Facilitated by the Guernsey Chamber of Commerce, a new cross-sector initiative, Impact Guernsey, launched today.
The grouping has been formed to better enable Guernsey to proactively engage in the development of the emerging impact investment asset class and seek to build new businesses opportunities as a result.
Impact investing is a growing field of investment that seeks to intentionally create positive social or environmental impacts as well as generating financial returns.
Impact investments cover four broad categories; social, cultural, economic and environmental. Examples include investments in sustainable agriculture, healthcare, affordable education, social housing, renewable energy and financial inclusion.
Given these focus areas, impact investments are increasingly being recognised as having tremendous potential to address some of the world’s chronic challenges such as poverty and environmental degradation.
Intergovernmental bodies such as the United Nations, the World Bank and the G8 are increasingly backing public-private sector investment structures that seek to generate clear social and environmental impacts alongside financial returns.
According to industry figures, the impact investment industry is growing at around 20 percent year-on-year. This makes it one of the world’s fastest growing asset classes. Estimates suggest impact investments could total $2 trillion by 2025.
Impact investment not only plays a role in addressing pressing problems which face emerging and transition economies. It can also serve to fill the growing gap between the increasing demand for social services in OECD countries and the ability of their governments to afford them.
Impact Guernsey comprises a grouping of key business leaders within Guernsey’s business, financial and professional services communities, together with representatives from Government and the GFSC.
The group is chaired by Justin Sykes, a leader in this field, who recently authored a report how impact investment could support effective delivery of public services on the island.
Justin Sykes commented, “The launch of Impact Guernsey is an important step towards raising awareness of the global trend towards corporate and individual social responsibility, and the business opportunities this offers for Guernsey. We are delighted to be developing a platform to promote and develop this emerging asset class and we hope to assist the States in formulating its policy in this area as well as creating pathways for a range of products and services to diversify and grow Guernsey’s economy.”
Impact Guernsey will work closely with the financial and professional services sector, the regulator and Government to identify opportunities for Guernsey to proactively engage in the development of the impact investment industry and promote Guernsey’s capacity to facilitate impact finance business at scale.
Opportunities span the funds sector, the fiduciary services industry, professional services as well as the insurance industry.
Impact Guernsey are keen to hear from the financial sector and the wider community about their views on impact investment opportunities. To this end a survey to measure the existing levels of activity, as well as demand, related to impact investment, both off-island and on, has also been launched by the group today. Targeting the business community it is hoped that as many responses as possible will be gathered so that a solid evidence base may be built upon to take this initiative forward.
For further information, please contact Justin Sykes at firstname.lastname@example.org.