- July 1, 2017: Vol. 29, Number 7

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Big impact: Why impact investing is gaining traction among global investors

by Jun Sakumoto

Impact investing — the choice to make investments with a positive social impact — is gaining momentum among institutional investors. According to a 2016 Global Impact Investment Survey, assets under management in this sector increased from $25.4 billion in 2013 to $35.5 billion in 2015, indicating substantial growth and strong investor appetite for social impact investments.

Although the potential for making a social impact was a considerable driving factor in this increase, more than half of the investors surveyed noted they are investing for risk-adjusted, market-rate returns and are finding impact investments consistently meet, and even exceed, their financial expectations.

As a result, major institutions such as pension funds, endowments and foundations are increasing their allocations to impact investment funds, with the understanding social change need not be at the expense of financial returns. Rather, social impact investing serves as a proven mode

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