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Impact Investing Goes Mainstream–Morgan Stanley Jumps on Board

Scott Cooney | Tuesday May 15th, 2012 | 0 Comments

Morgan Stanley, a global financial services firm with 1500 offices around the world, just announced they were offering a new set of investment options for clients interested in the triple bottom line. The “Investing with Impact Platform” is the first, to my knowledge, impact investment portfolio option for investors offered by one of the “too big to fail” banks that received a bailout from the U.S. government.

Currently, according to the company, about 1 in 8 dollars under professional financial management, or about $3 trillion, is invested in a portfolio in what has traditionally been called Socially Responsible Investing. SRI has allowed investors to have avoidance triggers, so that they know their money is not invested in certain industries, like conflict minerals, tobacco, plastics, big oil, and the like. Impact investing is somewhat different, in that the purpose of the investment is specifically to advance businesses that incorporate environmental and social performance in their measurements and performance criteria.

According to Andy Saperstein, head of wealth management in the U.S. for Morgan Stanley, “We hear frequently from clients about the importance of integrating sustainability themes into their investment portfolios.”

The Investing with Impact Platform will offer clients investments in public and private market products, and is part of Morgan Stanley’s focused effort to meet investors’ desire to have opportunities that center on positive social and environmental impact and financial performance.
Scott Cooney is the author of Build a Green Small Business and developer of the sustainability game GBO Hawaii. For more, please visit www.GreenBusinessOwner.com

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