UK banking giant Barclays has launched an impact investment strategy, the Multi-Impact Growth fund.
The Ucits-compliant vehicle was launched to meet growing demand in the retail space. A Barclays’ survey has found out that 56% of investors are interested in this type of product, but only 9% have already made an investment.
The Multi-Impact Growth fund invests primarily in specialist third-party funds which have been identified by Barclays’ fund and manager selection team.
Barclays added that these funds have been selected as best-in-class based on both their potential for strong financial returns and the consideration of their impact around key social and environmental issues.
The fund of funds provides retail investors with accessing means of impact investing through a variety of direct and tax efficient wrappers (e.g. ISAs).
Damian Payiatakis, heading the impact investing business at Barclays, said: “We see the growing trend of impact investing being driven by many factors, including a demand from investors who are socially and environmentally conscious and want their investments to reflect their attitudes.
“Our objective, therefore, has been to develop a new and innovative approach that will make impact investing accessible for those looking into these products for the first time.
“The launch of this precedent-setting Fund also demonstrates Barclays’ commitment to building its impact investing business and providing financial solutions for global challenges, as part of its shared growth ambition.”
A seeder of the fund has been UK wholesale social investor Big Society Capital chaired by Harvey McGrath.
McGrath commented: “The £5m investment from our treasury portfolio demonstrates our belief in Barclays’ ability to bring impact investment to individual investors, enabling them to create a positive impact on people and planet using their personal investments.”
The fund will be available to retail investors on the direct investing platform, Smart Investor, as well as to high net worth individuals through Barclays wealth & investments and private bank and overseas services.