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Impact investing increasingly finding favour with investors, says GIIN survey


Investors plan a 16 per cent increase in capital committed to impact investing in 2016, according to The Global Impact Investing Network’s (GIIN) sixth edition of its Annual Impact Investor Survey. 

With a sample that comprises 158 of the world’s leading impact investors, the survey provides detailed insight into investor perceptions and a number of key market variables such as types of investors, the number and size of investments made, target returns, and impact measurement practices. During 2015, respondents committed a total of USD15.2 billion to impact investments and, as of year’s end, managed over USD77 billion in impact assets. Impact investments continue to be made across different geographies, a range of sectors, and multiple asset classes.

Impact investors surveyed committed capital to 7,551 deals in 2015 and plan to commit capital to 11,722 deals in 2016. Fund managers, who play a critical role in the market meanwhile, raised USD6.7 billion in 2015 for impact investing and plan to raise USD12.4 billion in 2016.

Nearly 90 per cent of all respondents said the financial performance of their investments was in line with or above expectations (with 19 per cent reporting outperformance), and 99 per cent reported impact performance in line with or better than expectations (with 27 per cent reporting outperformance).

The most commonly targeted social impact themes were access to finance, employment generation, and health improvement, followed by education and income growth/livelihoods support, while the top targeted environmental impact themes were renewable energy, energy efficiency, and clean technology.
“We are encouraged to see the development of a truly diverse and global impact investing market,” says Amit Bouri, GIIN CEO. “This survey highlights a thriving market being built across geographies, sectors, and asset classes. As the practice of impact investing continues to grow and mature, the GIIN is committed to working with our Network to accelerate the market’s development so we can realise our collective potential to positively change the world.” 

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