Jersey Finance’s first Impact Investing event took place on 19 June, when a packed room gathered to hear from a panel of renowned experts who explored impact investing through a variety of different lenses.

Impact investing is the deployment of funds into investments that generate a measurable and beneficial social or environmental impact, alongside a financial return on investment. As we heard from our speakers, this can be achieved in a number of ways, all with beneficial outcomes for both the provider and the client, while at the same time working towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). All speakers agreed that the opportunity in this sector can be counted in the trillions rather than the billions of dollars globally.

The session was hosted and introduced by our Sustainable Finance Lead, Tom McKenna. We then heard from Rob Stewart, Fund Manager at Melville Douglas. Rob took the audience through Melville Douglas’ Global Impact Fund, the importance of creating a well-diversified and balanced portfolio across sectors, and why a fund’s key performance indicators should align to the UN’s SDGs to provide a common and comparable assessment of the impact created.

Rob was followed by Tze-Wei Ng, solicitor and expert in private wealth from Stephenson Harwood’s Hong Kong office. Tze-Wei provided a fascinating insight into the Asian private wealth and family office sectors, which are seeing exponential growth, with the rise of the philanthropic and impact investors in the region. Asia has more billionaires than any other region globally, and almost half of all family offices in Asia are already engaged in sustainable investing, with this set to rise.

Sudha Bharadia, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Advance Global Capital, based in London, presented a number of fascinating global case studies illustrating their vision – “To be a leading provider of inclusive finance, for SMEs globally, with a focus on under or un-represented groups, especially businesses that are owned or led by women”.

Next to present was Justin Sykes, Founder and Managing Director of Innovest Advisory. Justin brought the impact investing journey to life by discussing strategy, screening, due diligence, execution, measurement and reporting. He emphasised the market opportunity that is there for investors who get these aspects right and highlighted the worldwide appetite of 26 trillion USD for impact investments worldwide.

The event was rounded off by an impassioned presentation by biodiversity and nature expert Julian Matthews. Julian spoke about the opportunities for investors who add nature into their portfolios, alongside more conventional sustainable investments. He appealed to the audience in a call to action that biodiversity is the cornerstone of the battle to combat climate change and the carbon emission emergency.

Reflecting on the event, Tom McKenna, commented: “We were blessed with fantastic experts speaking on a range of topics relating to impact investing and this was reflected in the diverse turnout from our industry. The event was fully subscribed within 24 hours of its formal launch, which was a clear illustration of our industry’s understanding of the importance, growth and opportunities available in our Island for impact investing. This, together with the Response Paper from the Government’s Sustainable Finance Consultation, demonstrates that there is a clear trajectory for sustainability to become embedded into the heart of the Island’s finance industry.”

Jersey Finance holds a number of sustainable finance events throughout the year. For more information visit the Events Hub.