Dear friends and colleagues*
We have launched our new website for 2016 …
I don’t mean the type of adulterous scooter socialism enjoyed by French President Francois Hollande – I mean an agile and nimble State that is deftly able to do more with less. Kinky like an inflection point in a trend line. Kinky as in ‘crinkled’ and ‘intertwined’ and ‘complex’ and ‘strikingly unconventional’. Kinky like talk about the rise of smart power in a multi-polar world – because this is the new practical reality, not because the laissez-faire types won the ideological debate about the size of the state. Quite the contrary, it’s dangerous to mistake coincidence for causality.
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.
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?
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.
Engaged 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.
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.
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 […]
Is the social usefulness of financial instruments misunderstood in a similar way to how, in the darkness, the aspiring animal musicians in the folktale Town Musicians of Bremen are mistaken for being a witch? Financial language is confusing at the best of times, sometimes the same term means different things to various people and on […]
UK at watershed moment for social impact investing with potential to be global leader
Social impact investment has the potential to evolve from being an emerging market to a very large, mature investment market attracting mainstream investors, according to a report published today. Making Good in Social Impact Investment: Opportunities in an Emerging Asset Class argues that the UK is well placed to be a global leader in the field, as social impact investment builds on our record as home to a well-developed, not-for-profit, charitable and voluntary sector and our historic strengths in financial services.
|Available for download:|
Adobe PDF (Free)
Amazon Kindle (£0.77)
Apple iTunes (Free)