Impact investment is likely to show a huge increase in popularity in the near future. A philanthropy survey performed jointly by ABN AMRO MeesPierson and Maastricht University shows that almost 4 out of 10 wealthy individuals with investable assets of at least 500,000 euros are interested in this relatively new form of investment. According to current numbers, impact investing is as yet barely on the radar; hardly 4 per cent of respondents have made impact investments before.
Impact investments are chiefly geared towards measurable, beneficial results in the areas of sustainability, the environment and social issues. Financial yield matters, but it's not at the top of the priority list. Impact investing includes both investments in funds and direct contributions to social projects.
The survey, which numbered 800 respondents, showed that impact investments with a focus on CO2 reduction are the most attractive subcategory. Investors are also quite interested in impact investments aimed at creating jobs and decreasing vulnerable groups' distance to the labour market. In the survey, respondents stated that contributing positively to society would be their main reason to choose impact investment. Earning financial returns is of minor importance to them.
Expected to surge
ABN AMRO Managing Director of Investment and Asset Management Advice Eran Habets: “Clients want to use their assets in various ways to make a difference to society, and impact investment is one of the ways to accomplish that goal. There's a great deal of interest in impact investment, although few are actually doing it yet. After all, it's a relatively new phenomenon. Because more and more investors want to do the right thing with their money, we predict a surge in this type of investments over the next few years.”