3.2 Impact Investing Today
Despite the buzz surrounding impact investing, it remains a small proportion of the estimated US$ 13.6 trillion universe of global funds invested in sustainable and responsible strategies.26 While estimates of the current size of the impact investing sector vary, the size of the sector is likely larger than US$ 46 billion – the AUM of respondents to a 2014 survey by JP Morgan and the GIIN. In that survey, 124 impact investors reported that they collectively manage US$ 46 billion of impact investments and are targeting to make an additional US$ 12.7 billion in investments in 2014, up from 10.6 billion deployed in 2013 (see Figure 4). While the respondents differ in each of the years, there is a discernable growth trend. In the most recent survey, respondents indicated that the top three geographies in which they are increasing allocations are sub-Saharan Africa, East & South East Asia and South Asia. The top three sectors in which they are increasing allocations are food & agriculture, healthcare and financial services (excluding microfinance).27
Figure 4: Annual Impact Investment Volume (Survey Based) 2010-2014
Source: JP Morgan GIIN, 2012 – “Perspectives on Progress: The Impact Investor Survey”,
2013 & 2014 – “Spotlight on the Market: The Impact Investor Survey” (Note: Number of
respondents for each year were as follows: 2012: 88, 2013: 125, 2014: 124)
Differing definitional interpretations make precise sizing of the impact investing sector challenging at this point. Despite the imprecision in sizing, the observable growth trend is an optimistic indicator that the sector is advancing. Steady and continued engagement by self-identified impact investors, mainstream investors, market building intermediaries and mainstream financial services providers is critical to continue building the momentum.