Report launch and panel discussion: "Impact at Scale: Policy Innovation for Institutional Investment with Social and Environmental Benefit."
Ben Thornley, Director at InSight at Pacific Community Ventures, and David Wood, Director of the Initiative for Responsible Investment at Harvard University, presented highlights from their new research report, Impact at Scale: Policy Innovation for Institutional Investment with Social and Environmental Benefit, which explores the importance of institutional asset owners in the United States - including pension funds, endowments, and insurers - as an especially important category of current and prospective impact investors. With total assets of over $20 trillion, they play a fundamental role in domestic and world capital markets.
The public policy lens in the report provides an especially useful tool for examining the impact investing activity of these institutions; the availability of capital from asset owners is closely tied to the actions of government, and, while fiduciary duty can constrain investment for social or environmental impact, tax credits and other subsidies can support the activity. Institutional asset owners have shared characteristics and a surprisingly diverse track record of impact investing on which to build widespread support for policy innovation in the best interests of fund beneficiaries. The moderated discussion included remarks by Jonathan Greenblatt, Director, White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation; Joncarlo Mark, Founder, Upwelling Capital Group; Jeff Clarke, Interim President and CEO, Council on Foundations; and Valerie Piper, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Development, HUD.