Practical analysis for investment professionals
12 August 2015

Impact Investing: Five Videos to Watch

Impact investing is punching way above its weight, attracting the attention of the news media and investors as well as politicians, academics, and even the pope. As interest has expanded, the need for curated video content on the subject — content that is suitable for investment professionals — has grown increasingly clear. With this in mind, I have compiled five of the most informative and useful videos on impact investing. In doing so, I have tried to focus on material that offers substance and does not drift into sentimentality.

An Introduction to Impact Investing

In this video, part of the Take 15 Series produced by CFA Institute, I interview Harry Hummels, a practitioner and scholar of impact investing. Hummels answers a series of questions that help to illuminate the concept of impact investing clearly and simply, touching on why and how it is different from other forms of investing. He also provides some useful examples of impact investing in action.

Next Steps for Social Impact Investment

Michele Giddens, a partner and co-founder of Bridges Ventures, a UK-based investment management firm and a prominent name in global impact investing, covers a number of innovative impact investing projects that have both made money and had positive social outcomes.

Toby Eccles: Invest in Social Change

This 15-minute TED Talk features Toby Eccles, the brain behind the world’s first social impact bond (SIB), the Peterborough SIB, which sought to reduce recidivism rates among inmates at a UK prison. Eccles explains the rationale behind the Peterborough SIB and discusses how lowering the rate of recidivism converted into an internal rate of return. Approaching a million views, Eccles’s TED Talk is perhaps the most watched video in the sustainable, responsible, and impact investing (SRI) space. (For my interview with Eccles, see “Innovation in Impact Investing: Social Impact Bonds.”)

Measuring Impact

Samantha Yamada gives an insightful and personal talk in this presentation, part of a TEDx event at York University in Canada. Yamada discusses one of the most difficult aspects of impact investing: quantifying the actual impact made by the investment. The complexity and cost involved in the measuring process can make it seem like an expensive reporting exercise, one that may not necessarily yield an appropriate ROI. Yet Yamada explains how measuring impact is essential, both to the underlying purpose of impact investing and in creating the momentum for similar projects in the future.

A Framework for Measuring Impact

While there are a number of widely used and recognized financial performance measures — the internal rate of return (IRR), for example — the metrics for measuring impact are still evolving. This video series, from the charity Save the Children, is comprised of three 10-minute segments. Focusing on immunization, they explain the conceptual framework used for measuring impact — that is, change that is solely attributable to the investment and which could not have occurred without it. Most importantly, the video series clarifies how the net impact of an investment may, in fact, be nil, and provides strategies to help evaluate projects so that unproductive ones can be wound down and productive ones continued.

If you would like to know more about environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues in sustainable, responsible, and impact investing, please take this free eLearning course by CFA Institute: ESG-100: A Clear and Simple Introduction to ESG issues in Sustainable, Responsible, and Impact Investing.

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All posts are the opinion of the author. As such, they should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute or the author’s employer.

About the Author(s)
Usman Hayat, CFA

Usman Hayat, CFA, writes about sustainable, responsible, and impact investing and Islamic finance. He is the lead author of "Environmental, Social, and Governance Issues in Investing: A Guide for Investment Professionals;" the literature review, "Islamic Finance: Ethics, Concepts, Practice;" and the research report "Sustainable, Responsible, and Impact Investing and Islamic Finance: Similarities and Differences." He is interested in online learning and has directed three e-courses for CFA Institute: "ESG-100," "Islamic Finance Quiz," and "Residual Income Equity Valuation." The other topics he writes about are macroeconomics and behavioral finance. He has experience working in securities regulation and as an independent consultant. His qualifications include the CFA charter, the FRM designation, an MBA, and an MA in development economics. He has served as a content director at CFA Institute. He is a former executive director at the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and former CEO of the Audit Oversight Board (Pakistan). His personal interests include reading and hiking.

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