Global impact investing — investments designed to generate a social or environmental impact as well as often targeting a competitive investment return — were expected to grow to $12.7 billion last year, up 20% from the previous year, according to a report released Thursday by Global Impact Investing Network.
The values are based on data from 125 impact investors worldwide. Confirmation of the figures and new estimates for 2015 won't be available until May, spokesman Daniel Diaz said.
The 20-page “ImpactBase Snapshot” report highlights data from 308 impact investing funds, registered in the GIIN database.
Of those funds, 170 market to foundations, 119 to pension funds and 103 to endowments. The marketing data include some overlap of the funds, Mr. Diaz said.
In all, 242 funds or 79% seek to generate investment returns comparable to non-impact investments of a similar type and risk profile, while 66 funds or 21% target below-market but still positive returns focusing on a primary objective of social or environmental impact or a combination of both.
By asset class, 121 funds combined invest in private equity or venture capital; 54 funds, fixed income; 45 funds, multiple asset classes; and 21 funds, real assets. The breakdown includes only funds that reported committed capital.
GIIN, which promotes the growth of impact investing, is made up of institutional investors, including the $32.4 billion Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, $10.2 billion Ford Foundation, $4 billion Rockefeller Foundation, TIAA-CREF, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Prudential Financial, Morgan Stanley and UBS.