development with a special focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and provides technical assistance and financing in the form of equity investments, loans, and guarantees. The windows invest in a wide range of sectors, including education, health, infrastructure, services and industries, renewable energy, and financial markets. To further its development impact, the IDB Group partners with other impact investors, primarily through loan syndications and equity funds.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Established in 1956, IFC is owned by 184 member countries with offices in nearly 100 countries. IFC’s vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. IFC addresses development challenges in emerging markets through direct investments and advisory services to firms. IFC also works at a policy level to improve business environments and set standards of social and environmental practice.
As of June 30, 2012, IFC had a committed portfolio of USD 45.3 billion, and in fiscal year 2012 it invested 15.5 billion in 576 projects. IFC’s financial products and investment services include loans, syndicated loans, equity finance, structured finance, risk management products, local currency financing, and trade finance. Through the IFC Asset Management Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of IFC, the IFC raises funds targeted at large institutional investors interested in increasing their exposure to emerging markets. These funds include the IFC Capitalization Fund; the IFC African, Latin American, and Caribbean Fund; IFC Russian Bank Capitalization Fund; and the Africa Capitalization Fund. All IFC investments adopt the IFC Performance Standards and corresponding performance indicators which reflect the IFC’s commitment to sustainability and which are intended to identify social and environmental impact and risks for each investment.
Jonathan Rose Companies is a green real estate investment, development, and advisory firm. Its mission is to repair and strengthen the fabric of communities, while preserving the land that surrounds them. Founded in 1989, the firm has completed over USD 1.5 billion in real estate projects across the United States through three complementary business lines: Rose Investments (investment management), Rose Development (multifamily and mixed-use development), and Rose Urban Solutions (real estate project management and planning services).
Through its Rose Investments practice, Jonathan Rose Companies seeks to deliver superior risk-adjusted returns by investing in market-based, cost-effective strategies guided by real estate investment principles and environmentally responsible practices. Rose Investments’ strategy is to acquire existing, often underperforming, real estate assets in major urban markets and provide hands-on asset management and tailored capital improvements that can reduce operating costs and enhance tenant experience, particularly through energy-saving green retrofits. The firm manages four funds totaling USD 173 million, which focus on affordable housing and office buildings suitable for renovation. They are: (1) the Rose Smart Growth Investment Fund, which acquired and retrofitted buildings in walkable, mass transit-based communities; (2) the Rose New Jersey Green Affordable Housing Preservation Fund, a partnership with Goldman Sachs, which acquires existing Community Reinvestment Act-eligible affordable housing in mass transit-accessible communities and preserves their long-term affordability; (3) the Rose Green Cities Fund, a partnership with Citi Community Capital, which acquires, retrofits, and preserves multifamily properties along the East Coast; and (4) the Rose Value-Add Office Retrofit Fund, which seeks to reposition, rebrand, and retrofit well-located but undermanaged office assets. Many Rose Investments’ projects have become national models of best practice, generating positive social and environmental benefits, as well as the potential for strong returns.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is a global financial services firm with assets of USD 2 trillion. Operating in more than 60 countries, the firm is a leader in investment banking, consumer financial services, small business and commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management, and private equity.
J.P. Morgan's Social Finance business launched in 2007 to serve the growing market for impact investments in direct response to client interest and the increasing recognition that innovative business models can complement limited public sector and philanthropic resources by delivering market-based solutions to achieve sustainable and scalable social and environmental impact. The group publishes research to provide thought leadership to the market, commits J.P. Morgan capital to impact investments, and provides investment services to its clients.
Founded in 1924, The Kresge Foundation (Kresge) is a private, national foundation headquartered in Michigan, U.S. The Foundation manages over USD 3 billion in assets and is focused on expanding opportunities in America’s cities through its seven programs: Arts and Culture, Community Development, Detroit, Education, Environment, Health, and Human Services. It provides funding to organizations through operating support grants, project support grants, and program-related investments (PRIs). Kresge also seeks to attract capital from other sources to strengthen and improve the quality of life of children and adults in underserved American communities.
Historically known for awarding challenge grants to support new construction of facilities (such as libraries, hospitals, schools, museums, and community centers) and renovation projects, Kresge expanded its funding methods to include investment tools in 2007. Through its Social Investment Practice, the Foundation makes PRIs in the form of loans, deposits, equity, and guarantees to support the needs of low-income individuals and communities not well served by the private finance sector. Kresge often works with partners such as community development finance institutions to advance its programmatic objectives rather than by funding programs or organizations directly. As of December 31, 2013, Kresge managed a PRI portfolio of USD 67 million across 41 active commitments, supporting areas such as healthcare, affordable housing, community development, and human services.
LeapFrog Investments is a profit-with-purpose fund manager with assets under management of USD 135 million. It invests in high-growth companies in Africa and Asia that serve emerging consumers with financial tools, including insurance, savings, and mobile financial services. LeapFrog’s fund targets top-tier returns alongside sustainable social impact, with its portfolio companies serving the vast untapped market of low-income people seeking affordable financial safety nets and springboards.
In addition to financial capital, LeapFrog provides investee companies with support in business planning, product design, pricing, regulatory and risk management, and in the development of efficient high-volume distribution channels. Through its portfolio companies, LeapFrog reaches over 23.7 million people, 70% of whom are women and children, and employs tens of thousands in high-growth markets such as India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Nigeria. Investors in LeapFrog’s fund are composed primarily of global banks, foundations, global reinsurers and pension funds, and development finance institutions.
Read a profile of a LeapFrog impact investment >
Established in 2007, LGT Venture Philanthropy (LGT VP) is a global impact investor supporting organizations with outstanding social and environmental impact. Headquartered in Zurich with local teams in Latin America, Africa, Europe, India, Southeast Asia, and China, LGT VP is committed to improving the quality of life of less advantaged people in developing and emerging countries, specifically in the areas of education, health and sanitation, agriculture and forestry, renewable energy, and information and communications technologies (ICT). LGT VP supports portfolio organizations through financial capital in the form of grants, debt and equity, transfer of business and management know-how, and access to relevant networks.
To date, LGT VP has invested and donated more than USD 32 million into 39 organizations that have improved the lives of over five million less advantaged people. On average, LGT VP invests between USD 200,000 and USD 10 million in each portfolio company over the course of three to seven years. The organization works with institutional and individual clients that benefit from the experience, systems, processes and networks built by implementing the philanthropic engagement of LGT VP’s founder, the Princely Family of Liechtenstein/LGT Group.
Lok Capital is a venture capital fund investing in enterprises serving the lower income and base of the pyramid (BoP) segments in India. Lok Capital has two funds with a combined corpus of almost USD 90 million under management as of June 2012. With a focus on financial inclusion, education, health, and livelihoods, Lok Capital aims to promote inclusive growth by supporting the development of high potential social enterprises that deliver basic services to the BoP in a scalable, affordable, and commercially viable manner.
Lok Capital is complemented by Lok Foundation, a charitable trust set up in 2001 to promote financial and social inclusion by means of targeted grants, technical support, research, and advocacy. Founded by Rajiv B. Lall, Lok Capital manages two funds. Lok Capital Fund I closed with USD 22 million in 2006; it is now fully deployed, with investments primarily in the microfinance industry. Lok Capital Fund II, which closed with USD 65 million in the end of 2011, will expand into sectors such as healthcare, education, and employability as well as broader areas of financial inclusion such as affordable housing finance and mobile banking. As of June 2012, Lok Capital has 12 active investments across both funds, all in the form of equity or quasi-equity. The Lok portfolio includes Ujjivan, Basix, Janalakshmi, IFMR Rural Channels (KGFS), Vistaar, RuralShores, Drishti and Hippocampus, among others.
The Lundin Foundation is a philanthropic organization founded originally by the Lundin Family. The Foundation is currently supported by a number of publicly traded natural resource companies committed to the highest standards of corporate social responsibility. The Foundation provides risk capital, technical assistance, and strategic grants to outstanding social enterprises and organizations across the globe, with a view to contributing to sustained improvements in social and economic development.
The Foundation invests exclusively in small and medium-sized enterprises both directly and through intermediaries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Investment activities are focused on three thematic areas: agriculture, financial inclusion, and access to energy.
Read a profile of a Lundin Foundation impact investment >
Profile coming soon.
Morgan Stanley is a global financial services firm providing investment banking, securities, investment management, and wealth management services. The firm serves clients worldwide in 43 countries, including corporations, governments, institutions, and individuals.
Morgan Stanley’s Global Sustainable Finance (GSF) group harnesses the power and discipline of the capital markets to enhance environmental sustainability, advance economic opportunity, and support community development. Launched in 2009, GSF works with investors and companies to support the development of long-term business models capable of achieving compelling financial, social, and environmental returns, and to build a suite of impact investing products. The firm has intermediated more than USD 800 million of microfinance equity, debt, and structured product securities to the benefit of more than 30 microfinance institutions worldwide. In addition, since 2006, Morgan Stanley has provided more than USD 7.8 billion to develop affordable housing, build small businesses, create jobs, and strengthen communities in the United States. The Firm has also invested over USD 2 billion of its own capital in large-scale wind, solar, and geothermal power generation projects.
National Community Investment Fund (NCIF) is a nonprofit private equity trust fund created in 1996 to catalyze economic development in low-income and underserved communities across the US by supporting mission-oriented financial institutions. It invests capital into community development banking institutions (CDBIs), certified community development financial institutions (CDFIs), and minority-owned and focused depository institutions (MDIs). NCIF partners with impact investors – foundations, large banks, pension funds, and faith-based and socially responsible investors – in order to increase the flow of resources into the most distressed markets around the U.S. In addition to investing, NCIF supports the mission-oriented financial industry by supplying research and metrics for banks and their investors, sharing knowledge and best practices, connecting banks to decision-makers, and encouraging collaboration between banks within the sector. NCIF offers an online database of its Social Performance Metrics to evaluate and track the mission-related impact of all US banks and to demonstrate the tremendous impact of the mission-oriented financial sector.
NCIF pursues investment activities through three lines of business: 1) core investing in Tier 1 capital of banks/credit unions that have a social mission; 2) facilitating deposits into mission-oriented banks/credit unions; and 3) helping mission-oriented banks book loans using New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC). NCIF’s total assets under management are USD 195 million, including USD 173 million in New Markets Tax Credits. Since its inception, NCIF has invested in 45 financial institutions across the U.S. that direct loans to low-income borrowers and low- to moderate-income communities. Cumulatively, NCIF’s portfolio of financial institutions has generated over USD 5.8 billion in more than 109,000 development loans.
Read a profile of a National Community Investment Fund impact investment >
Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. To date, Omidyar Network has committed more than USD 622 million to for-profit companies and non-profit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple initiatives, including entrepreneurship, financial inclusion, property rights, government transparency, consumer Internet, and mobile.
Omidyar Network aims to foster entrepreneurial behavior, economic activity, and job creation through its investments. Each of Omidyar Network’s initiatives is united by the principles of individual access, connection, and ownership. The firm seeks to identify solutions that enable people to access credible information and resources, connect with others over shared interests, and take constructive action on critical issues.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is the U.S. Government's development finance institution. Founded in 1971, OPIC mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and, in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets by catalyzing revenues, jobs, and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 150 countries worldwide.
OPIC catalyzes support for impact investing through financing and insurance to companies that invest in developing nations. While aiming to maximize positive social and environmental impacts, with a focus on renewable environmental resources, OPIC projects are required to adhere to strict international standards on environmental, labor, and human rights. OPIC's instruments are more flexible than those of traditional investors, with loan tenors of up to 20 years and transaction sizes ranging from USD 500,000 to 250 million. OPIC has a 40-year history of investing with impact, with USD 333 million committed in 2012 to projects in sectors including healthcare, education, renewable resources and water. More than USD 2.7 billion of OPIC’s new investments over the past five years support impact sectors.
Prudential Financial, Inc. (Prudential) offers a variety of products and services through its business lines, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds, investment management, and real estate services. As of December 2011, Prudential had USD 901 billion in assets under management. Prudential has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America.
Impact investments made by Prudential and The Prudential Foundation are managed by an internal asset management group called Social Investments. Social Investments invests in U.S. economic development and education sectors though private placement debt and equity. Special emphasis is placed on investing in urban communities where Prudential has a significant business presence, including Newark, NJ. The group has expanded its geographic reach to Latin America and Asia with microfinance and social venture investing. The group currently manages USD 329 million in assets. Since its creation in 1976, the unit has invested almost USD 1.5 billion in impact investments.
responsAbility Investments AG is one of the world’s leading independent asset managers specializing in development-related sectors of emerging economies, which comprise the areas of finance, agriculture, energy, healthcare, and education. responsAbility provides debt and equity financing to non-listed companies with business models that target the lower-income section of the population and can thus drive economic growth and social progress. responsAbility offers professionally-managed investment solutions to both institutional and private investors.
Founded in 2003, responsAbility currently has USD 2.2 billion of assets under management, which are invested in 500 companies in 90 countries. responsAbility is headquartered in Zurich and has local offices in Paris, Lima, Mumbai, and Nairobi. Its shareholders include a broad range of reputable institutions in the Swiss financial market as well as its own employees. responsAbility is registered with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA.
The Rockefeller Foundation, a global philanthropic organization based in New York City, supports work that expands opportunity and strengthens resilience to social, economic, health, and environmental challenges-affirming its pioneering mission since 1913 to "promote the well-being" of humanity. Foundation initiatives focus on strengthening food security in sub-Saharan Africa, protecting economic security for American workers, promoting access to affordable and high-quality health systems in developing countries, and developing strategies and services that help vulnerable communities cope with the impact of climate change.
The Rockefeller Foundation realizes that there is not enough public and charitable capital to solve the world's social and environmental problems. In response, the Foundation created a USD 42 million Harnessing the Power of Impact Investing initiative, as a complement to charity and government in an effort to bring social and environmental solutions to scale. This initiative gives grants to catalyze the leadership that this emerging industry needs at this crucial stage in its development. The Foundation also oversees a USD 25 million program-related investment (PRI) portfolio, in the form of loans, equity, and guarantees, which aligns with the Foundation's issue areas.
Read a profile of a Rockefeller Foundation impact investment >
Root Capital is a nonprofit social investment fund that grows rural prosperity in poor, environmentally vulnerable places in Africa and Latin America. Root Capital aims to fill the “missing middle” of finance–the underserved gap between microfinance and commercial banking–by providing loan capital, delivering financial training, and strengthening market connections for small and growing agricultural businesses. Root Capital employs a value chain financing model that provides short- and long-term loans against signed purchase orders between grassroots businesses and their buyers, which are primarily located in North America and Europe. Investors earn an average return of 2.5 percent.
Since its inception in 1999, Root Capital has provided more than USD 500 million in loans to 425 small and growing agricultural businesses, representing more than 750,000 farmers in 40 countries throughout Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa (all numbers as of 12/31/12). Root Capital partners with global buyers such as Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Home Depot, Starbucks, The Body Shop, and Whole Foods Market to strengthen global supply chains for sustainable natural products such as coffee, cocoa, shea butter, and honey.
Read a profile of a Root Capital impact investment >
Based in Toronto, Canada, Sarona Asset Management Inc. was spun out of MEDA in 2011 in a management buyout. MEDA was founded in 1953 as a private investment company with a mission of generating solid financial returns with positive social impact by investing in small and medium business in poor communities in developing countries. Today, Sarona is a private equity asset manager, targeting premium financial returns with positive social and environmental values.
While Sarona manages several portfolios of direct investments, most of its assets are managed through funds of funds. Sarona is also a founder of MicroVest Capital Management and the MicroVest funds. Together, the Sarona and MicroVest funds comprise approximately USD 180 million of assets invested in developing countries. Sarona Risk Capital Fund, which is wholly-owned by Mennonite Economic Development Associates (a business association and economic development NGO), provides early stage equity and debt financing to companies with a high potential for both financial success and positive social impact. Along with a sister fund, it has assets of USD 20 million. In addition, the MicroVest funds have over USD 130 million invested in the microfinance banking industry through four funds. In 2010, Sarona launched the Sarona Frontier Markets Fund 1 LP - a private equity fund of funds. Sarona is currently raising funds for its Sarona Frontier Markets 2 LP, which is intended to achieve a first close before the end of 2012.
SNS Impact Investing was launched in January 2011 and is the development investment department of SNS Asset Management. SNS Impact Investing creates value for clients, investees, and society by developing, promoting, and/or distributing impact investment solutions. These solutions result in market rate returns while creating real value in emerging markets. They are typically accomplished by way of funds, but may also include mandates and advisory services.
In cooperation with Developing World Markets, SNS launched the SNS Institutional Microfinance Fund I in 2007 with investments totaling EUR 171 million. SNS Institutional Microfinance Fund II closed in 2009 with EUR 159 million of capital committed. In 2013, SNS Impact Investing is expected to launch the SME Finance Fund (SME refers to small and medium-sized enterprises) in cooperation with FMO, the Dutch development bank. SNS Impact Investing partners with FMO to identify, select, and monitor investments in SME finance.
Read a profile of an SNS impact investment >
Threshold Group, LLC is a multi-client family office that serves the financial and wealth management needs of a select number of wealthy families and private foundations in the United States. Founded in 2004 by the Russell family, which created the global investment services firm known today as Russell Investments, Threshold Group offers integrated and personalized investment, financial, legacy, and administrative services to help clients achieve their missions and priorities.
Threshold Group's impact investing activities are client-driven, and a significant and growing number of both its family and family foundation clients seek to incorporate impact investments into their portfolios. The firm works with families that want to make a difference for future generations. To date, Threshold Group's impact investments made on behalf of its clients have focused on renewable energy, education, and women's empowerment, and have included both investments into companies and funds.
TIAA-CREF, a Fortune 100 financial services organization, is the leading retirement system for Americans who work in the academic, research, medical, and cultural fields. TIAA-CREF has USD 501 billion in combined assets under management, as of December 31, 2012. TIAA-CREF’s community and impact investing program is overseen by its Global Social and Community Investing Department, which is embedded within the company’s Asset Management Division. The firm’s community and impact investments complement its other socially responsible investing strategies, which include providing clients with investment options screened through environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria as well as with a firm-wide corporate governance program which manages all proxy voting as well as shareholder engagement on ESG issues. TIAA-CREF’s Social Choice fund family includes the following socially screened investment products: CREF Social Choice Account, and the Social Choice Equity and Social Choice Bond Mutual Funds.
TIAA’s Social Investment Program represents a firm-level commitment to direct capital towards high quality investment opportunities that also create measurable social outcomes. An overriding objective is to deploy capital in sectors facing ”capital gaps” which have not yet been adopted by mainstream investors. Tracing its roots to the mid-1980s, the current portfolio consists of USD 664 million in total commitments. Since inception, the dual objective of the portfolio has been to achieve competitive risk-adjusted returns alongside specific social and environmental outcomes. This strategy is funded by the TIAA General Account, which is not available for direct investment but supports the claims-paying ability of the firm’s guaranteed annuities. The Social Investment Program will target approximately USD 100 million of new commitments in 2013, focusing on three thematic areas serving low- and moderate-income populations: 1) affordable housing including both rentals and for-sale housing; 2) inclusive finance serving individual customers and small and medium-sized enterprises globally, and 3) community and economic development, with a focus on supporting projects and initiatives that provide enhanced access to essential services such as childcare, education, healthcare, and environmental improvements. The portfolio takes a diversified approach across asset classes and is global in nature.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation is an Africa-based and African-funded nonprofit institution dedicated to the promotion and celebration of excellence in business leadership and entrepreneurship across Africa. As a 21st century catalytic philanthropy, the Foundation is committed to the economic transformation of Africa by enhancing the competitiveness and growth of the African private sector. Founded in 2010 by Tony O. Elumelu, MFR, the Foundation identifies and addresses systemic challenges that inhibit African entrepreneurs. The Foundation operates through a series of programs and initiatives to foster a more competitive African private sector.
The Foundation's impact investments focus on supporting innovative African businesses that create financial, social, and environmental impact in key development sectors. As an African champion for impact investing, the Foundation also works to build the field across Africa and serves as an African voice on the subject. The Foundation contributes to impact investing by making investments, as well as through programs, grants, and policy work focused on expanding the field in Africa. In evaluating a potential investment opportunity, the Foundation considers the financial viability, potential to catalyze economic change and add significant value in Africa, ability to transfer innovation from one part of Africa to another, and whether the business is in an important development sector for Africa's growth. The Foundation focuses on providing capital to early stage businesses, typically in amounts under USD 500,000 per investment, which can be structured as debt, equity, or a combination of both.
Triodos Investment Management is a full subsidiary of Triodos Bank, one of the world’s leading sustainable banks. Since 1980, the bank has pioneered a commercially successful approach to money that values individuals, the environment, and culture, as well as proﬁt. Triodos Investment Management is a globally recognized leader in impact investment with the primary aim to deliver and accelerate lasting social and sustainable economic change in line with Triodos Bank’s vision and mission.
At year-end 2012 Triodos Investment Management managed 18 funds (totaling EUR 2.2 billion), investing in both Europe and emerging markets with a range of risk-return proﬁles and ﬁnancial instruments. These funds offer both institutions and private individuals the opportunity to invest in a variety of sectors including climate and energy, microfinance, sustainable trade, organic food and agriculture, arts and culture, sustainable real estate, and listed companies with above average environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance.
UBS is a global financial services firm with a 150-year heritage serving corporations, governments, institutions, and individuals. Headquartered in Zurich and Basel, Switzerland, UBS has offices in more than 50 countries. The UBS Group has four business divisions, including Wealth Management & Swiss Bank, which serves high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals globally, as well as private and corporate clients in Switzerland. As of 2009, social investing, philanthropy, and strategic charitable services have been unified within the Wealth Management unit under a new dedicated Philanthropy & Values-Based Investing team.
The Values-Based Investing team supports ultra-high net worth clients in aligning their environmental and social values with their portfolios using portfolio screening, socially responsible investing (SRI) thematic investments, and impact investing. Through their unique global network, the UBS Philanthropy & Values-Based Investing team aims to expose a large universe of individual investors to impact investing.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) is focused on the welfare of vulnerable children, and supports families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that help children at risk achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Of particular concern is the impact of poverty, which limits children’s access to adequate education, nutritious food, economic security, and quality healthcare. The foundation’s work to address these challenges is done with emphasis on racial equity and civic engagement. The Foundation was established in 1930 by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg, and is based in Battle Creek, MI. Today it ranks among the world’s largest private foundations, awarding grants in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and southern Africa.
In 2007, the Foundation allocated USD 100 million of its endowment assets for a pilot program in mission-driven investing (MDI). The goal of the program is to advance the foundation’s mission-aligned impact while preserving–and potentially growing–capital. Of the MDI allocation, USD 25 million is designated for investments in southern Africa, with the remaining USD 75 million targeting opportunities in the United States. An evaluation of opportunities in Latin America is underway. WKKF invests across three asset classes–cash, fixed income, and private equity–with expectation of market-rate returns.
Read a profile of a W.K. Kellogg Foundation impact investment >
Impact investors need a collective, legitimate voice to advocate for this type of investing and recruit other investors to orient themselves toward impact.
Sainsbury Family Investments