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Impact Investor Survey: Perspectives on Progress
By Tyler Collins

The recent Perspectives on Progress is the third in a series of reports by J.P. Morgan and the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) that assesses trends and growth of the incipient impact investment market.

The survey uses GIIN’s definition of impact investing, as “…investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return…”

In 2012, impact investments continued to gain appeal among investors as a way for financial investments to promote positive social and environmental change: 96% of respondents stated that they measure their social and/or environmental impact.

The ninety-nine investors surveyed reported that they committed $8 billion to impact investments in 2012, and plan to commit $9 billion in 2013.

Of the equity investors surveyed, the vast majority reported that the performance of their impact investments is meeting or exceeding social, environmental, and financial expectations.

Historically, microfinance has attracted the lion’s share of the impact investment market. However, the Perspectives on Progress report shows a growing interest in sectors outside of microfinance, with respondents showing just as much interest in investing in food & agriculture, healthcare, and financial services.

Respondents believe the greatest challenges to the impact investment market are a lack of appropriate capital across the risk/return spectrum and a shortage of high quality investment opportunities. At the same time, they cited progress being made across the impact investing spectrum and referenced the actions governments could take to mitigate many of the challenges and risks.

Mention of specific companies or securities should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell that security.  Past performance is never a guarantee of future results.

Posted: January 10, 2013