In brief: UK Government anoints Impact Taskforce

The group will make recommendations in two areas: impact measurement and new financial products.

The UK government is backing an industry-led taskforce to promote impact investment as a means to help recover from the social and economic blow dealt by covid-19.

The group will make recommendations around two themes: standardising the measurement of social and environmental impact; and designing financial structures and products to mobilise more private capital into impact.

The creation of the taskforce coincides with the UK’s presidency of the G7 and it is hoped the group will share “technical documents and recommendations” with “ministers, standard setters and the financial sector” in December 2021.

Members of the group include Douglas Peterson, president and CEO of S&P Global. Peterson will chair the working group focused on “harmonisation of impact reporting and transparency”, according to a press release from the Impact Investing Institute. Dame Elizabeth Corley, formerly the CEO of Allianz Global Investors and current chair of the Impact Investing Institute, will lead the group working on the creation of impact financing vehicles.

Also on the taskforce is Sir Ronald Cohen, who co-founded buyout firm Apax Partners and impact investment business Bridges Fund Management. Cohen led a previous iteration of this group: the Social Impact Investment Taskforce, that was initiated during the UK’s presidency of the G8 in 2013.

Nick Hurd, a former member of UK’s parliament and chair of the taskforce, said in a government press release: “It will not be enough for private capital to do less harm. We need to mobilise trillions of dollars into investments that combine return with positive social or environmental impact. The Impact Task Force will show how that can be done.”