Ever since the United Nations defined its SDGs in 2015, investors have become increasingly interested in strategies that contribute to the realization of these ambitious goals
CEO, Impact Shares
Impact Shares, the nonprofit ETF sponsor supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, is pleased to announce the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals Global Equity ETF (NYSE Arca: SDGA) in collaboration with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the UN agency that makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 47 Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
The new ETF allows investors to invest alongside companies that are deploying capital to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a universal call to action to reduce poverty and support economic development globally. The fund also reflects the importance of the LDC markets and UNCDF’s efforts to increase transformative private sector investments in emerging local economies and ensure that no one is left behind.
“We are proud to partner with Impact Shares and The Rockefeller Foundation to launch the first-ever UN ETF,” said UNCDF Executive Secretary Judith Karl. “As a UN aid agency working in the world’s poorest countries, we are often asked by pension funds and socially-conscious investors how they can use their investment dollars to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This ETF offers those clients an exciting way to support the UN’s work while rewarding companies with accountable business practices and good management policies. We hope the ETF will encourage more companies to report on environmental, social and governance issues, as well as how their businesses are aligning with the UN SDGs. We also hope the index will grow to include increasingly larger numbers of LDC companies over time.”
The fund seeks investment results that generally correspond to the price and yield performance of the Morningstar Societal Development Index, developed through a collaboration between UNCDF, Impact Shares, Morningstar, and Sustainalytics. Companies included in the index are screened against a set of rigorous selection criteria reflecting customized environmental, social and corporate governance indicators and alignment with the SDGs.
“The Rockefeller Foundation, through its Zero Gap innovative finance portfolio, is proud to support Impact Shares in their work to build investable solutions to mobilize private capital for social good in partnership with leading organizations like UNCDF. This new Social ETF not only addresses the estimated $2.5 trillion annual funding gap required to achieve SDGs in developing countries, it also provides UNCDF a critical new source of funding to continue its good work helping vulnerable people overcome many of the pressing global challenges that impact livelihoods,” said Saadia Madsbjerg, managing director at The Rockefeller Foundation.
The net management fee will be donated to UNCDF for its work in LDCS, including helping poor individuals access savings and credit; lending to small and mid-size businesses in frontier markets; and supporting local governments to build climate-resilient infrastructure and manage their public finances in transparent and accountable ways. The management fee donation also provides the investing public with an innovative new way to support the work of the United Nations.
“Ever since the United Nations defined its SDGs in 2015, investors have become increasingly interested in strategies that contribute to the realization of these ambitious goals. We’re proud to partner with the UNCDF, an organization that has been advocating for people in the least developed countries for over fifty years. Our ETF will allow investors to align their capital with UNCDF’s efforts to help these countries, including by making loans to small businesses, helping poor individuals access banking services, giving young people job training and loans, and expanding access to clean and affordable energy,” said Ethan Powell, CEO of Impact Shares.
About Impact Shares
Impact Shares is a nonprofit fund sponsor and investment manager that is creating a new and innovative platform for clients seeking maximum social impact with market returns. Impact Shares' goal is to build a capital markets bridge between leading nonprofits, investors and corporate America to direct capital and social engagement on societal priorities. Impact Shares is a tax-exempt non-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. For more information about Impact Shares visit impactetfs.org.
The UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 47 least developed countries. With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development. UNCDF’s financing models work through two channels: financial inclusion that expands the opportunities for individuals, households, and small businesses to participate in the local economy, providing them with the tools they need to climb out of poverty and manage their financial lives; and by showing how localized investments—through fiscal decentralization, innovative municipal finance, and structured project finance—can drive public and private funding that underpins local economic expansion and sustainable development. By strengthening how finance works for poor people at the household, small enterprise, and local infrastructure levels, UNCDF contributes to SDG 1 on eradicating poverty and SDG 17 on the means of implementation. By identifying those market segments where innovative financing models can have transformational impact in helping to reach the last mile and address exclusion and inequalities of access, UNCDF contributes to a number of different SDGs. Visit us at www.uncdf.org, follow @UNCDF and subscribe for updates at bit.ly/2wwDiqs.
Gregory FCA for Impact Shares
UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)
Esther Pan Sloane
Head, Partnerships, Policy and Communication
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