It’s a sort of feast or famine exercize with SIB news and today just one story but addressing a key issue – how SIB (and broad impact investing) will educate its way towards at least a mainstream of investors.
A big opportunity awaits and that requires a lot of effort to educate – moreover that education will likely provoke resistance amongst many in the NGO community who cling to the old models of top down financing…
Impact investing will struggle to gain scale and relevance without both the participation of mainstream capital markets, and investment professionals and the expansion into more traditional and non-private financial products.
A key step is to increase awareness by educating financial advisors and capital markets intermediaries about the opportunities for their clients in the impact investing space. These gatekeepers are beginning to recognize the trends to provide responsible investment services to wealthy clients and millennials. But we need to meet them where they exist, in mainstream products and services. Relationship-driven, value-added services for investors and companies are all key components in the evolution and growth of our markets and cannot be replaced by “Invest Now” technology-only solutions.
An informative 2012 industry survey of financial advisors titled Gateways to Impact by Hope Consulting stated that 69% of financial advisors were interested in using impact and sustainable investments to grow their practices. It also made it clear that financial advisors and other capital markets professionals can help investors “dip their toes” into the impact investing waters via the use of defined research products and public investment vehicles versus self-directed private investments, which many financial advisors are reluctant and/or not permitted to utilize.