Elizabeth Corley and Harvey McGrath, chairs of the new Impact Investing Institute, are pleased to announce the appointment of its first chief executive officer, Sarah Gordon.

The Impact Investing Institute, which was announced on 3 June 2019, will look for more effective ways to combine financial returns with a social purpose to help improve people’s lives. It plans to build on the UK’s history of encouraging a world leading market for social impact investment and promoting the UK as a global impact investing hub.

Dame Elizabeth Corley, chair of the Institute’s Management Board, said: “I am delighted that Sarah has accepted the position of CEO for the Impact Investing Institute. Sarah brings a valuable combination of breadth of experience and passion for the role, underpinned by a compelling vision for the Institute’s role and potential.”

Julia Unwin, chair of Civil Society Futures, said: “Impact investing has great potential to address social challenges here in the UK and elsewhere. Sarah has the energy and determination to involve all the different civil society organisations focused on delivering lasting social change.”

The Institute will encourage ordinary savers to choose ISAs, pensions and savings products that benefit the issues they care about. It brings together the UK National Advisory Board on Impact Investing (UK NAB) and the Implementation Taskforce on Growing a Culture of Social Impact Investing in the UK (Implementation Taskforce).

Sir Harvey McGrath, chair of the Institute’s Advisory Council, said: “Sarah is a great appointment as the CEO of the Impact Investing Institute. Her clear values, experience and drive will enable the institute to get off to a strong start and make a real difference in further developing the market for purposeful investing in the UK and beyond.”

The Institute has broad backing across the financial services and social sector, and is supported by private firms and foundations alongside the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Department for International Development and the City of London Corporation.

Mims Davies, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said: “I am delighted at Sarah Gordon’s appointment as the first CEO of the Impact Investing Institute. I have no doubt her experience will boost the promotion of impact investing across the UK and globally, and strengthen our reputation as a world leader in this area even further.”

Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chair at the City of London Corporation, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Sarah Gordon’s appointment as the first CEO of the new Impact Investing Institute. Sarah brings a diverse range of experience to this role, most notably from her two decades as a journalist with the Financial Times and previously as a fund manager.

“Under her guidance, the Institute will be a key asset as the City of London leads the way in promoting responsible growth and catalysing more investment in businesses which are socially and environmentally responsible.”

Baroness Sugg, International Development Minister, said: “Investors have the power to make the world a better place and can give people the opportunity to support  issues they care about.”
“DFID research shows that nearly 70% of UK savers want their investments and savings to make an impact. UK aid will support the new Impact Institute to mobilise more investment in developing countries to help meet the Global Goals by 2030.”

Sarah Gordon spent 18 years at the Financial Times, where she ran the paper’s corporate coverage during the financial crisis, and was most recently business editor and associate editor.

Before journalism, she worked in fund management in the UK and the US, and at the UN Conference for Trade and Development in Geneva. She was a panel member of the recent independent inquiry into the future of civil society, led by Julia Unwin CBE, and was formerly a trustee of CSV, one of the UK’s largest volunteering charities.

She is a visiting professor at Kings College London.

Sarah will take up the role on 3 September 2019 and the Institute will formally launch in the late autumn.

Notes for Editors

  1. Impact Investing Institute website: https://www.impact-investinginstitute.org/ A new independent institute that will help people’s invest their savings and money to benefit communities and society was announced on the 3rd June. It will look for more effective ways to put savings and investments to work, combining financial returns with a social purpose to help improve people’s lives. It will launch formally in the Autumn.
  2. The UK National Advisory Board on Impact Investing: In 2013, under the UK’s presidency of the G8, the independent Social Impact Investment Taskforce was set up to “catalyse a global market in impact investment”, creating National Advisory Boards (NABs) for each member state. In 2017, the UK NAB produced its comprehensive plan for creating an inclusive and sustainable economy. UK NAB website: http://uknabimpactinvesting.org/
  3. The Implementation Taskforce: In 2016, the UK government set up an Independent Advisory Group on Growing a Culture of Social Impact Investing in the UK, chaired by Elizabeth Corley. Following its report, the Prime Minister asked Elizabeth to lead an Implementation Taskforce to take forward the report’s recommendations. It drew on the expertise of over 80 firms and industry associations across a number of different sectors and jurisdictions. Implementation Taskforce website: https://www.grow-impact-investing.org/

New research out now

White Paper: Scaling up institutional investment for place-based impact

Our joint white paper “Scaling up institutional investment for place-based impact,” based on the collaborative “Place-Based Impact Investing Project (PBII)” by the Impact Investing Institute, The Good Economy and Pensions for Purpose, sets out the case for institutional investors to adopt a “place-based lens.”