The will, means and audacity of Canadian financiers


“This is a call to use our will, our resources and our courage to finance change and to change the world.” (Photo: 123RF)

Text from several key players in the world of finance*

READERS’ MAIL. Every day, as investors, we witness social, ecological and economic crises at home and abroad. We must act. As investors and managers, we believe we have a role and a responsibility to ensure that capital contributes to building a fair, sustainable and prosperous future. For some it is our duty.

Willingness

We want to create more opportunity and investment, while doing so purposefully where capital is most needed and where it will accelerate tangible systemic change and positive outcomes for people and planet. Our group is part of a movement for change that started decades ago with sustainable investing. We want to go further in financing the change. We want to convince our colleagues to invest with the intention of making a positive difference, integrate impact investing into their investment strategy and work to educate the next generation of investment professionals. We know that impact investing can be the preferred approach for beneficiaries and clients without sacrificing returns.

I.e

As investors, we have the means to make a difference. Capital dedicated to global causes and goals is growing rapidly, and we must support this commitment to do so with integrity. Canada’s impact investment sector is estimated to be worth CA$14 billion in 2023, a 56% increase from CA$9 billion in 2015, and could be three or four more by 2030 to reach 46 billion Canadian dollars. This is a unique opportunity to develop solutions and make an impact here in Canada and become a global leader.

Our call to action builds on the release of our report, “Growing Impact Investing in Canada Through Asset Owner Engagement,” which highlights the challenges and opportunities common to impact investing. There are thoughts in this message for everyone, no matter where you are on your impact journey. Our group is already bringing together other investors during the Montreal Sustainable Finance Week to discuss the way to further develop impact investments.

The audacity

The 18 recommendations and actions proposed in the report are designed to mobilize various market participants and help investors overcome the challenges they face in implementing impact. We call on every investor – from pension fund managers to institutional investors to individual contributors – to push these recommendations to make a difference at their level now. As a group, we would welcome the cooperation of all stakeholders across many pillars of activity.

Our duty is to help people and the planet. We are instruments of the collective power of our beneficiaries and our customers, and we must use that power to shape a world that considers the common good. This is a call to use our will, our means and our audacity to fund change and change the world.

Members and signatories of the Canadian Impact Investing Task Force:

  • We are a group of asset owners and managers.
  • We share a common and ambitious mission.
  • We want to invest where it’s needed and where we see the biggest impact on people, the planet and a better economy.

* Proponents:

  • Upkar Arora, CEO, Rally Assets & Managing Partner, Realize Capital Partners
  • Roger Beauchemin, CEO, Addenda Capital
  • Patrice Boucher, Vice President of Investments, Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation
  • Delia Cristea, Partner and Head of Litigation, Power Sustainable
  • Heather Conradi, Principal, Impact Investing, Vancity
  • Serge LeVert-Chiasson, Managing Partner and Chief Operating Officer, Sarona Asset Management
  • Stéphan Morency, Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Fondaction
  • Leah Nguyen, Chief Investment Officer, InBC Investment Corp.
  • Edmund Piro, Chief Investment Officer, McConnell Foundation
  • Rob Wesseling, CEO, The Co-operators Group
  • Natacha Zenie, CEO and Chief Investment Officer, Eclipx Family Office

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