Report Released: Bringing Impact Investing Down to Earth

Insights for Making Sense, Managing Outcomes, and Meeting Client Demand

Bringing Impact Investing Down to Earth: Insights for Making Sense, Managing Outcomes, and Meeting Client Demand continues a multi-year discussion between the Money Management Institute (MMI) and Burckart Consulting about the emergence of impact investing and the peculiar challenges and opportunities it represents for the financial services industry.

The report details the growing client demand for impact investing – the practice of investing with the intention to generate measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return – and the obstacles to truly widespread adoption. Chief among these is the need to address issues related to transparency.

Read the launch op-ed on Quartz: "Impact investing needs a better way to measure impact" 

Also included are essays by leading practitioners who are learning by doing – Erika Karp and John Wilson of Cornerstone Capital Group, Jamie Butterworth of Circularity Capital, Mark Sloss of UBS, and Anna Snider of Merrill Lynch. 

The report draws from Burckart’s advisory work and industry knowledge, reviews of client engagements, data analysis and desk research, and targeted interviews with leading financial institutions and advisors. 

Outreach related to this body of work:

  • Will participate on the panel on "Charting a New Path with Millennials: ESG, Impact Investing, and Frontier Markets" at the Money Management Institute's 2015 Fall Solutions Conference on October 21 in New York. Bill will join moderator Anna Snider, the Managing Director and Head of Global Equity Due Diligence for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and other panelists, including Ron D. Cordes, Executive Co-Chairman, AssetMark; Chuck Knudsen, Vice President, T. Rowe Price; and Jamie Rantanen, Director, Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management. 

  • Moderated a webinar with the MMI that asks "Can Client-Facing Advisors and Asset Managers Get on the Same Impact Investing Page?" This webinar addresses this divide head-on, examining what clients are really demanding, what advisors must be able to provide, and what asset managers need to know to better position themselves. Jon Hale, Director of Manager Research, North America, Morningstar, Inc., and Mark D. Sloss, Head of Investment Management Models & Portfolios, UBS Wealth Management Americas will join me for this discussion. Hear the Audio File (MP3) from the session and see the Presentation (PDF);

  • Coverage in the The Chronicle of Philanthropy in "We Need to Prove Impact Investing Makes a Difference";

  • Coverage in The Guardian in "Impact investing could help plug $2.5tn funding gap for development" by Alison Moodie;

  • Coverage in Quartz in "There's a new industrial revolution underway", with Jamie Butterworth;

  • Coverage in Quartz in "Can capitalism keep people out of prisons?", with Steven Godeke;

  • Coverage in Forbes of Bringing Impact Investing Down to Earth;

  • An interview with FundFire on Bringing Impact Investing Down to Earth;

  • A speech and panel on March 25, 2015 as part of a webinar in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) that served to preview the report, Find more details here. Burckart was joined by Nicholas Salter, Senior Manager for the Clinton Global Initiative; Anna Snider, the Managing Director and Head of Global Equity Due Diligence for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management; and Mark D. Sloss, the Senior Portfolio Manager and Head of Premier Portfolio Services for UBS Wealth Management Americas; and

  • A speech and a panel on “Financing our Market and Community Innovations” at the 30th Annual Emerging Issues Forum: Innovation Reconstructed in February 2015 (Raleigh, NC), where Burckart was joined by Dan Nissenbaum, Managing Director, Urban Investment Group, Goldman Sachs Bank USA; Scott Case, Chief Executive Officer, Main Street Genome; and Jenny Kassan, CEO, Cutting Edge Capital.

The collaboration between MMI and Burckart began in October 2012 with a showcase Burckart conducted on impact investing for attendees at MMI’s Fall Solutions Conference in New York. Subsequent activities have included:

  • The launch of an ongoing Impact Investing Blog on MMI’s website in July 2013;

  • A panel at the MMI Annual Conference in April 2014 (New York, NY), during which Burckart was joined by Amy Bell, the Executive Director and Head of Principal Investments for JPMorgan’s Social Finance unit; Joel Hornstein, the Managing Director of DreamFund; and Mark D. Sloss, the Senior Portfolio Manager and Head of Premier Portfolio Services for UBS Wealth Management Americas;

  • MMI’s publication of the special report “Serving Client Demand for Impact Investing: A Hands-on Guide for Financial Advisors and Senior Management” in May 2014; 

  • A MMI webinar in May 2014 that revisited the well-received impact investing panel discussion from MMI’s Annual Convention; and

  • A panel at the MMI Annual Convention in April 2015 (Charlotte, NC), during which Burckart was joined by Anna Snider, the Managing Director and Head of Global Equity Due Diligence for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management; John Streur, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Calvert Investments; and Gil Crawford, Chief Executive Officer of MicroVest.