Mainstreaming Impact Investing Guide

World Economic Forum Davos WEFNew York (USA) – September 16, 2014 – Charting the Course: How Mainstream Investors can Design Visionary and Pragmatic Impact Investing Strategies, is the culmination of a year-long research effort with investors to demonstrate concrete strategies for how for-profit companies can create transformational positive social impact.

Impact investing – an investment approach which creates both financial returns and positive impact that is actively measured – is continuing to be a focus in high-level circles as seen through recent convenings hosted by the Pope, the White House and the G8, while at the same time receiving increased interest from the millennial generation which is set to inherit some USD $30 trillion over the coming decades. Charting the Course, contains actionable and customizable roadmaps on how to define an impact investing vision and strategy, create a supporting organization, and utilize resources from the collaborative impact investing “ecosystem”. These actions will help mainstream investors harness the positive power of private capital markets for public social good alongside financial returns.

This report is the sequel to From the Margins to the Mainstream which over the past year has become among the top-referenced reports on impact investing, globally. Yet for most investors today – impact investing still needs to be translated from a compelling idea into sound strategies. Charting the Course aims to meet this need by offering a three-staged roadmap that allows mainstream investors to ask the right questions, define their investment principles, and draw on the right resources.

“Impact investing increasingly resonates with investors – it aligns with their values and it makes long-term business sense. But while impact investing entered the mainstream mind set, it is not yet part of investors’ strategy, operations and culture. We wrote Charting the Course to offer interested investors roadmaps on how to engage with impact investing, which are customizable to an investor’s starting point, level of interest, long-term vision and goals.” explained Abigail Noble, Associate Director and Head of Impact Investing Initiatives at the World Economic Forum.

“What we’re looking for is intentionality, measurability and profitability. There are investment opportunities out there to achieve this. Impact investing is not philanthropy or exotic niche investments.” stated Cecilia Reyes, Chief Investment Officer of Zurich Insurance Group. “What it takes, though, is a commitment to make impact investing an integral part of the overall investment approach, executed in a structured and disciplined way. And it takes a culture and investment philosophy that value the impact created.”

“Impact investments turn market failures into social and commercial opportunities, providing funds for innovative projects while rewarding investors for the risks taken. For UBS and its clients it is therefore a symbiosis of both smart macro-investments and high social impact interventions and the new World Economic Forum report helps investors to understand risks and opportunities.” said Sergio P. Ermotti, Group Chief Executive Officer of UBS AG.

The World Economic Forum’s Mainstreaming Impact Initiative endeavours to advance the impact investing sector through rigorous research, actionable insights and dynamic convenings, such as those hosted at the Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos the past three years. The World Economic Forum is committed to continuing advancement of the impact investment sector and to making the investment approach, where relevant, an integral part of investors’ strategies and operations.
Notes to Editors

Learn more about Forum’s impact investing work at

About the World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. It engages with business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is independent, impartial and not tied to any interests. It cooperates closely with all leading international organizations (