As this report has discussed, there are a range of imperatives which support impact investing as a viable and forward-looking investment strategy for mainstream investors. These imperatives include but are not limited to the growing client interest in impactful destinations for capital and the search by asset managers for investments that mitigate long-term environmental and socio-political risks. Additionally, investment institutions are exploring how impact investing can increase employee and client retention as well as align an organization’s values with the its strategy and operations.
The actions of pioneering investors have laid the foundation for impact investing to enter the mainstream. Over the coming years, the challenges facing the impact investing sector will evolve as more players enter the market and the sector grows. Better data will be available on the risk and return characteristics of impact investments as well as on the correlation between impact and long-term value. A more sophisticated and mature investing market will emerge through the work of incubators, accelerators, universities, public-private cooperation, as well as partnerships between mainstream investors and impact investors. When that future comes, investors who have taken the time and effort to chart their own course into impact investing with the investment strategies, organizational capabilities and ecosystem engagement most appropriate to their institution will have a competitive advantage in the market.
The World Economic Forum hopes that reports such as this one demonstrate that there are pragmatic yet visionary approaches businesses can take to improve the state of the world.