Asset Owners Embrace Impact, Says Report

    Stockholm (NordSIP) – On April 2nd, Phenix Capital released its first Impact Investing Asset Owner Trend Report.  The report considers the relevance of impact investing and its prospects. Phenix Capital is a leading European impact investing consultant headquartered in Amsterdam.

    Phenix Capital surveyed 64 of the 350 asset owners and institutional investors who participated in the 5th annual Impact Summit Europe held in the Hague on 2-3 April 2019. Of the delegates, the majority are institutional investors that collectively manage €12 trillion in assets under management. The subset of respondents represents a majority of the industry, with a total of €9 trillion in AUM, according to a press release. The theme of the summit was a tipping point in investing.

    “Imagine the impact if all the institutional investors present this week were to allocate just 5% of their assets to SDG investing alone. That would be €600 billion towards the UN’s sustainable goals,” commented Sophie Robé, founder and co-chief executive officer of Phenix Capital.

    According to the report, more than 90% of respondents believe that generating a positive societal and environmental impact is an integral part of their fiduciary duty and 33% of institutional asset owners with an impact allocation allocate at least 10% of AUM to impact assets. Moreover, almost 80% of respondents expect to increase the target allocation to impact investing over the next three years;

    “Knowing what is required to shift the dial, as highlighted in this report, is one of the key next steps to collaborating to create solutions to solve the problems,” said Dirk Meuleman, co-chief executive officer Phenix Capital.

    Phenix Capital also reports that nearly two-thirds of the survey’s respondents report, or expect, the return on the impact mandate to be in line with that of the general portfolio, although 27% reports or expects higher returns. 33% of institutional asset owners with an impact allocation allocate at least 10% of AUM to impact assets;

    Mandates are diverse by geography, asset classes and themes, but environmental concerns are at the forefront of investors’ mind. The lack of opportunity, liquidity and execution are among the biggest challenges reported by impact investors, particularly for larger portfolios.

    Many investors have adopted the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as an impact investing framework: Good health and well-being (SDG 3), Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7), and Climate Action (SDG 13) are favoured themes.

    “Our mission is to catalyse and mobilise $800 billion over the next seven years for the SDGs by helping investors map out their impact investing intentions and assisting them in accessing solutions that suit their individual mandates,” said Robé.

    Filipe Albuquerque
    Filipe Albuquerque
    Filipe is an economist with 8 years of experience in macroeconomic and financial analysis for the Economist Intelligence Unit, the UN World Institute for Development Economic Research, the Stockholm School of Economics and the School of Oriental and African Studies. Filipe holds a MSc in European Political Economy from the LSE and a MSc in Economics from the University of London, where he currently is a PhD candidate.

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