Utilizing Investment for Impact

By Loren Francis on July 18, 2019

Whether saving for a rainy day or creating wealth for the benefit of the next generation, investing by its nature is about the future.  At HighView we take a goals-based investment approach, and as wealth architects, we look to design an investment strategy that meets our clients’ goals for their future.  In our May 9 blog “Responsible Investing and Alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)we explored how Responsible Investing is an important part of understanding and managing the financial risk of investments and an important element of ensuring that our clients meet their financial goals.

In listening and learning from our clients, we have found that many of them have goals that are not solely focused on financial return; but goals for their families, their communities, and their organizations. Many of our clients are deeply concerned about social and environmental issues and are trying to create a better world in their personal and/or professional lives, to ensure they leave a positive legacy for their children and future generations.  With this in mind we have been continuing our exploration of investing that is often referred to as responsible, sustainable or impact investing.

The Global Impact Investment Network (GIIN) defines impact investments as: “investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.” Some also call this investing for double or even triple bottom line (profit, planet, people).   

It is an area that is growing exponentially.  In their report Sizing the Impact investing Market GIIN found that over 1300 organizations currently manage $502 billion USD worth of impact investments up from just $60 billion in 2014. Approximately $15 billion is in Canada.

There are many factors contributing to this growing interest. Some investors would like to make sure they are using their investments to minimize harm, do positive, or contribute to solutions.  Demographics and investing preferences of millennials or women, who tend to have different investing preferences are also factors. Several recent reports confirm the interest of high net worth individuals and Millennials in impact investment. Technology has facilitated greater awareness of growing global and local inequality or other issues and the challenges that governments and charities are facing as they try to address these issues with dwindling resources.  At the same time there are greater expectations being imposed on corporations to justify their social license to operate by contributing purposefully to dealing with such issues. The willingness of consumers to walk with their wallets is impacting the performance of companies whose behaviour and values are misaligned or whose brand attributes do not resonate with their targeted customers.

We take a long-term view at HighView and we understand the differing and unique preferences of our clients. Many are looking for ways to utilize their investment capital to influence societal and environmental change. We want to provide those clients with choices that focus on sustainable wealth creation by recognizing the importance of investment planning that adapts to changes in private and public markets; and to society as a whole. For this reason, HighView will continue to explore Impact Investing opportunities and strategies. We look forward to hosting focus groups on this subject through the summer and having our strategic partner Rally Assets present at our upcoming Fall event in October. Our future blogs will focus on some of the key questions that are often raised about how to go about investing with impact while balancing risk and return considerations, and how to measure impact. Our goal for our clients is to follow an investment process that, as our friends at Rally would say, results in “investing that profits everyone”.

 


HighView is an experienced fiduciary portfolio management firm committed to investor transparency. We would be happy to discuss our goals-based investment approach with you and your professional advisors.

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Loren Francis

As Vice President & Principal at HighView, Loren has depth and breadth when it comes to building relationships with families, understanding client investment objectives and requirements, designing an investment policy statement, and ensuring timely reviews and client service.
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