Root Capital Named in 2024 ImpactAssets 50 Showcase as Emeritus Impact Manager

The 13th annual list highlights impact investing industry maturation, as growing number of funds link manager compensation to impact.

Cambridge, MA, March 26, 2024 – For the 13th consecutive year, Root Capital has been selected for the ImpactAssets 50 (IA 50), a free online resource for investors and financial advisors. The annual guide features fund managers representing private debt and equity investments that deliver social and environmental impact as well as financial returns.

This year’s list is composed of 155 impact fund managers selected from an unprecedented 343 applications, a submission volume that is 15% higher than last year. This growth signals increased interest in the IA 50, alongside expansion and maturation of the impact investing industry at large. The increasing traction also points to a broader shift that embraces impact investing’s critical role in shaping a sustainable future.

The IA 50 includes three distinct categories based on manager experience: the IA 50, IA 50 Emerging Impact Managers, and IA 50 Emeritus Impact Managers. That diversity of experience makes the list a testament to more recently established, ascending managers as well as the deeply experienced pioneers who have consistently maintained a focus on impactful investments and a commitment to driving social and environmental progress. Among the firms recognized this year, only eight others have been included on every year’s database since its inception in 2011.

“As we celebrate the 13th anniversary of the IA 50, we are witnessing a pivotal shift in finance more broadly: Impact investing is catalyzing a fundamental reorientation of capital that is attuned to the urgent social and environmental challenges we face globally,” said Jed Emerson, ImpactAssets Senior Fellow, IA 50 Review Committee Chair, and Chief Impact Officer at AlTi Global. “The IA 50 2024 is a testament to the industry's commitment to harnessing the power of capital for good and a preview of the more systemic integration of impact considerations we can expect in the future.”

Key highlights of the IA 50 2024 include:

  • Impact-Linked Compensation on the Rise: This year’s IA 50 managers showcase a marked increase in impact-linked compensation mechanisms, with 23% of all managers stating they integrate impact results into their remuneration strategies. This reflects a notable uptick from the previous year, in which 16% of managers stated they integrate impact into their compensation decisions. This metric highlights a burgeoning trend that rewards not just financial return, but also social and environmental performance.
  • No Trade-Off on Financial Returns: This year’s IA 50 fund manager data dispels the myth of a trade-off between financial returns and social good. The majority of IA 50 managers target market rate (43%) and above market rate (31%) returns, proving that impact outcomes do not have to compromise financial outcomes. The performance data is equally telling, with 79% of IA 50 managers meeting their finance return target and 21% surpassing them. This compelling data illustrates that the cadre of IA 50 managers are meeting and exceeding financial benchmarks, while driving forward their impactful missions.
  • Climate Investment Focus: Impact investors are driving progress against the climate crisis, with 39% identifying environmental impact as their primary investment theme. One quarter (25%) of IA 50 managers focus on clean technology, alternative energy and climate change, making that focus this year’s most represented impact theme.
  • Bridging Equity Gaps for Diverse Beneficiaries: The IA 50 reveals that gender, racial and economic diversity are a focus area for fund managers. One-fifth (20%) of IA 50 managers invest in financial inclusion via microfinance, SME finance and/or CDFIs, which are instrumental in narrowing the equity gap by providing critical financial services to marginalized communities. Many IA 50 managers are prominently aligned with key Sustainable Development Goals, targeting, among others, No Poverty (12%), Reduced Inequality (13%) and Decent Work and Economic Growth (19%). The concentrated efforts to elevate traditionally marginalized groups – including an emphasis on supporting underserved communities – affirms the industry's dedication to a more equitable and just society.
  • Diverse Fund Leadership: This year’s IA 50 features the most diverse applicant pool ever, with a substantial 60% of applicants boasting investment teams composed of over 50% women and/or people of color. This growth in diversity within leadership positions outpaces previous years, with Emerging Impact Manager applicants leading at 72%, ahead of the core list at 53%, and Emeritus Impact Manager applicants at 46%.

“The IA 50 has become a trusted resource in the industry, not only for its comprehensive listing but also for its rigorous selection process managed by a diverse and expert review committee,” said Sandra Osborne Kartt, CFA, Deputy Chief Investment Officer of ImpactAssets Capital Partners. “The record number of applications this year reflects the growth and maturation of impact investing in the global financial landscape.”

"Year after year, the IA 50 stands as an essential guide for everyone in the financial ecosystem — from individual investors to global corporations — enabling them to discover and engage at the forefront of impact investing,” added Malaika Maphalala, CPWA®, IA 50 Review Committee Member, and Wealth Advisor and Trust Steward, Natural Investments PBLLC. “The database encapsulates the pulse of the industry, providing a snapshot of the firms poised to make a significant difference through their investments.”

The application analysis and manager review for the IA 50 is led by ImpactAssets Capital Partners.

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