Our Impact Investment Diligence Process

Our clients look to leverage the good they can do in the world by using their investment portfolios. So, each year, we filter through approximately 100 investment opportunities to find those that offer the best combination of financial returns with appropriate risk alongside an intentional, measured impact strategy.

Whether it’s reviewing a pitch deck that’s just landed in our inbox, chatting with a fund manager or company founder, or learning about an opportunity through our Australian and international networks, we initially screen opportunities with three main criteria in mind:

  1. Does the opportunity have a credible impact in a social or environmental area our clients focus on?
  2. Does the opportunity align with our clients’ investment objectives?
  3. Is the risk profile of the opportunity appropriate? In other words, are the financial returns feasible and is the impact target realistic?

This triangulation of ‘risk-reward-impact’ in our evaluation is embodied in our proprietary Impact Asset Framework that quantifies our assessment of each factor.

We predominantly focus on impact investments that offer a risk-adjusted market-rate financial return, reflecting our experience that investors do not need to sacrifice financial returns to achieve impact through their investments. We compare these opportunities with similar traditional investments so our clients can make fully informed investment decisions and understand how impact investments can become essential to a well-balanced portfolio of responsible investments. You can read more about the financial returns of our approved investments in our 2023 Impact Report.

We carefully evaluate any risks that might affect achievement of the target financial return and impact of each opportunity. Not only is a financial underperformance a key financial concern, but it also lessens the ability of an investment portfolio to produce future impact.

Figure 1: Our Diligence Process

Some clients are also interested in opportunities that offer outsized impact outcomes with ‘concessional’ financial returns or terms and conditions. While we acknowledge the scope for these investments to have a significant impact, we apply the same rigour in our diligence for ‘catalytic’ opportunities as for any other opportunity.

Alongside reviewing key documents, we take an active approach, interrogating fund managers and company owners in intensive discussions, stress-testing financial models, reviewing track records where available, and calling on our networks to understand the industries and markets relevant to each investment.  We gain comfort to make an investment recommendation only after thoroughly investigating, testing, and challenging an opportunity’s financial and impact thesis.

As just one example, when considering investments in specialist disability accommodation (SDA), our due diligence has included conversations with property developers and operators, service providers, industry representatives, and government, as well as engaging with traditional property industry experts and meticulously reviewing data. All these areas are integral to understanding the potential success of an SDA fund, so all require proactive investigation.

Our team has extensive experience across impact investment, responsible investment, values-based portfolio construction, wealth advisory, investment banking, law, and philanthropy, and we use all these skills when assessing investment opportunities. Ultimately, we synthesise our due diligence into an advisory report that evaluates and clearly articulates the combination of risk, reward, and impact offered in a concise and readable form. Following a final review and approval by our Investment Committee, we provide this advisory report with an actionable investment recommendation to clients.

If you are a wholesale investor looking to deploy capital for a better tomorrow and need high-quality research to support you in this journey, we’d love to connect with you. Please get in touch with us by e-mail or through this website to start the conversation.


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