SerenityShares Investments has launched the SerenityShares IMPACT ETF (ICAN) providing institutional and individual investors with access to US-listed companies who operate in areas that benefit or seek to improve societal, social, and environmental concerns.
The next evolution beyond Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) funds, the concept of Impact aims to identify firms whose activities benefit society and the planet while excluding investments in traditional areas of ESG concern such as tobacco, offensive weapons, and fossil fuel (oil, gas, and coal) exploration.
Traditional impact investments are difficult to find and most have to rely on private, smaller, or debt investments so they can be easily measured. ESG funds typically are based on a rating system that can have bias depending on the ranking methodology employed.
The key to the SerenityShares Impact ETF is the innovative methodology it developed. Based on 20 core themes identified and defined by the firm, it focuses on activities that seek to benefit society or our planet – environmental stewardship, access to local healthcare, renewable energy, clean water, eldercare, education, community building, and access to libraries of information. The use of an ETF structure enables SerenityShares to offer Impact Investing in a liquid, transparent, tax efficient and easily accessible manner.
“The underlying philosophy of SerenityShares is to develop products that provide investors with a simple solution that meets their core investment needs,” says Kathleen Neumann, President of SerenityShares. “A growing class of investors wants to have an Impact fund among their suite of investment options. With the launch of our Impact ETF, a single fund can enable institutions and retail clients the ability to not only invest, but invest with a purpose in a diversified basket of US-listed companies.”
According to UBS, “the rising influence of the millennial generation – those born between the early 1980s and early 2000s – and their sustainability and impact-motivated beliefs are helping to drive a shift in societal expectations, and in the way capital is directed.” This belief is being backed by actions. In their 2016 survey, the Global Impact Investing Network reported 158 organisations raised USD77 Billion for impact investments vs USD10.3 billion in 2013.
“SerenityShares was launched because we believe that the next evolution of exchange traded fund products will provide solutions. Our ticker 'ICAN' symbolises the belief that when it comes to investing, we can do more than just invest—our investments can make an impact,” says Scott Sacknoff, CEO.