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Finance professionals assemble in London for impact investment conference



More than 300 investment professionals from around the world will gather in London on Thursday and Friday to discuss impact investment.

The conference is hosted by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and the City of London Corporation at the Guildhall.

Asset owners, asset managers, and other industry experts have been invited to share their perspectives on impact investing in developed and emerging markets, and on industry trends and opportunities.

Minister for civil society, Nick Hurd, is giving the event’s keynote speech.

Impact investing is an investment strategy that seeks long-term financial returns as well as positive social and environmental impact. Rather than screening out unethical investments like tobacco and armaments, the strategy involves investing in areas such as clean energy and sustainable development projects in disadvantaged communities.

Last week, the GIIN released Getting Started with IRIS, a free guide to measuring impact using the Impact Reporting and Investment Standards published by the GIIN. The guide aims to help investors identify emerging best practices in impact measurement metrics.

A survey published in January by GIIN and JP Morgan predicted that impact investment will grow by 12.5% in 2013 to a total of $9 billion (£5.6 billion). 

Amit Bouri, managing director at the GIIN and co-author of the report, said, “Although investors have been making socially and environmentally motivated investments for quite some time, collaboration to develop a coherent and supportive market has increased significantly in the last five years. 

In the results of this survey, we see positive indication of a market growing in both size and sophistication, which we hope will encourage more activity and attract new investors to the impact investing field.”

In India, investors have launched an impact investment regulator that will look to outline how best to achieve positive social and environmental objectives while generating a healthy financial return. The British government has also hailed impact investment as a part-solution to African hunger.

Sunday marks the beginning of National Ethical Investment Week, where investors, finance professionals, charities, churches and more will also congregate at events up and down the UK, to discuss, debate and champion ethical, sustainable and responsible investment. 

If you want to join in, see Blue & Green Tomorrow’s round-up of events or visit the official NEIW website.

Further Reading:

The sustainable investment tipping point is now

Leading voices need to reframe the debate during National Ethical InvestmentWeek

A round-up of events for National Ethical Investment Week 2013

Introductory and closing remarks to the Sustainable Investment Bootcamp

Triodos Bank AGM: profits or philanthropy is a false choice