Integrating impact alongside risk and return is a revolution that will see more diversification among investor allocations to asset classes such as commodities. Elsewhere, it requires using multiple data sets to analyse stocks and sovereign bond allocations to see the real-world impact of a company’s product or services, and which governments are heading to net-zero. Bridgewater’s head of investment research Karen Karniol-Tambour explains.
The incorporation of ESG factors within the investment process has evolved from a nice-to-have to a necessity. Client demand has grown strongly, with 68% of the PRI’s asset owner signatory base addressing ESG considerations in their requests for proposals (RFPs). This means that many asset owners expect investment managers to include financially material ESG factors within their funds and investment strategies. In addition, policy makers around the world are introducing regulatory requirements for both investment managers and asset owners to disclose and report on responsible investment practices.
A new impact investing verification, which uses the same level of rigor that institutional investors approach the due diligence of fund managers, promises to unlock capital flows into impact and build the necessary scale with integrity needed to address the urgent social, environmental, and economic challenges.