UK Launches Institute to Help Investors Make Social Impact

Nascent organization is still accepting applications for a chief executive.

The UK government will launch an independent organization in the fall that aims to accelerate the growth, and improve the effectiveness of, the UK impact investing market.

The Impact Investing Institute has the backing of the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Department for International Development, and the City of London, and will be supported by private firms and foundations.

“More people than ever before want their savings and investments to make a real difference to people’s lives and the planet, while still generating a return,” Jeremy Wright, the UK’s Culture Secretary, said in a release. “We want to make it as simple as possible for investors to put money into the issues they care most about.”

The goal of the institute is to look for more effective ways to combine financial returns with a social purpose to help improve people’s lives. It will encourage savers to choose pensions and savings products that invest in the issues they care about, such as providing housing to homeless people, renewable energy, or businesses committed to providing sustainable employment.

The initiative is being led by Harvey McGrath, chair of the UK National Advisory Board on Impact Investing, and Elizabeth Corley, chair of the Implementation Taskforce on Growing a Culture of Social Impact Investing in the UK. The two will spearhead the process to recruit a chief executive to lead the organization. The group said it will be accepting applications for the post until June 18.

The Institute will have four key objectives:

1: Strengthen the market infrastructure for impact investing

  • Encourage the development of the impact investing market and help build elements of a sustainable market infrastructure.

  • Accelerate specific investment opportunities, and address constraints to impact investment within mainstream business and the financial services sector.

2: Increase the amount of capital invested for impact

  • Mobilize increasing amounts of capital from a variety of sources, and with a range of expectations into investments that contribute to solutions to social challenges in the UK and in developing countries.

3: Improve the effectiveness of capital invested for impact

  • Promote increased transparency and comparability of impact investments made through UK markets so investors can make better informed choices.

4: Make it easier for individuals to invest for impact

  • Identify and propose ways to reduce barriers to individuals investing in social impact.

  • Raise awareness and knowledge across a broad range of stakeholders, and encourage and promote investment opportunities suitable for individual participation.

Related Stories:

Many Institutional Investors Confuse ESG with Socially Responsible Investing

UK Trade Organization Seeks to Define ESG

Tags: , ,