Impact investing: position paper

Investing for meaningful impact in private markets

Defining our understanding of the requirements to support impact investment.

While the growth of impact investing has accelerated, definitions and approaches vary widely. We expect that greater clarity will be key to the continued rise of assets under management in impact strategies. In this position paper we outline our perspective on some of the key components we believe are needed for generating positive, meaningful impact through private market investments.
Key takeaways
  • Amid varying definitions of impact investing we believe that a considered, evidence-based and measurable approach aligned with engagement1 is integral.
  • We intentionally focus on companies seeking to offer solutions that have a measurable positive impact on key environmental or social problems, through the delivery of goods and services that are core to their business models.
  • In this paper, we introduce three proprietary sustainability typologies2 to clarify and define the impact of investments: Significant Positive Impact (our priority typology for private market impact investments), Positive Benefits, and Sustainability Improver.
  • We also define four key characteristics that we believe are required for operational management and measurement of impact in private market investments.
Our conclusion: With the rapid growth of investor allocations to impact strategies over the past few years reaching over USD 1 trillion3 of assets under management, the opportunity to generate impact at scale has never been greater. It has also become imperative to clearly define expectations around what impact investments should deliver for society. We expect the typologies and characteristics outlined in this position paper to be an important foundation for Allianz Global Investors’ private market impact strategies in generating significant positive impact over the coming years.

Footnote 1: There is no assurance, representation, warranty or otherwise that engagement, targets/milestones or voting for example (where relevant) by us or any other party will achieve a certain outcome.

Footnote 2: When we refer to our proprietary sustainability typologies, as of the date of this paper, none of the Allianz Global Investors/Allianz Capital Partners private market products are formally offered under these individual typologies. In respect of some of our impact private market strategies, but not all these strategies, such impact strategies have been using our internal proprietary impact scoring system, a component of our impact framework, to distinguish between high positive impact investments (Significant Positive Impact) and low positive impact investments (Positive Benefits). Sustainability Improvers sit outside of our impact strategies. When we refer to the typologies, we provide no assurance, representation, warranty or otherwise that such label or approach will achieve a certain outcome. These labels are subjective and based on our own personal views. None of the typologies have been externally verified or assessed by an independent third party.

Footnote 3: Source: Impact funds grow 40% over last two years, hitting $1 trillion | Pensions & Investments (

  • Disclaimer
    Investing involves risk. The value of an investment and the income from it will fluctuate and investors may not get back the principal invested. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. This is a marketing communication. It is for informational purposes only. This document does not constitute investment advice or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any security and shall not be deemed an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security.
    The views and opinions expressed herein, which are subject to change without notice, are those of the issuer or its affiliated companies at the time of publication. Certain data used are derived from various sources believed to be reliable, but the accuracy or completeness of the data is not guaranteed and no liability is assumed for any direct or consequential losses arising from their use. The duplication, publication, extraction or transmission of the contents, irrespective of the form, is not permitted.

    This material has not been reviewed by any regulatory authorities. In mainland China, it is for Qualified Domestic Institutional Investors scheme pursuant to applicable rules and regulations and is for information purpose only. This document does not constitute a public offer by virtue of Act Number 26.831 of the Argentine Republic and General Resolution No. 622/2013 of the NSC. This communication's sole purpose is to inform and does not under any circumstance constitute promotion or publicity of Allianz Global Investors products and/or services in Colombia or to Colombian residents pursuant to part 4 of Decree 2555 of 2010. This communication does not in any way aim to directly or indirectly initiate the purchase of a product or the provision of a service offered by Allianz Global Investors. Via reception of his document, each resident in Colombia acknowledges and accepts to have contacted Allianz Global Investors via their own initiative and that the communication under no circumstances does not arise from any promotional or marketing activities carried out by Allianz Global Investors. Colombian residents accept that accessing any type of social network page of Allianz Global Investors is done under their own responsibility and initiative and are aware that they may access specific information on the products and services of Allianz Global Investors. This communication is strictly private and confidential and may not be reproduced. This communication does not constitute a public offer of securities in Colombia pursuant to the public offer regulation set forth in Decree 2555 of 2010. This communication and the information provided herein should not be considered a solicitation or an offer by Allianz Global Investors or its affiliates to provide any financial products in Brazil, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay. In Australia, this material is presented by Allianz Global Investors Asia Pacific Limited (“AllianzGI AP”) and is intended for the use of investment consultants and other institutional/professional investors only, and is not directed to the public or individual retail investors. AllianzGI AP is not licensed to provide financial services to retail clients in Australia. AllianzGI AP is exempt from the requirement to hold an Australian Foreign Financial Service License under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) pursuant to ASIC Class Order (CO 03/1103) with respect to the provision of financial services to wholesale clients only. AllianzGI AP is licensed and regulated by Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission under Hong Kong laws, which differ from Australian laws.

    This document is being distributed by the following Allianz Global Investors companies: Allianz Global Investors GmbH, an investment company in Germany, authorized by the German Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin); Allianz Global Investors (Schweiz) AG; in HK, by Allianz Global Investors Asia Pacific Ltd., licensed by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission; in Singapore, by Allianz Global Investors Singapore Ltd., regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore [Company Registration No. 199907169Z]; in Japan, by Allianz Global Investors Japan Co., Ltd., registered in Japan as a Financial Instruments Business Operator [Registered No. The Director of Kanto Local Finance Bureau (Financial Instruments Business Operator), No. 424], Member of Japan Investment Advisers Association, the Investment Trust Association, Japan and Type II Financial Instruments Firms Association; in Taiwan, by Allianz Global Investors Taiwan Ltd., licensed by Financial Supervisory Commission in Taiwan; and in Indonesia, by PT. Allianz Global Investors Asset Management Indonesia licensed by Indonesia Financial Services Authority (OJK).


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