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Millennials, UN Spur Growth in Impact Investing

Globally, impact investing represents over half a trillion in assets under management.

Global wealth in impact investing has surpassed $500 billion, according to an estimate by the Global Impact Investing Network. The organization concluded that over 1,340 organizations currently managed $502 billion in impact investing assets, with the majority of those organizations categorized as asset managers. Over 800 asset managers account for about 50% of the total assets under management. Just 2% of impact investing organizations are family offices, and 21% are foundations.

Impact investing has gained steam since it was introduced in 2007, the report noted. "Impact investing has attracted the attention of an increasing number of investors of all types and from all over the world. Indeed, more than 50% of active impact investing organizations made their first investment in the past decade." Over half of those organizations were headquartered in the U.S. and Canada.

Investments and interest by millennials, and the adoption of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, were crucial to the recent growth of the movement, reported the Financial Times. The U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, in particular, provide a framework for impact investing and are used by some automated investing companies, like Swell Investing, launched by Pacific Life in 2017.

While there is concern that investors could be underestimating the impact of climate on investments, the report noted that professionally managed assets were considering new factors. "One in four dollars of professionally managed assets (amounting to $13 trillion) now consider sustainability principles," concluded the report. It's a trend the organization expects to continue.

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