News & Thoughts

GIIN Annual Impact Investor Survey 2017

The seventh edition of the Annual Impact Investor Survey report, which has just been published by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), suggests that the $114bn in impact investing assets being managed by the survey respondents represents a “best available floor for the size of the…market”.

In the report GIIN analyse investment activity across the global impact investment market, mining data on AUM, fund manager activity, impact measurement and investment performance.

Here we present some key highlights but you can also access the full Annual Impact Investor Survey 2017 report.

  1. The survey captures the activity and perspectives of 209 respondents making impact investments around the world

  2. In total, 208 respondents currently manage USD 114 billion in impact investing assets. (One declined to provide this information.)

  3. In aggregate, 205 respondents invested USD 22.1 billion into nearly 8,000 impact investments in 2016 and plan to increase capital invested by 17% to USD 25.9 billion in 2017

  4. The overwhelming majority of respondents reported that their investments have either met or exceeded their expectations for both impact (98%) and financial performance (91%)

  5. While two out of three respondents principally target risk-adjusted, market rates of return, there is widespread acknowledgement of the important role played by below-market-rate-seeking capital in the market

  6. The majority of respondents believe the entry of large asset managers and other financial firms into impact investing will professionalize the market and bring in much-needed capital

  7. In 2016, respondents saw progress in key indicators of industry growth, such as the availability of qualified professionals, data on products and performance, and high-quality investment opportunities

  8. Nearly universally, respondents measure their social and/or environmental performance, using a mix of proprietary metrics and qualitative information

  9. They also continued to face challenges related to availability of appropriate capital of different types and a lack of shared vocabulary to define and segment the industry.

Look out for an upcoming blog on how the language of impact investing is changing to align with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.