From the Margins to the Mainstream - Assessment of the Impact Investment Sector and Opportunities to Engage Mainstream Investors
The World Economic Forum Report highlights the potential of impact investing to generate market returns while addressing key social and environmental challenges. The report provides a market assessment and recommendations for how mainstream investors can more actively engage in impact investing. The overall objective of the Mainstreaming Impact Investing initiative is to provide an initial assessment of the sector and identify the factors constraining the acceleration of capital into the field of impact investing. The report is divided into five key sections.
From the Margins to the Mainstream lays out several key recommendations for how the impact investment sector can reach scale. This includes calling on impact investment funds to be transparent about the financial returns that are generated; for impact enterprises to proactively measure and report on social and environmental impact; for governments to provide tax relief for early-stage investments in which public benefit is created; and for philanthropic endowments to commit their investment capital to impact investments and not just to programmatic allocations.
The report is a culmination of a year-long research initiative of the World Economic Forum’s Investors Industries community that engaged over 150 mainstream investors, business executives, philanthropic leaders and policy-makers through interviews, workshops and conference calls. Several key financial institutions provided input, including, but not limited to, financial institutions such as Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Omidyar Network, UBS and Zurich Insurance as well as research institutions such as Duke University, Harvard University, Pacific Community Ventures Rockefeller Foundation and The Global Impact Investing Network.
Harvard Business Review (Sept 23) by YGL alumni and HBR editor Justin Fox “When it’s not in your interest to be self-interested"
Forbes interview(Sept 24) with Michael Drexler and Abigail Noble
Business Insider (Sept 26) “Millennials Will Drive Impact Investments
Financial Advisor Magazine (Sept 25) “World Economic Forum reports on Impact Investing
Bloomberg (Nov 21): Big Investors and the Young Nudge Morgan Stanley Toward Sustainable Investing
Acumen Fund (Sept 19)
Quotes about the report
"This report brings new insight and advances our understanding of the dynamics of impact investing. We believe we can help drive scale given a growing demand for sustainable investments in the marketplace by bringing to our clients a range of high-quality options for investing with impact,”
- James Gorman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Morgan Stanley.
“As a large wealth manager, we want to play a critical role in aggregating supply and demand and have invested heavily into impact investing by offering product and advisory solutions. The conceptual frameworks in the report will allow more mainstream investors to adopt impact investing.”
- Jürg Zeltner, Chief Executive Officer of Wealth Management at UBS.