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The Biggest Myth of Sustainable Investing

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By Janet Brown

Many people like the idea of sustainable or impact investing, but they have a common misconception that performance can suffer. This notion has been repeatedly debunked.

A 2015 review of over 2,000 academic studies since the 1970s found that the majority of studies show positive findings between environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors and corporate financial performance.

In 2012 RBC Asset Management2 reviewed four bodies of research on sustainable investing and concluded that socially responsible investing has not resulted in lower investment returns.

You don’t have to rely on surveys and studies, however. You can also look at real world results by comparing the performance of a sustainable stock index, like the MSCI KLD 400 Social index, which measures the performance of stocks with high environmental, social and governance ratings, and a conventional stock index like the S&P 500.

Since 1990, when the KLD started, it has performed slightly better than the S&P 500, as shown in the below graph.

This chart illustrates the performance of a hypothetical $10,000 investment made in the MSCI KLD 400 index versus the S&P 500 from 6/30/90-6/30/17. The chart assumes reinvestment of dividends and capital gains, but does not reflect the effect of any applicable sales charge or redemption fees. This chart does not imply future performance. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. Past performance does not guarantee future results


Sustainable investing has evolved. Have you kept up?

Given all these studies and the actual track record of sustainable investing indexes like the KLD, why do people continue to believe that sustainable investing can hurt their returns?

One reason is that investors don’t realize how much sustainable investing has changed. They still think that sustainable investing either divests from certain industries, which could limit their opportunity to make money, or it only invests in clean energy, which could add volatility. But sustainable investing is no longer limited to divestment or clean energy.

Today, sustainable strategies are more comprehensive and inclusive. They don’t just exclude companies, they also seek to include companies that have good ESG characteristics. Rather than divesting from companies that don’t make the cut on an ESG level, some asset managers will invest in these companies with the goal of improving them. These managers use their power as shareholders to engage with a company’s management team in an attempt to help the company become a better corporate citizen and a better long-term investment. This approach has had a number of successes.

Sustainability is now mainstream. Some of the largest and most successful companies are working to address the world’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) challenges. This year, 82% of the companies in the S&P 500 will publish sustainability reports compared to just 20% in 2011. That’s a huge improvement in just six years.

Mutual fund managers that don’t market themselves as sustainable or socially responsible funds are also now integrating ESG criteria into their stock selection.

An increasing number of investors are recognizing the benefits of sustainable investing, and these days investors have many new investment choices that are designed to help them try to build wealth and a better world.

Janet Brown is the President and CEO of FundX Investment Group. She manages fund portfolios for high-net worth clients and foundations. She also manages a sustainable mutual fund. Janet is a board member of several non-profits and foundations and a longtime advocate for sustainable, responsible impact investing (SRI). 

TBC Bank Wins Multiple Country and Regional Awards for Corporate and Consumer Digital Banking from Global Finance

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TBC Bank is pleased to announce that it has won awards in several country and regional categories from Global Finance. These are: the Best Consumer and Corporate Digital Bank in Georgia; the Best Integrated Consumer and Corporate Bank Site in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE); and the Best in Social Media and Best Mobile Banking App in the CEE region.

“We are honoured to receive multiple country and regional awards from Global Finance, emphasizing our superior multichannel capabilities. It is crucial for our success to continue to offer best-in-class digital solutions and we are extremely proud to be recognized as having the best integrated bank site for our consumer and corporate customers in the CEE region”, commented Vakhtang Butskhrikidze, Chief Executive Officer of TBC Bank.

“Digital Banking is here to stay, and this year’s winners illustrate the importance of relentless innovation in products, systems and services,” said Joseph D. Giarraputo, publisher and editorial director of Global Finance. “Corporate and retail clients expect transformative new solutions and this year’s winners consistently deliver on those expectations.”

TBC Bank has won various Best Digital Banking Awards from Global Finance each year since 2012.

For further enquiries, please contact:

Head of Investor Relations

Anna Romelashvili


About Global Finance

Global Finance, founded in 1987, has a circulation of 50,000 and readers in 193 countries. Global Finance’s audience includes senior corporate and financial officers responsible for making investment and strategic decisions at multinational companies and financial institutions. Global Finance regularly selects the top performers among banks and other providers of financial services. These awards have become a trusted standard of excellence for the global financial community.


About TBC Bank Group PLC (“TBC PLC”)

TBC PLC is a public limited company registered in England and Wales that was incorporated in February 2016. TBC PLC became the parent company of JSC TBC Bank (“TBC Bank”) on 10 August 2016. TBC PLC is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol TBCG.TBC Bank, together with its subsidiaries, is the leading universal banking group in Georgia, with a total market share of 30.3% of loans (or 37.8% taking into account TBC Bank’s holding in JSC Bank Republic and 33.4% of non-banking deposits (or 37.6% taking into account TBC Bank’s holding in JSC Bank Republic) as at 31 March 2017, according to the data published by the National Bank of Georgia.

Fusion Microfinance has been awarded at The Business World Digital India Summit 2017

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New Delhi-Fusion Microfinance Pvt. Ltd., a pioneer in the Microfinance Sector has been recently awarded at the BW Business World Digital India Summit 2017 for Best Usage of ICT in Rural Development. The Award was distributed by Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister for IT and Communication.

Fusion stands committed towards its core value of Customer Centricity by servicing the unbanked marginalized strata of Society. In addition to extending financial services, the Company has facilitated Financial Literacy Programs and Digital Awareness Campaigns in the rural and semi urban areas contributing towards Government of India’s vision of transforming India into a digitally empowered Society.

Devesh Sachdev Fusion Microfinance CEO said, “Fusion has taken a huge stride in helping clients shift to digital payments in less than a year. We are honored to receive this award and would like to dedicate this to our rural women clients and team. We stand committed to further Govt. Drive of cash less payments.

Mr. Sachdev have been honored along with other BW digital India Award winners as Best Conducive Startup Policy for Digital India Government of Uttar Pradesh Shri G.S. Naveen Kumar, Best Implementation of Digital payments Money on mobile Jolly Mathur, Digital Leader of the year Government of Rajasthan Manu Shukla, Effective use of technology for Security and Safety  Naesya Sanjeev Kumar Maini, Health insurance initiative of the Year Government of Rajasthan Manu Shukla.


TBC Bank Group PLC (“TBC PLC”) added to the FTSE 250 Index

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TBC Bank Group PLC (“TBC PLC”) is pleased to inform shareholders of the announcement from FTSE Russell on 31 May 2017 that TBC PLC shares will be joining the FTSE 250 Index.

The inclusion will be implemented at the close of business Friday, 16 June 2017 and will take effect from the start of trading on Monday, 19 June 2017.



About TBC Bank Group PLC (“TBC PLC”)

TBC PLC is a public limited company registered in England and Wales that was incorporated in February 2016. TBC PLC became the parent company of JSC TBC Bank (“TBC Bank”) on 10 August 2016. TBC PLC is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol TBCG.


TBC Bank, together with its subsidiaries, is the leading universal banking group in Georgia, with a total market share of 30.3% of loans (or 37.8% taking into account TBC Bank’s holding in JSC Bank Republic and 33.4% of non-banking deposits (or 37.6% taking into account TBC Bank’s holding in JSC Bank Republic) as at 31 March 2017, according to the data published by the National Bank of Georgia.

2017 Annual GIIN Impact Investor Survey

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In addition to data on investment activity, the 2017 survey explores investor perspectives on the state of the market and several current market topics (new this year), including criteria for market segmentation, the role of below-market-rate capital, and the entry of large-scale financial firms. GIIN has also included the most extensive analysis yet on the activity and perspectives of various segments of respondents.


  • Respondents managed over $114B in impact assets at the end of 2016
  • Impact investors plan to increase capital invested by 17% in 2017
  • Survey finds over 90% of respondents report their impact investments perform at or above expectations @theGIIN

Finance with a social conscience – Rosanna Ramos-Velita

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March 2017 – Michael Chavez

Rosanna Ramos-Velita is the epitome of a new breed of financial supremo who knows value goes far beyond the P&L, writes Michael Chavez

What was once a rare species is flourishing. In my global travels I encounter ever more financial services chiefs who have not only recognized the life-changing effect their decisions can have, they are actively targeting those positive changes as a guiding principle.

Rosanna Ramos-Velita is a leading light in microfinance. Her institution, Caja Rural Los Andes, provides working capital loans to rural Andean communities in Peru. The bank is highly profitable – the typical internal rate of return on its products is 30% – but the dividends go far beyond the commercial. This is a bank that not only delivers social good, it is driven by it.

Ramos-Velita is clear that the purpose of her bank is to eradicate poverty. That might seem too grand an ambition for a bank. Yet to Ramos-Velita it is perfectly natural. When still with Citibank, as a senior chief financial officer, she became interested in Citi’s consumer finance business, which was a highly profitable operation. The client base comprised relatively poor people taking out small loans, yet repayment rates were better than other market segments. Ramos-Velita went to Mexico to investigate, ending up in a shantytown where Citi operated some branches under a different name. The branch manager told her that most of their clients were women. “This was a good thing,” Ramos-Velita told me, “because they didn’t use the loans for consumption; rather, they used it to fund small businesses.”

Outside the branch was a small taco kiosk run by a woman busily catering to the lunchtime rush. Ramos-Velita struck up a conversation with the taco vendor and told her that she worked for the bank just behind her. The taco seller stopped what she was doing and gave Ramos-Velita a big hug. It transpired that the vendor had gained a loan from the bank for $800 that allowed her to grow her business and provide for her family. “Before the loan, she was selling tacos out of a basket,” Ramos-Velita told me. “In business terms, we’d say she had a scale problem. With the loan, she worked out in her head that she could repay the loan in a year because she could sell a lot more.” The woman got a second loan and now operates two kiosks, one run by her husband, a former cab driver. Ramos-Velita recalled: “The woman said that with this business she was able – literally – to put a roof over her head, eat better and pay to send her kids to school.”

Following her ‘hug moment’, Ramos-Velita left Citibank, put together a business plan, did some serious fundraising and got investors to help her buy an existing microfinance bank in Peru that was underperforming, both in terms of profitability and its impact on society.

Ramos-Velita’s overriding purpose to eradicate poverty became the ultimate motivator for her new employees – what more inspiring mission could a company have? Her staff now celebrate with clients when their loans help make a step-change in their lives. “We had a team that was demotivated and de-energized and we turned that around with purpose,” says Ramos-Velita. “Not only that, but we are turning around families and whole communities.”

What I took from Ramos-Velita was that a simple, clear, human-centred mission – in this case eradicating poverty – can be used to motivate employees and, thus, foster business success. She is a great mind with a winning idea.

 Michael Chavez is chief executive of Duke Corporate Education.

Creation Investments Named Again to ImpactAssets 50 Top Impact Investment Fund Managers for 2016

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FEBRUARY 14, 2017 – ImpactAssets has released its 2016 list of top impact investing fund managers, the ImpactAssets 50 (IA 50), a free online resource for investors and financial advisors. The sixth annual guide features fund managers representing private debt and equity investments that deliver social and environmental impact as well as financial returns.  Creation Investments Capital Management, LLC was once again awarded with distinction in the IA 50 for 2016.

Fund managers included in the IA 50 2016 manage an estimated $10.6B in assets devoted to creating positive social and environmental impact.

“As impact investing continues to move from niche to mainstream, those new to the field – as well as impact veterans – appreciate the IA 50’s broad overview of innovative fund strategies,” said Jed Emerson, Chief Impact Strategist, ImpactAssets. “The IA 50 roster offers a great overview of innovative managers and diverse approaches to creating impact with investment capital.”

The IA 50 is the only free, public, searchable database of outstanding impact investing fund managers. This year’s showcase, which includes funds based in the United States, Africa, Europe and Latin America, highlights the increasingly diverse opportunities for investors to help create social value across the globe. Fund managers represent a breadth of asset classes, ranging from real assets like farmland and clean tech, private thematic debt and community development finance institution (CDFI) financing, to private early and growth stage equity in US and emerging markets.

The list demonstrates an increased thematic focus on alternative energy, climate change and clean technology. Fund managers continue to focus as well on affordable housing and community development, sustainable agriculture and low-income financial services and micro-insurance.

The IA 50 Review Committee is chaired by Jed Emerson, Chief Impact Strategist of ImpactAssets. Jennifer Kenning, CEO and Co-Founder of Align Impact served as the Committee’s Senior Investment Advisor. Members include, Karl “Charly” Kleissner, Co-Founder of Toniic and KL Felicitas Foundation; Kathy Leonard, Senior Vice President, Investments and Senior Portfolio Manager for UBS; Deval Patrick, Managing Director of Bain Capital; Liesel Pritzker Simmons and Ian Simmons; Co-Founders of Blue Haven Initiative; Fran Seegull, Executive Director, U.S. Impact Investing Alliance of Ford Foundation and Matthew Weatherley-White, Managing Director of The CAPROCK Group.

“The IA 50 was designed to help convert interest into action by showcasing funds with expert management and solid track records,” said Matthew Weatherly White, Managing Director, The CAPROCK Group. “Investors who have been watching from the sidelines and waiting for the field to mature will find no shortage of opportunities.”

“The depth, breadth and caliber of this year’s IA 50 applicants are testimony to the increased demand by investors for high-impact solutions,” said Jennifer Kenning, CEO and Co-Founder, Align Impact.

The IA 50 is not an index or investable platform and does not constitute an offering or recommend specific products. It is not a replacement for due diligence. In order to be considered for the IA 50 2016, fund managers needed to have at least $10M in assets under management, more than 3 years of experience as a firm with impact investing and documented social and/or environmental impact, as well as accept investment from U.S.-based investors. Additional details on the selection process are here.

About ImpactAssets

ImpactAssets is a nonprofit financial services firm that increases the flow of capital into investments that deliver financial, social, and environmental returns. ImpactAssets’ donor advised fund (The Giving Fund), Impact Investment Notes, and field building initiatives enable philanthropists, other asset owners, and their wealth advisors to advance social or environmental change through investment.

Muthoot Microfin raises $20 mn from US-based PE firm Creation Investments

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Muthoot Microfin Ltd (MML), a part of diversified financial services company Muthoot Pappachan Group (MPG), has raised growth capital for its microfinance business from Chicago-based PE fund Creation Investments Llc in its first private equity round of funding for any of its group companies, it said in a statement.

The firm has tied up for Rs 130 crore (around $20 million) of growth capital from the PE firm for an 11% stake in Muthoot Microfin, valuing the company at over Rs 1,111 crore.

The company proposes to open 500 more branches in three years. It will use the investment to spread mobile-based collection technology in rural areas.

The promoters will also infuse additional Rs 150 crore of capital which would be used to cater to bottom of the pyramid (BoP) clients and to expand business to newer geographies such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Punjab, in addition to the 10 states where it already operates.

Of late, micro-lending companies have been under stress as the cash crunch following the government’s demonisation drive hit them hard.

The company said MML uses hand-held devices to collect instalments and routs its payments via mPesa.

The group has presence in various other sectors, including hospitality, automotive, realty, IT services, healthcare, global services and alternate energy. Its non-banking financial company (NBFC) Muthoot Capital Services Ltd is a listed entity with a market capitalisation of Rs 320 crore and offers commercial and consumer finance products. Promoters own about 74% stake in the firm.

Muthoot Fincorp, the group’s flagship entity, offers gold and other loans. Muthoot Housing Finance Company Ltd, another group firm, offers housing loans.

Listed Muthoot Finance Ltd is different from Muthoot Pappachan Group.

Muthoot Finance is backed by private equity investors including Abu Dhabi Investment Council, Citigroup, GIC, Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Kotak India Growth Fund.

In the past, it had attracted PE investors like Baring India PE and Matrix Partners which have already exited.

Thomas Muthoot, executive director, Muthoot Pappachan Group, said, “Our overall microfinance customer base is at 13 lakhs and we have provided loans to over 4 lakh rural households in FY2016-17 till December 2016. We have moved to complete bank disbursals. As a result, we are able to disburse loans worth Rs 300 crore every month.”

“The microfinance business has performed well over the last six years. Promoters have committed to infuse capital worth Rs 150 crore into the company by March 2018,” he said.

Sadaf Sayeed, CEO, Muthoot Microfin Ltd, said the company’s assets under management (AUM) grew at 122% (annualised) while profits and loan disbursements grew 222% and 75%, respectively, over the last year.

Its AUM grew from Rs 653 crore in March 2016 to Rs 1,252 crore as of December 2016 and PAT rose from Rs 9.4 crore for FY2015-16 to Rs 25.11 crore till 31 December 2017. It expects PAT to reach Rs 35 crore by 31 March 2017. Its disbursements grew form Rs 765 crore in FY2015-16 to Rs 1185 crore till end of third quarter of FY2016-17, it said in the statement.

The company said despite the recent disruption, its business is growing at a growth rate of 280% with non-performing assets (NPAs) at less than 0.60%.

In the next three months, it plans to disburse Rs 1,000 crore of loans to clients in a cashless manner. In the nine months of the current financial year, the firm has opened 166 branches across 10 states. Muthoot Microfin aims to reach Rs 10,000 crore of AUM by March 2020 and plans to expand its client base from 1.3 million households to 4 million households in three years, Sayeed said.

BMR Advisors acted as financial adviser while AZB &Partners acted as legal adviser to Muthoot for the transaction. Positron Consulting Services and J.Sagar & Associates acted as financial and legal advisers, respectively, for Creation.

Muthoot Microfin was granted NBFC-MFI licence by the reserve Bank of India (RBI) in 2015. The group hived off the microfinance business to the newly licensed firm last year.

Creation focuses on private and control equity investments in microfinance institutions, small-and-medium enterprise lenders, BoP financial services providers and other social ventures in emerging markets, seeking to maximise financial and social returns on investment. The firm started investing in India in 2011 and has since then made multiple investments in the country by backing companies such as Eko India Financial Services, Equitas Holding, Fusion Microfinance, Grameen Koota Financial Services and Sonata Finance.

Reading Roundup: Recent Impact Investing Articles

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Philanthropic Pioneers: Foundations and the Rise of Impact Investing Stanford Social Innovation Review and Mission Investors Exchange commenced their new series “Mission Possible: How Foundations are Shaping the Future of Impact Investing”, Jan. 2017 

“Impact Investing” inches from Niche to Mainstream The Economist, Jan. 2016

Impact Investing Trends: Evidence of a Growing Industry GIIN, Dec. 2016

The Year in Social Enterprise and Impact Investing: 5 Happenings of Note in 2016 Forbes, Dec. 2016

The Risk and Opportunity For America’s Corporate Pension Plans Forbes, Jan. 2017

Creating Quality Jobs to Fight Income Inequality Opportunity Finance Network, Jan. 2017

Three Lessons for Impact Investing Education Programs Stanford Social Innovation Review, Dec. 2016

Omidyar, Hoffman create $27M research fund for AI in the public interest Tech Crunch, Jan. 2017

Three Trends in System-level Impact Investing Stanford Social Innovation Review, Dec. 2016

Investors Continue to Push for Sustainability Data Sustainable Brands, Jan. 2017

A New Fund Seeks Both Financial and Social Returns New York Times, Dec. 2016

How Investors Can (and Can’t) Create Social Value Stanford Social Innovation Review, Dec. 2016

Fisheries-Focused Investment Fund Announces First Deal PR Web, Jan. 2017

Are Small Businesses America’s Most Overlooked-And Valuable-Charity Case? Fast Company, Jan. 2017

Climate-Related Investment for Resilient Communities Croatan Institute, Dec. 2016

Impact Investing Trends Analysis Report Finds Sustained Growth in Assets and High Level of Satisifaction

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Study of impact investing market shows 18 percent compound annual growth rate in assets under management between 2013 and 2015; with 85 to -95 percent of investors meeting or exceeding returns expectations each year

Click here to download the report

NEW YORK and AMSTERDAM, December 07, 2016—A study released by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) at the opening today of its two-day Investor Forum 2016 in Amsterdam found that impact investors reported substantial growth over the last three years. The Impact Investing Trends: Evidence of a Growing Industry report has found that among a consistent sample of dedicated impact investors, both overall assets under management and capital raised by fund managers increased substantially at a compound annual growth rate of 18 percent between 2013 and 2015. Additionally, the study found that up to 95 percent of impact investors surveyed report financial returns at or exceeding expectations and 98 percent met or exceeded impact expectations.

Since 2011, the GIIN’s Annual Impact Investor Survey has provided valuable ‘state of the market’ information on the impact investing industry. This report, based on data provided by 62 repeat respondents to the past three surveys, is the first major report of trends in industry activity and is thus a significant development in tracking growth over time.

Some key findings of the survey include:

• Survey respondents demonstrated strong growth, collectively increasing their impact investing AUM from USD 25.4 billion in 2013 to USD 35.5 billion in 2015, a compound annual growth rate of 18 percent.

• The survey showed a steady flow of activity, with respondents committing a total of USD 7.1 billion to 3,332 deals in 2013, USD 9.2 billion to 3,726 deals in 2014, and USD 9.1 billion to 3,096 deals in 2015.

• The volume of capital raised by fund managers increased at a compounding rate of 18 percent each year, growing from USD 1.7 billion in 2013 to USD 2.3 billion in 2015.

• Financial performance was at or above expectations for 85 percent to 95 percent of respondents each year; impact performance was at or above expectations for 98 percent of respondents.

• Over 60 percent of AUM was in emerging markets and approximately 70 percent of AUM was allocated through private debt and private equity each year.

• The sectors accounting for the highest proportions of AUM were microfinance and other financial services, energy, housing, and food & agriculture.

The GIIN hopes that insights from this research will further the impact investing industry’s reach and impact, enable data-driven decision making, and improve transparency as the market continues to grow.

“The Impact Investing Trends Report provides compelling evidence of a growing impact investing industry,” said Amit Bouri, co-founder and CEO of the GIIN. “The report illustrates that impact investing is a powerful movement driven by investors of all types who are effectively putting their capital towards solutions to issues in areas like conservation, education, and affordable housing. The positive trends support that investors are increasingly bullish about the use of capital to address social and environmental challenges, and we are confident that this trend will continue.”


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