The news a titan like Axa has SIBs on their watch list is a most exciting moment for the pfs bond movement… It will take time but the product is moving forward…

Australian Social Benefit Bonds On AXA IM Global Watch-List

Australian developments in the social impact investing space are drawing the attention of global investors.

Matt Christensen, global head of responsible investment at AXA Investment Management, in Australia recently to speak at the GTQ Investing in Responsibility Conference, said the Australian social benefit bonds were on a watch list of around 10 similar kinds of products around the world for potential inclusion in its impact fund-of-funds product.

AXA IM is working on a global social impact fund-of-funds, which it has been running internally, that should be ready for external launch early next year.

“We’re the first chain and we’re investing in what we think are high quality impact investing funds and those funds put the money to work,” Christensen says.

As part of that fund, AXA has set aside an amount for SBBs.

“For us we are working through what happens in Australia,” Christensen says.

“[Things like] how are they being priced and what are the real risks.”

A social benefit bond is a form of funding for social services in a three-way partnership between governments, social service providers and investors.