Arunma Oteh, Uche Orji, Ibukun Awosika

A former Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Arunma Oteh; Managing Director, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Mr. Uche Orji and Founder & CEO, The Chair Centre Group, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika have been appointed members of the global Impact Taskforce (ITF), which was established under the United Kingdom’s 2021 presidency of the G7.

The taskforce is made up of over 100 global leaders from the world of business, public policy, and the social sector, including senior figures from BlackRock, Temasek, Schroders, Mahindra Group, Morgan Stanley, S&P Global, BASF, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission.

It was created in July under the UK’s G7 2021 presidency and is being coordinated by the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) working with its UK member, the Impact Investing Institute.

The ITF focuses on fostering and facilitating discussions and recommendations for G7 governments and industry around impact transparency, integrity, and trust.

The ITF in a statement, Tuesday, said it would also investigate ways to create financing vehicles that could deliver investments for the benefit of people worldwide and the planet, as well as coordinate efforts with other relevant working groups in the G7, G20 and COP26, while working with initiatives led by regulators, such as the IFRS Foundation’s proposed Sustainability Standards Board (SSB).

Furthermore, it would produce technical documents and recommendations that would be shared under the UK´s G7 Presidency with Foreign Affairs and Development Ministers, Finance Ministers, standard setters, and the financial sector in December 2021.

“The impact investing market has been growing rapidly, with impact assets under management reaching $700 billion in 2019. However, more capital needs to be mobilised to stimulate recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and drive fairer and more sustainable economies in the long term,” the statement said.

“In developing countries alone, the pandemic is estimated to have magnified the existing $2.5 trillion annual funding shortfall to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 by a further $1.7 trillion in 2020.

“Given the central role that impact investing can play in achieving international objectives like the SDGs and the transition to a net-zero world, the ITF is expected to define a multi-year agenda.”

Commenting on the appointments, Chair of the Impact Taskforce, Nick Hurd said, “We have been asked by the G7 Presidency to give advice on how we can mobilise private capital for public good at scale and with integrity.

“This is a critical question given the level of investment needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and other commitments. I am delighted by the diversity of perspective that we have assembled. It is already clear that our members are very engaged with the important task.”

The Impact Taskforce held the first in a series of meetings in early August and the group’s final report is expected to be delivered to G7 governments in December 2021.

The new initiative, under the secretariat of the GSG, working with its UK member, focuses on fostering and facilitating discussions and recommendations around impact transparency, integrity, and trust.

The taskforce would also investigate ways to create financial vehicles that could deliver investments for the benefit of people and the planet worldwide.

In doing so, it would actively look to advance impact investment in low- and middle-income countries hit hard by the pandemic, the statement added.

“The GSG will oversee the development of thematic and technical efforts focusing on the need for greater simplification and harmonisation of impact reporting methodologies and accounting, as well as transparency and industry integrity.

“The Impact Investing Institute will lead on the design of principles and recommendations for financing vehicles that can mobilise private capital at scale to achieve impact in areas such as the creation of quality jobs, education and health in the context of the global transition to net-zero carbon economies.” It added.

In his comment, Chief Executive of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG), Cliff Prior, said: “We are delighted to have been asked by the UK government to lead the secretariat of the Impact Taskforce. Robust reporting standards and innovative investment structures are absolutely central to the development of the impact Investing market that benefits people and the planet. The creation of the Taskforce will put an impact ecosystem firmly on the G7 agenda as countries around the world seek solutions for fair and just recoveries from the COVID-19 crisis.”

Also, the CEO of Impact Investing Institute, Sarah Gordon said: “Impact investment has the potential to contribute to solutions to some of the biggest challenges we face – whether that is a just recovery from the pandemic or addressing the climate crisis.

“To harness private capital at scale for public good, we need structures that meet investors’ requirements and deploy capital where it is needed, improving access to decent jobs, education and healthcare, and investing in a just transition to a net-zero world.”

In his contribution, the President and Chief Executive Officer, S&P Global, Douglas L. Peterson said: “Transparency and a common language for accounting and reporting are essential for every asset class and investment approach, and impact investing is no exception.

“The development of globally accepted impact standards will allow investors to see clearly how companies are performing both financially and on their returns to society, enabling them to better allocate their money to investments with positive impact.”

Also, the Chair of the Impact Investing Institute, Dame Elizabeth Corley, said, “Impact investment is rapidly moving into the mainstream of global finance, as investors demand that their money does good at the same time as it generates a financial return.”

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