Social Responsibility

Impact Investment Takes Hold

Eine Menschenschlange vor einer Pumpstation in Äthiopien (Foto von 2005). Wasserbeschaffung, obwohl körperliche Schwerstarbeit, ist meist Aufgabe von Frauen und Kindern. Wasserstellen liegen oft weit von Siedlungen entfernt, dazu ist das Wasser oft verschmutzt. Mit der Trinkwasser-Aktion "1 Liter für 10 Liter", die Unicef zusammen mit dem Getränkekonzern Volvic ins Leben rief, leistet das UN-Kinderhilfswerk Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe. Im Gegenzug für den Kauf einer Literflasche realisiert Volvic die Gewinnung von zehn Litern Trinkwasser durch Brunnenbau in den Dürregebieten von Äthiopien. Foto: Roland Michels/rm-fotodesign/Volvic +++(c) dpa - Report+++ [ Rechtehinweis: (c) dpa ]
People standing in line to pump water in Ethiopia: an investment that comes with the additional benefit of doing good.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Despite lower returns, the wealthy are looking for more socially responsible investment opportunities.

  • Facts


    • Around €77.4 billion is invested globally through impact investment schemes.
    • So far, family-controlled investment groups and wealthy individuals account for only 13 percent of the global volume of impact investments.
    • The majority of investors’ wealth remains invested in stocks, bonds and cash holdings, though this may start to change as the effects of low interest rates become more noticeable.
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“Impact investing” is a dreamy amalgam of financial and social goals, promising an acceptable rate of return with the satisfaction of also attempting to save the world.

Coined in 2007 by the Rockefeller Foundation shortly before the financial crisis, it’s still relevant nearly a decade later. It mostly attracts wealthy people who prefer to promote social enterprises that can make a difference rather than simply donating their money.

“The younger heirs of large fortunes, in particular, want to contribute to development objectives formulated by the World Bank,” said Thomas Rüschen, chief executive of the Deutsche Oppenheim Family Office, which specializes in wealth management and is responsible for more than €10 billion in the sector. “Issues such as the exclusion of investments in weapons, nuclear energy or alcohol have long been standard, but now it’s also about actively financing positive examples.”

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