What’s more surprising than the sheer lack of funding for social, environmental and development projects that are focused on being sustainable is the fact that this financial gap isn’t getting much smaller. For environmental conservation alone, there’s up to a USD 843 billion annual difference between what’s invested and what’s needed.
That’s the bad news. The more positive outlook is that an increasing number of financial experts and entrepreneurs are realizing that nothing is more irresponsible than investing in projects that aren’t designed to be adaptive and resilient to societal and planetary changes, and so the field of sustainable finance is growing. One such company therein – and a star new player in this field at that – is Imagine, which connects investors to projects through a financial mechanism that’s optimistically been gaining more and more ground: impact bonds.
But what actually are impact bonds? And what can investors, project managers and facilitating companies such as Imagine do to realize their full potential? In this GLF Live, we heard from the co-founder and the associate director of Innpact, Imagine’s more broadly-focused founding partner, about the advancements impact bonds are making for the SDGs and for the planet.
Arnaud Gillin is partner and co-founder of Innpact, a leading impact finance specialist providing advisory and third-party fund management services. He brings 15 years’ experience of impact fund design and creation with over 25+ funding structures covering a total of USD 8 billion of impact assets. Prior to Innpact, Arnaud worked as a consultant in financial services and investment funds with Accenture and as risk manager and project manager at the Banque de Luxembourg. He holds a master’s in management from the Louvain School of Management in Belgium and master’s in Microfinance from the Solvay Business School, Brussels. Arnaud is also a certified Financial Risk Manager with GARP.
Sigridur Torfadottir is associate director and head of fund management services at Innpact as well as leads the Imagine impact bond platform facilitating the issuance of impact project bonds. She has 20 years of experience within banking and finance across fund management, project management, relationship management, corporate finance, restructuring and equity research. In her previous roles at Innpact she has advised on the design and implementation of impact finance funds as well provided ongoing governance and management support to the management bodies, including the board of directors. She holds a bachelor’s in mechanical and industrial dngineering from the University of Iceland, a certificate in sustainable development from the University of Luxembourg and in responsible management from Steinbeis University in Berlin.