Our list brings together managers of private funds across different asset classes, including private debt, infrastructure, private equity and real estate. This disparate group of funds and managers is united by a common approach: the intentional pursuit of positive, measurable, social or environmental impact alongside financial returns.
The ranking measures the amount of impact-focused private markets capital raised by managers over a five-year period. We hope this is a useful guide to outcome-focused LPs, showing them where to find managers with the institutional set-up to accommodate large scale commitments (read more about the methodology below).
Do you think your firm should be included? We are always seeking to expand and refine our dataset with a view to the next edition of the list. Please contact Domonique Lemonius if you would like to discuss eligibility: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Definitions of impact investing vary within the industry – indeed they vary within the PEI Group team. For the compilation of this list, as with previous iterations, our research team is guided by GIIN’s definition of impact investing, which requires strategies to include intentionality as well as impact measurement and reporting. They must seek financial returns – either market rate or concessionary – and they are not bound to any particular asset class. This list inevitably involves more subjectivity than others produced by our affiliate titles, such as the PEI 300 or the PERE 100, so as ever we expect and welcome debate.
This year’s list has expanded from 30 to 50 managers. This reflects the growing universe of managers raising impact-focused private capital, and the increasing breadth of our research coverage.
Among the firms that have arrived onto our ranking as a result of recent fundraising success is General Atlantic‘s climate-focused platform BeyondNetZero (22), which held a final close at the end of 2022 for its debut fund having raised $2.6 billion in third-party capital. There is also Climate Adaptive Infrastructure, the manager founded in 2019 by former Macquarie executive Bill Green, which raised over $1 billion in November for its debut fund programme.
View our previous editions:
There are a number of arrivals to the list by virtue of being scoped in by our research team. One such organisation is Enterprise Community Partners, an American non-profit focused on increasing housing supply, advancing racial equity and building resilience and upward mobility. It is included at number six with a five-year fundraising total of more than $7.5 billion. Elsewhere in real estate, CBRE Investment Management places 28 having raised $1.6 billion for strategies such as a €500 million sustainable residential mandate from Dutch insurer NN Group.
From the world of VC, we feature Owl Ventures for the first time. Palo Alto-based Owl invests exclusively in the education technology sector and has raised nearly $2 billion over the last five years.
Organic growth in an expanding universe
A combination of fundraising by incumbent firms and the addition of new firms to the list means the threshold for inclusion in the top 10 has more than doubled from just over $2 billion to $4 billion. The five-year fundraising total required to make it onto the previous 30-strong list was $767 million, similar to the $741 billion required to get onto the list of 50.
So how much of this growth is down to fundraising activity, as opposed to the addition of new funds into the count? If you track the five-year totals for last year’s Impact 30 firms (some of which are not included in the Impact 50 list), they have added a net $12.2 billion in fresh capital (growing from $85.9 billion in 2022’s count, to $98.1 billion this year). It is worth noting that some firms’ totals decreased, based on old fund closes falling out of the relevant time period.
Atheetha Bani, Hayley Philpott, Thomas Brown, Domonique Lemonius, Tom Zimmermann and Daniel Rodriguez contributed to this report.
Editor’s note: The ranking has now been updated to reflect a five-year fundraising total of $1.325 billion for Apollo Global Management. The previous figure of $886 million was inaccurate.
This version of the Impact 50 list is based on the amount of dedicated impact capital raised by firms between 1 January 2018 and 31 March 2023. We count the full amount of a fund if it has a close in this timeframe, and we count the full amount of an interim close that has occurred, even if no official announcement has been made. We also count capital raised through co-investment vehicles. In the case of a fundraising, it means the fund has had a final or official interim close after 1 January 2018.
Impact capital: For this ranking, we are using GIIN’s definition of impact, namely: “Impact investments are investments made with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return in private markets. Impact investments can be made in both emerging and developed markets, and target a range of returns from below market to market rate, depending on investors’ strategic goals.
“The impact investment market provides capital to address the world’s most pressing challenges in sectors such as renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, affordable/social housing as well as debt and equity investments in firms that focus on providing answers to such challenges.”
Capital raised: This means capital definitively committed to a fund through an interim or final close within the specified time period. Structures that count towards the total figure are: limited partnerships, co-investment funds, separate accounts and seed capital/GP commitment. Investment strategies comprise private equity, private real estate, private debt, unlisted infrastructure and unlisted agriculture.
Not counted: Expected capital commitments, public funds, contributions from sponsoring entities, hedge funds, capital raised on a deal-by-deal basis, leverage, PIPE investments and ESG funds that prioritise financial return over impact.
The Impact 50 is not a performance ranking, nor does it constitute investment recommendations.
For a full methodology, email Domonique Lemonius (email@example.com)