Message from Sir Ronald Cohen:
I would like to share a few personal thoughts with you following a very busy quarter in the world of impact investment.
The mainstream discussion around impact investment is reaching new highs every day, with senior finance leaders like Axel Weber, Chairman of UBS, and Rob Kapito, President of BlackRock, lending their weight to the debate.
This impression has been reinforced by my recent trip to Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. Everyone I met is looking for ways to create impact, and just as importantly, to measure it dependably. Our Impact Weighted Accounts Initiative, now incubated at Harvard Business School, is therefore very timely. Its kick-off meeting was held on 20 February, at HBS, and it evidenced a high level of engagement by its members, who include several academics, practitioners, corporates, asset owners and asset managers.
At the same time, fundraising has kicked off for the $1 billion Education Outcomes Fund (EOF) for Africa and the Middle East, catalyzed by the GSG and the Education Commission. Discussions are now underway with official aid organizations and “living donor” foundations. The two-page overview of the EOF can be downloaded here.
The creation of impact wholesalers is also advancing, with Canada’s announcement of a Can$755m Social Finance Fund and the redoubling of similar efforts in many countries, including Australia.
It is important to emphasise our role in the evolution of impact investment, which is to “innovate, agitate, and orchestrate” and so accelerate the historic shift of our economies to optimize risk-return-impact to improve lives and the planet.
Onwards and upwards!
All the very best,