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Impact investment organisation provides guidelines for governance

Photo: Alessandro Paiva via stock.xchng

The Impact Investing Policy Collaborative (IIPC) has launched the London Principles – a statement of intent that looks to give purpose and direction to the industry.

Impact investment is a relatively young concept. It relies heavily on the notion that the finance industry can be used as a force for good, and aims for positive outcomes for both society and the environment.

IIPC is a collaborative organisation which brings together executives from investment organisations across the world, including London’s Big Society Capital, Hong Kong’s Social Investors Club and New York’s Dalberg.

The third annual conference was held in Oxford and London last week. The outcome was a set of guiding principles based on social values that are intended to influence government policies to help the industry grow.

The conference explored ways in which governments could provide the key tools and frameworks in which impact investment can operate and expand.

It concluded that governments should:

– Have clarity of purpose which clearly identifies social and environmental objectives and defines realistic expectations

– Engage stakeholders and collaborate to develop policies that will see the industry prosper

– Market stewardship in order to set appropriate regulation and management

– Build institutional capacity by determining cross sector resources and measure results against objectives

– Develop a culture of universal transparency by reporting on performance

Speaking to Blue & Green Tomorrow, Matt Robinson, director of strategy and market development at Big Society Capital said the conference “cemented some of its work through the London Principles which will provide a useful practical guide to policymakers.

He added, “We look forward to using the IIPC in the future to share our experience of creating a social investment wholesaler in the UK with other countries interested in the potential of unlocking more finance to enable greater social impact.”

It is predicted that the impact investment industry will grow by 12.5% in 2013 to a global value of $9 billion (£5.6 billion), according to research in January by the Global Impact Investing Network.

Further reading:

Government lauds UK impact investment as part of solution to African hunger

Cameron: ‘social investment can be a great force for social change on the planet’

David Cameron’s social impact investment speech: full text

Responsible investment terms: what is impact investment?

Impact investment to grow by $1bn in 2013

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