A new initiative to support the development of Australia and New Zealand's impact investment market has been launched by Responsible Investment Association Australasia and Impact Investing Australia.
The Impact Investment Forum, chaired by former Christian Super chief executive Peter Murphy, will seek to achieve measurable social or environmental impact alongside financial returns, and act as a dedicated hub to connect and deepen participation of industries including government, philanthropy and superannuation in the field.
The forum will also benefit from research Impact Investing Australia has incubated, including the Impact Survey and Benchmarking Report on impact investment activity and performance.
Responsible Investment Association Australasia's (RIAA) chief executive Simon O'Connor said the Forum will bring voices from across the two nations together to work in the interests of building a strong impact investment market.
"RIAA's mission is to see more capital being invested more responsibly. Through the Impact Investment Forum, we want to develop and amplify the significant work done by Impact Investing Australia, and help take impact investing to scale," O'Connor said.
"Together with our other 150 members, we will bring the voices of 20 superannuation funds to the table. Alone, these super funds manage $500 billion of Australian and New Zealand retirement savings, and have huge potential to deliver large-scale solutions to pressing social and environmental challenges.
Australian Advisory Board chair Rosemary Addis said: "Since we launched the Australian Advisory Board on Impact Investing's strategy to catalyse impact investing in and from Australia in 2014, the market has made significant leaps in increased awareness, interest and activity." .
The forum will be led by impact investing leaders, with Peter Murphy as its chair, along with co-deputy chairs Kylie Charlton (Australian Impact Investments and Unitus Capital) and Amanda Goodman (Impact Investment Group).
"As the peak industry body that represents over 170 responsible, ethical and impact investors managing well over $1 trillion in assets globally, RIAA is uniquely placed to deepen the conversation with investors to create greater scale in impact investing and in doing so shifting more capital to strong social outcomes" Murphy said.
Globally, impact investing is estimated to reach between US$600 billion and US$1 trillion within a decade.
In Australia and New Zealand, the market is in the early stages of development but is estimated to reach $32 billion in Australia by 2022.