Market Research

Published Author   Title 
May 2017 Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) Annual Impact Investor Survey 2016 (seventh edition)

The GIIN’s 2017 Annual Impact Investor Survey is based on an analysis of the activities of 209 of the world’s leading impact investing organizations, which collectively manage nearly USD 114 bn in impact assets, a figure which serves as the best-available “floor” for the size of the impact investing market. This state of the market report presents investors’ perspectives on key issues important to the impact investing industry and also includes new topics such as investors’ commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

March 2017 Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) Global Sustainable Investment Review 2016
  The biennial Global Sustainable Investment Review draws on in-depth regional and national reports from GSIA members—Eurosif, Responsible Investment Association Australasia, RIA Canada and US SIF—as well as data and insights from the PRI, JSIF (Japan), LatinSIF and the African Investing for Impact Barometer. Together, these resources provide data points, insights, analysis and examples of the shape of sustainable investing worldwide.
March 2017 Novethic The European green funds market
  Novethic's latest study, produced with the support of ADEME, analyses the European green funds market’s trends. The research centre reviewed a selection of 165 funds, that are available in 16 countries and hold assets of € 22 bn.
December 2016 responsAbility Micro and SME Finance Market Outlook 2017
  responsAbility’s "Micro and SME Finance Market Outlook", which has been published each year since 2010, explores global developments in the microfinance industry and produces forecasts for the next 12-14 months. For the 2017 edition of the publication, the universe covered in the analysis was expanded to include SME banks for the first time.
December 2016 Schroders Schroders Global Investment Study 2016: What investors think about responsible investing
  The Schroders Global Investor Study has gathered the views of 20,000 investors in 28 countries – each with the equivalent of at least € 10,000 invested. 1,836 financial advisers also took part in the survey. The survey revealed that ESG investing is gaining momentum: In addition to the 22% of advisers who think ESG is already an important element in fund recommendations, 62% of advisers expect ESG to become increasingly important within five years. Among investors, ESG issues were more important to “millennials” – investors of the future - than to older generations.
December 2016 Symbiotics & CGAP Microfinance Funds, 10 years of research and practice
  This 10-year review of the landscape of microfinance offshore investments is based on data collected through annual CGAP/Symbiotics surveys of MIVs conducted between 2007 and 2016.
December 2016 Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) Impact Investing Trends - Evidence of a growing industry
  This is GIIN's first industry-level trends analysis of the global impact investor market. The report shows the strong growth in the market (18% CAGR from 2013 to 2015), the satisfaction felt by impact investors in financial and social returns, and points out some success factors and barriers facing the industry.
November 2016 Eurosif European SRI Study 2016
  The 2016 study covers 13 different European markets and reports on the state of the sustainable investment market as of the end of 2015.
September 2016 Symbiotics SA 2016 Symbiotics MIV Survey
  This annual study aims to provide an overview on market trends and peer group analysis on microfinance offshore investments. This 10th edition, is based on December 2015 financial and social performance indicators reported by nearly all microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs). It concludes that the the 93 participating MIV's had USD 11 billion AuM; thus nearly quintupled over the last 10 years.
May 2016 WWF Schweiz, ShareAction

Schweizer Pensionskassen und verantwortungsvolles Investieren / Swiss Pension Funds and Responsible Investment

  WWF, together with Responsible Investment charity ShareAction, carried out a survey of the 20 largest Swiss pension funds. It analysed how far pension funds invest their beneficiaries’ money sustainably and whether they transparently provide them with information. Although all pension funds are in some way engaged in the topic of responsible investing, there is still room for growth to catch up to international best practice.
May 2016 Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen (FNG) Marktbericht Nachhaltige Geldanlagen 2016

This report provides an overview on the sustainable investment market in Germany, Austria and Switzerland by the end of 2015. The Swiss Sustainable Investment Market Report is an excerpt of the full report and was prepared jointly by FNG and SSF.

May 2016 Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF) and Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen (FNG) Swiss Sustainable Investment Market Report 2016

The sustainable investment market in Switzerland experienced extremely dynamic growth in 2015. This is attributable in part to the fact that self-managed investments of asset owners were recorded for the first time and in part to the inclusion of new study participants from the asset management field. Notwithstanding these two factors, it can nonetheless be stated that the level of growth was above the market average for 2015: sustainable funds recorded stronger growth than their conventional counterparts. Their share of the overall funds market thus increased to over 4.5%. 

May 2016 Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) Annual Impact Investor Survey 2016 (sixth edition)

The sixth annual impact investor survey found that USD 15.2 bn commited by 157 respondents to 7,551 impact investments in 2015. In 2016, respondents plan to increase capital committed by 16% to USD 17.7 bn and number of deals by 55% to 11,722. Overall the participants describe continued improvements in the sophistication of the impact investing industry. Challenges, such as appropriate types of capital across the risk-return spectrum, and high-quality investment opportunities with track record still persist.

May 2016 Toniic, Bank of the West, Family Wealth Advisors Millenias & impact investment
  This report offers answers of millennials engaged in impact investing, regarding their interest in the topic and their actions taken, based on a survey completed by 58 individuals. Overall millennials are interested in the issue and either take a portfolio approach, or try to align their careers and philanthropic activities with their values but still face important barriers. 10 in-depth interviews provide insights into the lives of active impact investors.
April 2016 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Annual Survey of Large Pension Funds and Public Pension Reserve Funds Report on Pension Funds' long-term investments 2015

The survey provides information on 75 retirement schemes, monitoring and comparing the investment behaviour, asset levels, and performances in order to help and encourage long-term financing by institutions. The importance of retirement systems has grown over the last 15 years, representing 51.8% of GDP in 2001, and 61.9% of GDP totalling USD 30.2 tn in assets. Thus, the accumulation of saving in such financial channels has never been larger. The research shows that pension schemes face a challenging environment, especially due to the low interest rates. Thus, there is an important quest for alternative investment management, uncorrelated lower volatility returns, expansion of alternatives, etc. Six key trends have been identified by the survey respondents, of which the following ones are particularly interesting:

  • Emerging markets and foreign investment
  • Climate change resiliency and green investments
  • Social impact investing
April 2016 Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF) and Center for Microfinance, University of Zurich Swiss investments for a better world - The first makret survey on investments for development

Swiss financial institutions manage around USD 10 bn of worldwide investments for development, equivalent to almost 30% of the total global volume (status: 30 September 2015). The study "Swiss Investments for a Better World" identifies microfinance and investments for development as a rapidly expanding area of Switzerland’s financial industry, with an impressive growth rate of 18.4% over the past year. The financial sector is therefore building a bridge between economically disadvantaged regions seeking access to financial solutions and investors aiming for a market return on their long-term investments.

Nov 2015 Novethic

Profile of Responsible Investors in Europe

English / French

  Novethic has published its 8th survey on responsible investment practices among European asset owners, with the support of Degroof Petercam in 13 countries. The results show that climate is a priority for 53% of the 181 institutions surveyed, together holding € 7,367 bn in assets; very few, however, have decided to exclude fossil fuels from their investments so far.
Oct 2015 UNEP FI and PRI Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century

This research, based on structured interviews with senior investment professionals, lawyers and policy makers, finds that failing to consider long-term investment value drivers, which include environmental, social and governance issues, in investment practice is a failure of fiduciary duty.

While many investors have made positive steps to incorporate sustainability risks into the way they deliver their fiduciary duty, the report argues that too many assets are still managed with a 20th century mindset, exposing savers and beneficiaries to the threat of value loss.

Oct 2015 Center for Social and Sustainable Products (CSSP) TOP 100 - ESG Equity Fund Ratings - for Austria, Germany and Switzerland
Edition 2015
  This report, in its second edition, and available for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The Top 100 ESG Equity Fund Rating study measures and comparesthe portfolio quality of equity funds in terms of environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria based on the ESG Investment Screener from yourSRI. Both "sustainable" classified Investment funds as well "conventional" mutual funds are analyzed and compared in terms of their ESG portfolio performance.
Sept 2015 Symbiotics

2015 Symbiotics Microfinance Investment Vehicles (MIV) Survey

Full report / Abstract

  The Survey provides a detailed overview of key market trends about microfinance offshore investments. More than 80 MIVs have participated in the 9th annual survey which covers 96% of the total MIV market estimated at USD 10.4 billion as of December 2014. This survey allows microfinance investors and fund managers to benchmark themselves and stay informed about the market.
June 2015 KPMG with the support of WWF Ready or not? An assessment of sustainability integration in the European banking sector

This report contains an overview of the current approaches and practices of 12 major European banks regarding the integration of environmental and social factors in commercial and investment banking activities.

The survey shows that while the identification and control of environmental and social issues in the core banking practices is becoming more common, the integration of sustainability criteria in lending and investment banking activities still requires significant improvement if banks aim to protect the value of their assets in the short and longer term.

May 2015 Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen (FNG) Marktbericht nachhaltige Geldanlagen (DE) / Sustainable Investments in Switzerland (E)
May 2015 Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) with input from various experts from Swiss organisations in the field of sustainable finance Swiss team input into the UNEP Inquiry: Design of a Sustainable Financial System
  This report debates the core questions of the UNEP inquiry from a Swiss perspective, i.e. why sufficient investments are not being made in the transition to a green economy despite the availability of abundant private financial resources throughout the world, and what kind of framework conditions are needed for a financial system that would serve the needs of a green economy.
March 2015 Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry (ALFI) and KPMG European Responsible Investing Fund Survey 2015
  ALFI published the third edition of the European Responsible Investing Fund Survey produced by KPMG. The survey covers the European responsible investment fund market as at 31 December 2014, including the size of the market, investment categories and the domicile of such funds.
Feb 2015 Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) Global Sustainable Investment Review 2014
  This report provides a snapshot of the global market in terms of volume, growth and practice at the start of 2014. It draws on data and insights provided by the members of the GSIA. Each of these members—Eurosif, US SIF, Responsible Investment Association Canada, ASrIA and Responsible Investment Association Australasia—offers in-depth  reports that provide information and analysis, as well as examples, of sustainable investment within their markets.
Dec 2014 Novethic Profile of Responsible Investors in Europe
  Novethic's 2014 survey of European Responsible Investors was administered to 185 asset owners from 13 countries. The survey results indicate main trends in the European market including that formal RI policies are being implemented across all asset classes, risk prevention is the main focus of RI practices, and Swedish investors tend to have the most comprehensive RI practices.
Nov 2014 responsAbility

Microfinance Market Outlook 2015: Growth driven by vast market potential

Microfinance Market Outlook 2015: Wachstum dank Milliardenpotenzial

  The fifth annual Microfinance Market Outlook published by ResponsAbility is available. The 2015 study concludes that the global microfinance market is expected to grow by a further 15-20% in 2015 and examines the potential impacts of changes in interest rates on microfinance investments.
Nov 2014 Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF) Members' Survey: The future of sustainable finance in Switzerland 


SSF members confirmed the positive view on sustainable finance in the first members' survey.
  • A vast majority is convinced that Switzerland will expand its market share in this field in the years to come
  • There is a clear consensus that the sustainable finance market will grow at a double digit rate
Oct 2014 PWC Overview of the "Green" Swiss Financial Market
  This report, commissioned by the Swiss Federal Office of the Environment (FOEN) provides a comprehensive overview of the green and sustainable financial market landscape in Switzerland. Obstacles to growth of the market are identified, such as a lack of comprehensive definitions and transparent communication, Switzerland being unattractive as a fund domicile and low incentives for institutional investors to consider ESG.
Oct 2014 Eurosif European SRI Study
  The report highlights the scale of Sustainable and Responsible Investment practices and trends across 13 European countries.
June 2014 BlueOrchard  & Center for Microfinance, University of Zürich The Importance of Microfinance – Swiss Institutional Investors Survey 2014 (presentation)
  The joint work of the University of Zürich and commercial microfinance manager BlueOrchard, this survey finds that a significant and growing proportion of Swiss institutions are invested in microfinance. While social attributes are important for the investment decision they do not override return expectations.
May 2014 University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership The value of responsible investment The moral, financial and economic case for action
  The momentum on responsible investments have been building up, over the last years - showcased for example by the numerous signatories of the PRI. This report explores the moral, financial and economic justification for responsible investment, linking it to the academic evidence. It concentrates on how ESG factors materially impact investment risk and returns.
May 2014 Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen (FNG) Marktbericht nachhaltige Geldanlagen (DE) / Sustainable Investments in Switzerland (E) 
  Annual report produced by FNG surveying sustainable investment in Switzerland across all asset classes and sustainability approaches.    
Jan 2013 onValues  Mapping Sustainable Finance in Switzerland 
  This study finds more than 200 organisations involved in Sustainable Finance in Switzerland in one way or another, and maps the different initiatives in an all-encompassing overview.   
2013 Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) Global Sustainable Investment Review 2012 
  Report based on the work of seven regional sustainable investment forums to compare sustainable investment practices worldwide.   


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