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Market Momentum: Impact Investing & High Net Worth Canadians

As the impact investing ecosystem continues to grow, and powerful voices speak up in support of it (think Larry Fink’s letter to BlackRock’s portfolio companies’ CEOs), investors are increasingly looking to combine profits with purpose.

Canadian research has focused primarily on investments made by large institutional investors and funds, rather than on individual investors. To gain insights into this latter group, in the fall of 2017, SVX launched a comprehensive study into the activities and interests of Canadian high net worth individuals (HNWI), with the goal of better engaging this community in impact investing.

The resulting report offers insights into their sector interests, investing preferences and experiences with impact investing. It outlines the key trends and findings of the survey, and offers recommendations to investors, ventures and funds, and financial institutions on how to harness this market opportunity.

Key trends and findings

  • The vast majority of Canadian HNWIs are interested in impact investing, with almost 90 per cent of investors surveyed showing interest.
  • Many Canadian HNWIs are active impact investors or would like to make impact investments in the next year. Almost half indicated plans to increase allocations of assets in the next year.
  • Investors want to explore impact investing options with their bank or advisor, especially existing financial institution clients.
  • Canadian HNWIs are willing to take some risk and pay additional fees for impact investing.
  • There are barriers to impact investing among Canadian HNWIs, including:
    • the lack of qualified advice and expertise;
    • the lack of viable products and investment options; and
    • the lack of liquidity and/or proof of financial performance.

Published in 2018

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