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Impact Investing: Innovative Strategies for Double Bottom Line

Lucy Jay-Kennedy, Senior Media Manager, Media Team, Tel.: +1 917 209 9483; lucy.jaykennedy@weforum.org

  • New report on impact investing offers solutions on portfolio construction, fund governance and innovative financial instruments
  • Evidence suggests incorporating environmental, social and corporate governance criteria in the investment process enhances long-term risk-adjusted financial returns
  • 15 leading practitioners from insurance companies, pension funds, asset management firms, impact investing funds, development finance institutions and research institutions contributed their expertise and insights
  • Download the report at http://wef.ch/ii13full

New York, USA, 17 December 2013 – The World Economic Forum released today From Ideas to Practice, Pilots to Strategy: Practical Solutions and Actionable Insights on How to Do Impact Investing  providing investors, philanthropists and other professionals with actionable insights of how to incorporate impact investing into their work.

Impact investing – an investment approach intentionally seeking to create both financial return and positive social impact that is actively measured – has been lauded as an emerging investment approach with the potential to reconcile key shortcomings in traditional financial markets.

“For investors who are already active, moving impact investing from a small part of their portfolio to a full-fledged strategy requires operational and practical know-how,” said Abigail Noble, Associate Director and Head of Impact Investing Initiatives at the World Economic Forum. “For new entrants in the field, moving impact investing from being just a compelling idea to making practical investments requires a knowledge of how to get started in this nascent and potentially rewarding, sector.”

The report is a collection of 15 articles that offer concrete approaches and insights for professionals interested in engaging more with impact investments. It includes pieces on: how environmental, social and corporate governance can enhance long-term risk-adjusted returns; frameworks for incorporating impact investing for institutional investors as a competitive strategy; how to evaluate impact investment funds; best practices for fund governance for impact investing fund managers; and challenges and opportunities associated with innovative impact investing instruments.

“We are on the threshold of major change,” said Sir Ronald Cohen, Chair of the Social Impact Investment Task Force established by the G8, and Co-Founder of Big Society Capital, The Portland Trust, Social Finance and Bridges Ventures. “Investors are starting to see the benefits of allocating capital to impact investments while old and new intermediaries are bringing innovative instruments into the market.”

“This publication draws on experience and knowledge to showcase best practice and to provide insights for investors on the place of impact investment in their portfolios,” he added.

From Ideas to Practice, Pilots to Strategy: Practical Solutions and Actionable Insights on How to Do Impact Investing is the second publication of the Forum’s Mainstreaming Impact Investing series. The first, From the Margins to the Mainstream, was launched in September 2013 and received widespread recognition for adding clarity to the impact investing space. Other World Economic Forum reports on social impact include Investing for Impact: How Social Entrepreneurship is Redefining the Meaning of Return and Social Investment Manual: An Introduction for Social Entrepreneurs.

Through its multistakeholder platform, the World Economic Forum will continue to advance the impact investment agenda, including identifying best practices and organizational structures that asset managers, private wealth managers and financial services institutions can implement to make impact investing an integral part of their strategy and operations, as well as organizing the Global Learning Exchange for Social Impact Investing.

Notes to Editors


The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. It engages with business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is independent, impartial and not tied to any interests. It cooperates closely with all leading international organizations (www.weforum.org).