Impact Investment and the IFA channel



Press release from Worthstone Press, 01 December 2011

Increasing Capital Flows into Impact Investments via the IFA distribution channel

Worthstone, in partnership with The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), announced today the launch of a research project to gain an understanding of the particular opportunities and challenges in the IFA market for Impact Investment.

Impact Investment is social investment that intentionally places new capital in businesses and funds that seek a financial return alongside a positive social and/or environmental impact.

The project will explore product, regulatory, access and compliance issues whilst also aiming to gauge the appetite for this emerging asset class amongst potential investors and those who advise them.

Worthstone is also receiving support from Allia and Social Finance Limited, who devise financial structures and raise capital for social investment. The Institute of Financial Planning (IFP) is supporting the research by encouraging its members to complete the Worthstone survey.

Joe Ludlow, NESTA’s Director of Social Ventures comments, “NESTA’s recent work has shown potentially significant demand for social investment products amongst individual investors. However we also know there is a strong need to better understand the distribution channels and means of communicating social investments if this latent demand is to be satisfied. Worthstone’s work will allows us to take our understanding further by practically testing social investment products through the vital IFA distribution channel.”

Gavin Francis, co-founder of Worthstone emphasises, “Impact Investment has started to be recognised as driving financial innovation which delivers measurable social and financial return. In doing so, this provides the financial services community with an opportunity to claim its place in society as one which supports and empowers social and economic progress”.

Nick Cann, CEO Institute of Financial Planning states: “Financial Planning is an evolving profession and Financial Planners will consider the widest range of solutions for their clients. To be good at this they need to have a deep understanding of their clients’ goals and objectives. Philanthropy and social investing are important to consumers and therefore growing in importance for the Financial Planning community. The IFP is pleased to support further research in this area to establish what is possible”.

Supporting this initiative, Nick O’Donohoe, CEO Big Society Capital said, “We believe that developing the IFA market is crucial to the overall development of social investing in the UK. We are very supportive therefore of the important research which is being undertaken by Worthstone which will help ensure that the social investment market embraces IFA needs and regulatory challenges when developing product solutions for clients.”

The project is scheduled to report in April 2012.

Press contact:
Jan Singleton (NESTA)
Tel: 020 7438 2606
Email: [email protected]

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