Foundation plans record £100m impact investment portfolio

Guy’s & St Thomas’ Foundation has pledged to increase its impact investment portfolio to £100m.

The foundation already has an impact investment portfolio worth £22m, and plans to ramp up investments over the next four years.

It said that this would be the largest known impact investment from any charity endowment.

Impact investment involves investing directly and indirectly in initiatives that achieve social good as well as generating financial returns.

The investment will represent 10 per cent of the foundation’s £1bn endowment by 2026.

Anita Bhatia, the chief investment officer at Guy’s & St Thomas’ Foundation, said the strategy would mean allocating more investment to “funds with strong financial returns potential optimised for health impact”.

This is likely to include investment in global sectors such as food and nutrition, employment and training, and community infrastructure projects.

The foundation will also look to invest in “emerging yet potentially transformational ideas”, it said in a statement.

Bhatia called on other charities to increase their own impact investment portfolios.

The foundation said it aimed for financial returns of 4 per cent on top of the inflation rate across the whole endowment.

Bhatia said: “In our impact investment portfolio, we prioritise opportunities that either create, or show us how to create, better health outcomes for people.

“We’re allocating 10 per cent of our £1bn endowment to build a careful mix of investments in funds with strong financial returns potential optimised for health impact, and in catalytic, impact-led opportunities with potential to pioneer the health solutions of tomorrow.”

Ethan Hall, the foundation’s chief investment officer, said that tackling good health worldwide would require “multiple actions including government, the third sector, companies and investors of all kinds”.

The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation announced last year that it would allocate £10m to impact investment, from total investments worth £1.2bn.

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