Featured GIIN Publication

Impact Investing in Listed Equities | Strategies for Pursuing Impact

Global Impact Investing Network June 4, 2021 Sean Gilbert, Pete Murphy, Katharine Zafiris

Over the past decade, impact investing has primarily been executed in private markets; however, given the tremendous opportunity to leverage the volume of assets invested through secondary public markets, there is a growing number of asset managers introducing funds that seek to bring impact investing to listed equities.

While sustainable investing strategies have long contributed to positive change, many of strategies in listed equities have focused on managing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities within a portfolio of listed stocks rather than selecting a portfolio of stocks geared towards achieving positive impact. As such, as more asset owners begin to list impact funds and integrate impact thinking into their listed equity portfolio, they immediately face the challenge of how to differentiate amongst strategies.

This paper provides a summary of the activity of the GIIN’s Listed Equities Working Group and represents a snapshot of how investors and fund managers are approaching impact in listed equities. The paper draws on the findings and observations of the GIIN’s Listed Equities Working Group, which convened in 2020 to pool the global experience of its membership to tackle this question of how to differentiate sustainable investing strategies within listed equities. The group specifically explores how the practices that best define impact investing could be applied in the context of listed equities investing. 

Over the course of 2021, the Listed Equities Working Group will continue developing a guidance document on impact investing in listed equities. That document will help asset owners identify what practices and characteristics to seek in funds and help fund managers consider ways to evolve their offerings to pursue positive, intentional impacts. Download the paper to learn more and to express interest in the Working Group, please contact networkmembership@thegiin.org.

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