Social impact and investments anyone? | Big Society Capital

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Social impact and investments anyone?

Over the last year or so, I have met many financial advisers, wealth managers and bankers who are becoming increasingly interested in the growing area of social impact investment.

Their interest more often or not comes from personal motivation, having been active in philanthropy or through volunteering for charities that work in areas that they care passionately about.

Many financial advisers have become interested because their clients have heard or read about social impact investment and asked them for more information, including how they can access investments. As their trusted financial advisers, clients expect them to know what’s happening in an area that is capturing the imagination of those who want their capital and investments to do more than just bring them financial security.

For other financial advisers, the ability to understand and recommend social impact investments is what differentiates them from other advisers.

Here are my top 5 tips on how financial advisers can learn and participate in this exciting new investment growth area:

1) Attend Worthstone’s Social Investment Academy

Worthstone has been running its Social Investment Academy events for a few years now. They have a vision to see social impact investment become a requisite component of the financial planning process in the UK and the go to place for advisers who want to make social investment advice. The Social Investment Academy is CPD accredited by CISI and CII. The next Social Investment Academy is on 2 March 2016

2) Input into the FCA consultation on regulatory barriers to social investments

This is your opportunity to input to the consultation. The current financial regulations were set in place before social investment was widely known and considered. It doesn’t take into account that investors may consider factors other than financial risk and return. You can read more about this in Simon Rowell’s recent blog.

3) Learn about Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR)

SITR was created to help charities and social enterprises raise much needed investment capital to do the good work they do. Similar to the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), which has proved to be very popular amongst investors, it gives investors a generous tax relief when they invest in a fund or directly into charities and social enterprises. Tax relief products are an area that all trusted financial advisers need to know about. Start by taking a look at our informative pages on SITR.

4) Learn from financial advisers that are already doing this

Paradigm Norton is a leading financial planning firm that recommended a number of clients into a Social Impact Bond investment using SITR last year. As Richard Child explains in Financial Planner Online, “risk”, “new” and “unfamiliar” are not reasons for not getting involved in this growing area of investment.

5) Look out for accredited social impact investing training

Big Society Capital will be supporting Worthstone this year to develop a formal qualification in social impact investment. Our plan is to collaborate with official membership bodies for financial advisers and wealth planners to ensure this training meets the highest academic and practical rigour.

I am interested in hearing from wealth advisers and financial planners who want to learn about and give social investment advice. If you have any comments or views you wish to share based on what you have read in this blog, please get in touch with me at 

Last updated | 
22 January 2016

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