The evening of May 6th 2015 saw the newly formed Impact Investor Club (IIC) hosting its launch event in London’s Brand Exchange.
Supported by the Social Stock Exchange, the club has been established to help foster a better understanding of investing for impact. The speaker – Paul Robinson, CEO of impact fund manager Alquity – did a great job of illustrating how investments can have a positive social impact as well as delivering a meaningful financial return. Not only did Paul engage the audience with the story of his involvement in One Water – bottled water that’s sold in the UK with profits going to help provide clean water in Africa – but he then went on to talk about Alquity and the fund they established in 2010 to invest in the continent. By applying ethical, social and governance filters to its investments, the company has been able to deliver an at market return, whilst examples were given where ESG filters have worked as forward looking indicators, too.
For many city professionals such as those who attended the event last week, key points to communicate appear to be that rational investors do have a conscience, and that investing for good doesn’t mean compromising the returns. Given the positive delegate feedback, not only are these messages already being acknowledged, but it’s difficult to imagine why the impact investor club will not build upon these foundations in the months ahead. The idea that this could be the future of capitalism is difficult to dispute.