Impact Investments Grew Significantly in 2013-15 Period, Report Finds

Impact investors reported substantial growth in both assets under management and capital raised between 2013 and 2015, a report from the Global Impact Investing Network finds.

Based on a survey of impact investors — fund managers, foundations, and financial institutions — over three years, the report, Impact Investing Trends: Evidence of a Growing Industry (40 pages, PDF), found that impact investing assets under management grew to $35.5 billion in 2015, from $25.4 billion in 2013, and compounded at an annual growth rate of 18 percent. Over the same three-year period, the amount of capital raised by fund managers increased to $2.3 billion, from $1.7 billion, again compounding at an annual growth rate of 18 percent. Respondents also maintained a steady pace of impact investment activity throughout the period, committing $7.1 billion in 2013, $9.2 billion in 2014, and $9.1 billion in 2015. In addition, 85 percent of respondents reported financial returns in line with or above expectations in 2015, while 98 percent reported impact performance in line with or above expectations.

According to the report, more than 60 percent of the assets under management were in emerging markets, while 70 percent were allocated to private debt and private equity. The sectors attracting the greatest share of impact investing dollars were microfinance (38 percent), followed by other financial services, energy, housing, and food and agriculture.

"The Impact Investing Trends report provides compelling evidence of a growing impact investing industry," said GIIN co-founder and CEO Amit Bouri. "The report illustrates that impact investing is a powerful movement driven by investors of all types who are effectively putting their capital toward solutions to issues in areas like conservation, education, and affordable housing. The positive trends support that investors are increasingly bullish about the use of capital to address social and environmental challenges, and we are confident that this trend will continue."