Truth or dare – transparency by vanguard social investors reveals risks and returns in a maturing market

A landmark study released today via the Government’s open data portal reveals for the first time historic performance of UK social investment activity.

eX Dataset1_by year

The total financial performance (comparing all capital draw downs with all capital, interest and fee payments) over the 12 year period was negative 9.25% (-0.77% annualised)*. Counterintuitively, this is remarkably good given that pricing of capital was driven by affordability and not risk adjusted. Moreover, most of these social investments were made after the investees had been refused finance from High Street institutions. They would therefore be classified as high risk deals.Read More »

How to accelerate social investment – my interview/ podcast for Cambridge University, Judge Business School

Discussing the opportunities and challenges of bringing together finance and social investment. Social investment is still a small market segment but has tremendous potential. There are more investors who are looking for projects that can deliver both social impact and financial returns, while organisations that historically relied on grants look for alternative sources of funding without losing sight of their social purpose.

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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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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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