Each week, the Erb Institute shares a collection of news and updates regarding business sustainability. This month, the Erb Institute blog and social media are focusing on an emerging industry, impact investing. Impact investments are investments made into companies, organizations and funds with the goal of generating financial returns as well as social and environmental impact.

Sustainable Business News – 3/24/2018 – 3/30/2018

Impact Investing

Purpose-driven investing steps out of the shadows in Asia


“Asia’s rich are finally getting serious about channeling more of their massive wealth into impact investing — as long as they can find projects offering market rates of return in countries and industries close to their hearts.

Despite boasting more billionaires than any other region in the world and a raft of socioeconomic and environmental challenges at home, Asia has remained a peripheral player in the impact-investment world. Just 13 percent of the $114 billion funding tracked by the Global Impact Investing Network in 2016 found its way to Asia, according to GIIN’s latest annual investor survey, which, although not exhaustive, offers the most comprehensive data available.”

Krawcheck’s Ellevest rolls out funds to invest in women


“Sallie Krawcheck’s Ellevest is rolling out new funds that will invest in women, specifically in a way that helps get more money directly into the hands of women and organizations that support their advancement.

The digital investing firm is calling the five new funds the Ellevest Impact Portfolios. Last year, it rolled out a series of exchange-traded funds designed for women to save for retirement.”

Meeting the challenge of impact measurement

Wealth Management

“While an increasing number of investors express interest in impact investing, many are uncertain on how to measure the extent to which their investments make the meaningful impact they seek.

Investment managers have long considered factors beyond traditional asset allocation metrics such as duration and credit risk in their portfolio construction processes. The development of emerging investment philosophies such as impact investing requires new analytic frameworks to help optimize both investment return and impact. This need creates an opportunity for advisors to play a significant role. Creating a framework to measure impact is a critical step in the process, but it first requires answering a number of essential questions, including what should be measured, where to find the best data sources and how to ensure that the data will remain timely throughout the disclosure process.”

Allianz GI vice-chair seeks to make impact in social investment

Financial Times

Elizabeth Corley has an important date in her diary. On April 19 she is taking her literary agent to a gala dinner at the English National Opera. By then she must have finished her latest novel, her sixth.

Crime fiction is not normally what financial journalists discuss with asset managers, but Ms Corley has eclectic interests. After a career spanning fund management at Merrill Lynch, consultancy with Coopers & Lybrand and work in the life and pensions industry, she ran Allianz Global Investors for four years. In 2016 she stepped back to be vice-chairman in order to focus on other activities and interests, of which writing is only one.”

What happens when you invest in entrepreneurship at the margins


“One in six Americans lives in what’s euphemistically titled a “distressed community,” meaning a place with higher poverty rates and lower incomes than the national average. Some, like Henry County, are rural; but these communities are everywhere. They’re the places that have been left behind in spite of our nation’s general economic prosperity. And it’s not just geographic: There are also demographic communities—African Americans, American Indians, single mothers, among others—that are statistically more likely to be impoverished. In both types of communities, disadvantage is compounded by the lack of access to capital. In a calamitous cycle, those most in need of financing also have the least entry points, which leads to even more need.”

Silicon Valley’s role in shifting the education sector from access to outcomes


“There has been a growing emphasis on the need to frame success in education around learning rather than attendance. But if you ask some entrepreneurs and investors in Silicon Valley, there is still too much emphasis on butts in seats, and not enough attention paid to whether kids are learning.

The timing couldn’t be more critical, said Amy Klement, who leads the philanthropic investment firm Omidyar Network’s education initiative globally. ‘Anything that can be automated will be automated,’ she told Devex.”Do you want to contribute to the conversation? Tweet us @erbinstitute!