The UK has a proud history of pioneering impact investing, with market leadership and government support, and first-rate institutions working in international development, domestic impact investment and traditional finance. The Institute brings together two existing bodies that aim to maximise the scale and effectiveness of the UK impact investing market: the UK National Advisory Board on Impact Investing (UK NAB), and the Implementation Taskforce for Growing a Culture of Social Impact Investing in the UK (Implementation Taskforce). It will be led by their chairs, Sir Harvey McGrath and Elizabeth Corley.
In 2013, under the UK’s presidency of the G8, the independent Social Impact Investment Taskforce was set up to “catalyse a global market in impact investment”, creating National Advisory Boards (NABs) for each member state. In 2017, the UK NAB produced its comprehensive plan for creating an inclusive and sustainable economy.
In 2016, the UK government set up an Independent Advisory Group on Growing a Culture of Social Impact Investing in the UK, which delivered its report at the end of 2017. In 2018, the government published its response and the Prime Minister commissioned an Implementation Taskforce to take forward the recommendations of the report. The Implementation Taskforce drew on the expertise of over 80 firms and industry associations across a number of different sectors and jurisdictions.
By combining the energy, supporter base and achievements of these two groups, the Institute aims to provide a focal point for impact investing in the UK to accelerate the potential for finance to address social challenges.
The Institute will have four key objectives:
1: Strengthen the market infrastructure for impact investing
Encourage the development of the impact investing market and help build elements of a sustainable market infrastructure
Accelerate specific investment opportunities, and address constraints to impact investment within mainstream business and the financial services sector.
2: Increase the amount of capital invested for impact
Mobilise increasing amounts of capital from a variety of sources and with a range of expectations into investments that contribute to solutions to social challenges, in the UK and in developing countries.
3: Improve the effectiveness of capital invested for impact
Promote an increase in the transparency and comparability of impact investments made through UK markets, so investors can make better informed choices about how best to deploy their capital to address social challenges.
4: Make it easier for individuals to invest for impact
Identify and propose ways to reduce barriers to individuals investing in social impact.
Raise awareness and knowledge across a broad range of stakeholders, encourage and promote investment opportunities suitable for individual participation.
The Institute will drive action and catalyse change through convening knowledge and expertise, and creating partnerships to address market barriers and capitalise on opportunities. It will be independent, open and diverse, welcoming those from different fields and perspectives with a commitment to its purpose. It will actively engage across the spectrum of investors and investees - with asset owners, managers and intermediaries and with businesses, social enterprises, and other organisations committed to making a social impact.