The fancy names aren’t helping – let’s call it investment and get on with doing it properly

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The extent of debate (and often disagreement) about the definition of social impact investment is fascinating – exploring in great depth the nuances and prerequisite principles for investing in a way that seeks both positive social outcomes and financial returns. But this discourse risks being divisive and self-defeating. Does this complexity actually attract or repel new investors from engaging in this exciting market?

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Evidence Submission – UK Parlimentary Commission on Banking Standards

The Houses of Parliament

The Commission on Banking Standards is appointed by both Houses of Parliament to consider and report on:

  • professional standards and culture of the UK banking sector, taking account of regulatory and competition investigations into the LIBOR rate-setting process
  • lessons to be learned about corporate governance, transparency and conflicts of interest, and their implications for regulation and for Government policy and to make recommendations for legislative and other action

A copy of my evidence submission 8 February 2013 is published below, read the invitation from the Commission to submit here.

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Osborne’s 2013 Budget for the UK – giving love a chance?

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A committed fiscal conservative like UK Chancellor George Osborne was never going to deviate from Government’s hard-wired policy of austerity. Nobody really expected a change of course in his 2013 Budget, not even after his recent humiliation by Moody’s downgrade of Britain’s triple A credit rating – a humiliation not because of the fundamental impact of the downgrade, which was negligible, but because Osborne himself had placed such high importance on retaining the AAA status.

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World’s first financial index for impact investing unveiled

Press release: 11 December 2012, London (reblogged here 12 Dec)

Logo9-FINAL_Engaged_X_medresEngaged Investment has launched a pilot to test the creation of the world’s first investment index for the growing emerging market of social investment (‘impact investing’, as it is called globally). This is an important next step forward towards creating the infrastructure needed for the global expansion of social finance.

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Impact Measurement – A conceptual framework

347484441Tomorrow (5 Dec) in Brussels I will be presenting my views on the impact measurement discourse at a conference on “Measuring the Social Impact of Social Enterprises”. My approach will be to explore how to frame the discussion in the context of a market centric perspective as part of developing EngagedX – the world’s first financial index for impact investing. For the purposes of compiling an index, we are agnostic about specific metrics used and instead seek to determine a meta-framework approach for how to map and categorise the data of all metrics in use.

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Social investing : fixing capitalism with capitalism

Capitalism – in its current form – has let us down. We have seen this truism manifest itself globally, from the disruptive protests of the “Occupy” movements to mainstream debates such as Capitalism in Crisis, the in-depth series that the Financial Times ran at the beginning of 2012.

#OccupyLSX camp outside London Stock Exchange/ St Paul’s Cathedral in 2011 (image digitally altered from original)

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Global Impact Economy Forum. US State Dept, Washington DC, 26 & 27 April 2012

I recently went to Washington to learn about the new global impact economy being advocated by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and specifically to find out whether it is aligned with social business and social investment initiatives in Europe. Indeed, there is much more commonality than disparity, and (hopefully) this is the beginning of a global movement to create an economic model that serves both the interests of people and capital.

State Department photo by Michael Gross

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