Impact investing or investing with impact – where could this journey lead?

On 15 September, KvinnoKapital in partnership with East Capital Group had the pleasure to arrange a well-attended Afterwork on the theme of Impact Investing with Huizi Zeng.

Huizi currently works as a Portfolio Manager at Espiria Asset Management, part of East Capital Group in Stockholm, where her main responsibilities include the Espiria SDG Solutions Fund as well as the group’s overall sustainable investing processes, she has 15 years of experience in asset management, corporate finance, and consulting.

After drinks and a short welcome by Hanna Edström from KvinnoKapital and Hanna Persson on behalf of East Capital, Huizi took the floor for a highly engaging presentation on the topic of Impact Investing.

Starting with her own journey, Huizi told us how she, after a decade in asset management, felt a real lack of motivation. During a break, she did a lot of research on impact investing and in that way found her way back into the industry.

The definition of Impact investing, according to Huizi, is investing with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact. It is vital to be able to see and verify the causality of this impact. She briefly explained the concept of Theory of Change; input, output, outcome, impact, and target alignment form a perpetual circle to achieve such positive change.

She also pointed out that Impact investing has very distinct characteristics from the wider ESG concept. Best practice builds on materiality, accountability, and additionality (what extra value does the investment bring).

During the session, prompted by questions from a highly informed and engaged audience, Huizi also touched upon the discussion on whether investors should invest in the “best” and the “greenest” companies or whether the actual impact can be even greater elsewhere. Further, she gave her view on how a more challenging economic environment could affect impact investing and how we as an industry can overcome the communication challenge and educate also private investors about impact investing.

Even with a full two hours at our disposal, the time passed extremely quickly but conversations on this important topic are likely to continue both among the members who attended the AW and throughout the industry. Among the audience was also a group of female high school students who are currently enrolled in financial courses. It was wonderful to witness their enthusiasm and support them on their path to joining the industry.

KvinnoKapital is grateful to Huizi for the presentation and to East Capital for hosting the event in their wonderful room with a view, up on the 14th floor.

Huizi has written a whitepaper on the subject where you can learn more about how Impact Investing is  applied at East Capital. Hanna Persson also invited the participants to reach out to her for further information.

Lena Ellertsson Freedman
Lena Ellertsson Freedman
Curious, fearless and responsive communications professional with experience from international companies in real estate, finance and technology.

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