‘Covid-19 increases appetite for social impact investing’

On the 03/26/21 at 7:27AM


Tuba Raqshan

Matt Christensen, global head of sustainable and impact investing at Allianz Global Investors, said that the pandemic has increased investor appetite for socially driven impact investing.
Matt Christensen, global head of sustainable and impact investing at Allianz Global Investors

Christensen said that there is demand for interesting impact investing product design related to climate change and the post-Covid world has seen increasing interest in social investments such as housing, healthcare and education. “You can make good money in social impact investing while having great tangible stories to share, in terms of the quantity of carbon emissions avoided (one of the criteria we look at. We are living in a healthcare crisis. Therefore, vaccines and healthcare solutions, and hospitals are of increasing interest. How do you generate low-cost healthcare solutions for developing markets? There are profitable models that can change lives of individuals in different parts of the world,” Christensen said at AllianzGI’s Private Market Days event.

Another important area is education, especially in the context of technology-enabled solutions in certain markets. “Everyone is now on Microsoft Teams or Zoom. We now have diverse approaches with technology driving education, such as teaching coding to girl students. Those are returns where lives have been improved and poverty reduced. We will be doing more investments in this area,” he added.

Impact investing should be viewed from a multi-asset perspective, a blend of public and private markets, stressed Christensen. “We have had clients interested in such an approach on themes such as biodiversity. On the public equity side, investing can touch food security and agriculture. On the private side, large land capital and carbon pricing areas can be targeted,” he explained.

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