NEW YORK, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The creation of the "Global Impact 50" – the first ever index of the top 50 impact investment fund managers that deliver social and environmental value in addition to financial returns (including leaders from microfinance, community development, fair trade, and other strategies) -- was announced today at The Clinton Global Initiative.
The index is the first step in a new partnership between The Cordes Foundation, Calvert Foundation and Giving Assets to formally convene a consortium of philanthropic and financial services leaders to create a comprehensive impact investment platform. The objective will be to unleash $2 billion of new capital by 2016 to help address urgent global challenges, an initiative supported by The Rockefeller Foundation.
"The Global Impact 50 will catalyze capital for impact investments and contribute significantly to Rockefeller's work to expand social capital markets to help solve the world's pressing challenges on a broader scale," said Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation.
The index will serve as a gateway into the world of impact investing for investors and their financial advisors, introducing them to top players in the field while tracking assets under management. It will provide information on managers' social and financial performance, investment strategy, and areas where capital is invested and will be the first published "index" of impact investment private equity and debt fund managers.
"For investors interested in social as well as financial returns, it is challenging to know where to start and who the best managers are in the field. The Global Impact 50 will fill a critical gap in the investment infrastructure and unleash new capital to these markets," said Ron Cordes, President of Cordes Foundation and a leading impact investor.
Impact investments build on the work of a new wave of entrepreneurs in the world who are taking the best of the for-profit and not-for-profit systems and blending them to yield social, environmental, and financial returns. These ventures attack world problems with an effectiveness and efficiency that neither system can achieve alone, whether it be the scale and sustainability of the more than $25 billion of microfinance assets in the developing world or the explosion of Fair Trade and organics into a $20+ billion annual revenue market.
According to a 2010 study, Money for Good, led by Hope Consulting, there is $120 billion of U.S. market demand for impact investments. Yet, to date, very little of this market demand has been transformed into impact investment capital. This is due to limited awareness and understanding of impact investments among the investing public and financial advisors. Additionally, advisors and investors who are aware of the potential are unable to deploy capital due to lack of products and limited sales and distribution infrastructure.
"Impact Investing as a category is maturing. Advisors and their clients are increasingly searching for options, and the Global Impact 50 will provide a framework for new capital to enter the field," said Tim Freundlich, Special Advisor, Calvert Foundation and Executive Director, Giving Assets.
The Global Impact 50 will have an Advisory Council and Review Panel of recognized leaders in social enterprise, impact investment, and capital markets who will determine the selection criteria and evaluate the candidates. The website, http://www.global50.org/, is currently accepting names and contact information of fund managers who would like to be considered for the Global Impact 50. An online application will accept nominations starting in December and the first list of 50 fund managers will be announced before the end of Q1, 2011.
"The Global Impact 50 is an opportunity to bring together the best minds and most experienced fund managers in the impact investment field in a way that is easily accessible to the investor," said Jed Emerson, a leading speaker and writer on the issue of impact investing.
The Global Impact 50 is being created by leaders in the fields of impact investing and wealth management, including:
The Cordes Foundation, which was founded in 2006 by Ron and Marty Cordes with the objective of advancing the fields of social entrepreneurship and impact investing. In addition to grants in this field, the Foundation has implemented a robust impact investment strategy on its own balance sheet, with a current allocation of 30% across a diversified portfolio of debt and equity investments. Ron Cordes has over 25 years experience in the investment industry, and is Co-chairman of Genworth Financial Wealth Management, a $20 billion investment management platform that serves over 6,000 financial advisors and 100,000 individual investors.
Calvert Foundation and its subsidiaries have more than $500 million in impact investment assets under management and a 15 year track-record of investing in microfinance, affordable housing, Fair Trade and more in all 50 states and over 100 countries. Calvert Foundation serves over 7,500 individual and institutional investors through its Community Investment Note, which is an innovative financial instrument that allows investors to fight poverty by investing in low-income communities. Calvert Foundation also serves two dozen corporate and philanthropic clients through its wholly owned subsidiary and registered investment advisor Community Investment Partners. Wayne Silby, co-founder of Calvert Group mutual funds and Calvert Foundation's board co-chair, is committed to the Global Impact 50 project and will serve on its advisory council.
Giving Assets is an impact investment-oriented donor advised fund and will serve as the 501(c)(3) public charity host for the Global Impact 50. Tim Freundlich is the Executive Director of Giving Assets and has 15 years of experience in the impact investing space including over 13 years as a senior manager at Calvert Foundation and the co-founder of both SOCAP (the leading US conference for impact investment and social entrepreneurship) and Good Capital, a boutique venture firm in the space.
The Rockefeller Foundation is one of the world's leading foundations, and has dedicated significant resources to support their Harnessing the Power of Impact Investing initiative, which seeks to help catalyze an efficient industry that can deploy investment capital to complement philanthropy in solving social challenges at scale.
The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) was established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, and convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 125 current and former heads of state, 15 Nobel Peace Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. The CGI community also includes CGI University (CGI U), a forum to engage college students in global citizenship, MyCommitment.org, an online portal where anybody can make a Commitment to Action, and CGI Lead, which engages a select group of young leaders from business, government, and civil society. For more information, visit www.clintonglobalinitiative.org.
SOURCE The Cordes Foundation