BETHESDA, Md., March 14, 2023 — ImpactAssets announced today that it has released the ImpactAssets 50 2023 (IA 50), a free publicly available, searchable database of impact investment fund managers for impact investors, family offices, corporations, foundations and institutional investors.
In its twelfth year, the IA 50 continues to raise awareness of impact fund managers across impact areas, maturity, and geography, serving as a basis for deepening understanding of the field.
The IA 50 breaks out managers in three categories, including the core IA 50 list, IA 50 Emerging Impact Managers list and IA 50 Emeritus Impact Managers list. Oryx Impact appears on the Emerging Impact Managers List. Across all three categories, a record 163 impact fund managers were included totaling $122.48 billion in assets, invested across a range of asset classes and impact themes.
“This year’s IA 50 showcase is a watershed, as the industry continues to allocate more investable assets into social and environmental solutions with both time-tested strategies and creative, new approaches,” said Jed Emerson, ImpactAssets Senior Fellow, IA 50 Review Committee Chair and Chief Impact Officer at AlTi Global. “Established funds continue to impress, while new funds are bringing fresh approaches and insights that move the needle in critical areas through impact investing.”
Some takeaways from this year’s IA 50:
Maturing Industry: While many investors see impact investing as the “next new thing,” this year’s IA 50 highlights the long roots and deep experience of an industry focused on making measurable, beneficial social or environmental impact alongside a financial return. More than four in ten (43%) IA 50 2023 fund managers have been managing assets for more than 10 years, and nine fund managers have been selected in all 12 IA 50 showcases.
Growth in Billion Dollar Funds: As impact investing continues its rapid ascension—the Global Impact Investing Network estimates the global impact investing market at $1.16 trillion—the IA 50 has seen a steady increase in the number of billion dollar funds in its ranks. This year, 18 managers with assets exceeding $1 billion were selected, up from 15 in 2022, while an additional 11 had assets under management between $500 million and $1 billion, up from ten in 2022.
Investment Themes and SDGs: A quarter (25%) of IA 50 managers across all three lists focused on clean technology, alternative energy, and climate change, making it the top impact theme. Microfinance, low-income financial services, and micro-insurance (12%) comprised the second-largest impact focus. The most represented UN Sustainable Development Goals cited by fund managers included Decent Work and Economic Growth (20%), Climate Action (17%), No Poverty (12%) and Reduced Inequality (11%).
Increased Diversity & Representation: IA 50 fund managers embrace diversity in contrast to the asset management industry as a whole—asset managers who are women, Black, Indigenous or People of Color manage just 1.4 percent of $82.2 trillion in U.S. assets. Nearly half (48%) of fund managers reported their investment teams are 50% or more People of Color; 43% reported investment teams with 50% or more women. Similarly, 37% of fund managers reported their senior management is 50% or more women, while 35% said senior management is 50% or more People of Color.
Aligning Incentives with Impact: IA 50 managers are finding new ways to commit to impact. This year, 19% of core IA 50 managers, 17% of Emerging Impact Managers and 10% of Emeritus Managers said they tie fund compensation structure to achieving impact. A total of 17% said they have had their impact reporting verified by a third party.
Private Equity is the Largest Asset Class: Focused on deep impact in private markets, 60% of IA 50 fund managers are primarily investing in private equity, while 32% are primarily invested in private debt. Early Stage Venture Capital in Developed Markets is the most popular category, representing 12% of all funds.
Impact Doesn’t Mean Financial Sacrifice: A total of 76% of IA 50 managers target market rates or above market rates of return, and 98% reported delivering either in line or above their initial target returns.
Additionally, nearly one in five fund managers named to the IA 50 2023 is a signatory to the Operating Principles for Impact Management, a framework for investors to ensure that impact considerations are purposefully integrated throughout the investment life cycle. According to an independent analysis by BlueMark, a provider of impact verification services and intelligence for the impact and sustainable investing markets, 17 of these 31 fund managers have already completed an independent verification, as is required by all signatories.
“What makes the IA 50 so special is its independent Review Committee, comprised of a diverse mix of industry veterans, expert practitioners and impact champions” said Margret Trilli, CEO and Chief Investment Officer at ImpactAssets. “Throughout the IA 50’s 12-year tenure, we have honed a rigorous application, analysis and scoring process to support the Review Committee in selecting interesting fund managers for the IA 50 directory. In doing so, the IA 50 has become a staple resource for investors to source impact investment ideas to consider for their own due diligence.”
In addition to Jed Emerson, the ImpactAssets IA 50 Review Committee is comprised of some of the leading thinkers and doers in impact investing— people who built the industry and are leading investors, managers and practitioners.
The IA 50 Review Committee includes: Andrew Lee, Managing Director, Global Head of Sustainable and Impact Investing, UBS Global Wealth Management; Christina Leijonhufvud, CEO, BlueMark and Co-Founder, Tideline; Cynthia Muller, Director of Mission Investment, W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Danielle Reed, Senior Vice President, ESG & Impact Investing, Jordan Park Group; Jennifer Kenning, CEO & Co-Founder, Align Impact; Justina Lai, Chief Impact Officer and Shareholder, Wetherby Asset Management; Karl “Charly” Kleissner, Ph.D., Co-Founder of Toniic and KL Felicitas Foundation; Kate Starr, Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer, Flat World Partners; Liesel Pritzker Simmons, Co-Founder and Principal of Blue Haven Initiative; Malaika Maphalala, CPWA® Private Wealth Advisor, Natural Investments, LLC; Margret Trilli, CEO and Chief Investment Officer, ImpactAssets; Mark Berryman, Managing Director of Impact Investing, The CAPROCK Group; Ronald A. Homer, Chief Strategist, Impact Investing, RBC Global Asset Management (US) Inc.; and Stephanie Cohn Rupp, CEO and Partner, Veris Wealth Partners.
The application and fund analysis for the IA 50 is conducted by ImpactAssets.
About Oryx Impact
Oryx Impact is an impact investment firm dedicated to investing capital into the African continent to generate local and regional jobs and economic development, mitigate climate change and promote gender equality, while generating attractive financial returns.
Oryx Impact unlocks growth opportunities in Africa and increases private capital flows by investing in funds with strong local presence and networks and by seeking co-investments into companies, ultimately providing growth capital to SMEs and businesses generating essential goods and services. Oryx Impact applies a gender lens at SME and fund level, proactively seeking women-led management teams that in turn are more likely to invest in female-led businesses.
Oryx Impact fosters the eco-system of impact fund managers investing in Africa, with a substantial focus on local, women-led and emerging fund managers. For that purpose, Oryx Impact will support emerging funds with a Technical Assistance (TA) facility to professionalize ESG and Impact measurement and management (IMM) practices.
About the ImpactAssets 50
The IA 50 is the first publicly available database that provides a gateway into the world of impact investing for donors and/or investors and their financial advisors, offering an easy way to identify experienced impact investment firms and explore the landscape of potential investment opportunities. The IA 50 is intended to illustrate the breadth of impact investment fund managers operating today, though it is not a comprehensive list. Firms have been selected to demonstrate a wide range of impact investing activities across geographies, sectors and asset classes.
The IA 50 is not an index or investable platform and does not constitute an offering or solicitation to buy or sell securities or a private placement, or recommend specific products. Nor is this an endorsement of any of the listed fund managers. It is not a replacement for due diligence. To be considered for the IA 50 2023, fund managers needed to have at least $25 million in assets under management, more than three years of experience as a firm with impact investing, documented social and/or environmental impact and be available for US investment. Additional details on the selection process are available here.
The IA 50 Emerging Impact Managers list is intended to spotlight newer fund managers to watch that demonstrate potential to create meaningful impact. Criteria such as minimum track record or minimum assets under management may not be applicable.
The IA 50 Emeritus Impact Managers list illuminates impact fund managers who have achieved consistent recognition on the IA 50.
ImpactAssets is an impact investing trailblazer, dedicated to changing the trajectory of our planet’s future and improving the lives of all people. As a leading impact investing firm, we offer deep strategic expertise to help our clients define and execute on their impact goals. Founded in 2010, ImpactAssets increases flows of money to impact investing in partnership with our clients through our impact investment platform and field-building initiatives, including the IA 50 database of private debt and equity impact fund managers. ImpactAssets has more than $2 billion in assets in 1,700 donor advised fund accounts, working with purpose-driven individuals and their wealth managers, family offices, foundations and corporations. ImpactAssets is an independent 501(c)(3) organization.