According to the GIIN’s 2019 Annual Impact Investor Survey, which tracked $239 billion in AUM from 266 respondents, investments seeking to achieve impact through listed equities accounted for 17% of the global impact investing AUM in 2018. Trend data pulled from the past four years of surveys found a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25% per annum. This interest has spurred a whole range of new investment products that pursue “impact,” particularly around the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, it can be difficult to determine which products measurably deliver on promises of impact and are genuinely distinct from other ESG or sustainable investing approaches. Additionally, as a relatively new asset class representing a significant opportunity to deploy more capital toward solving social and environmental problems, it is crucial that impact strategies in listed equities build upon best practices and lessons learned over the first decade of impact investing in order to maximize their effectiveness.
In 2019, the GIIN released a set of Core Characteristics of Impact Investing that help consolidate key practices to support investors in the formulation of impact investing strategies and to guide the market in developing effective approaches to impact investing. The Listed Equities Working Group will convene asset owners and asset managers from the GIIN membership to assess how the Core Characteristics can be applied in the context of listed equities. The work will evolve in coordination with other industry efforts.
Key Objectives and Activities of the Listed Equities Working Group
The two main objectives of the Working Group are to:
- Understand how strategies delivering impact in listed equities can align with the expectations of the Core Characteristics.
- Provide reference points for best practice in order to support investors in structuring and deploying effective impact strategies in listed markets.
The first phase of the Working Group will consist of quarterly convenings beginning in Q4 2019, wherein Working Group members will review strategies for achieving impact in listed equities, surface examples of current practices, identify how practices could evolve in line with the Core Characteristics, and ultimately, move the market towards more consistent baseline expectations.
The GIIN released a paper summarizing the activity to date of this Listed Equities Working Group in June 2021. The paper represents a snapshot of how investors and fund managers are currently approaching impact in listed equities. Read Impact Investing in Listed Equities | Strategies for Pursuing Impact >
The Listed Equities Working Group is ongoing and will result in draft guidance issued by the GIIN regarding Listed Equities approaches in late 2021.
For more information about the GIIN Listed Equities Working Group, please contact the Membership Team at email@example.com.