Allianz Global Investors said it has created a dedicated private markets impact unit, combining existing equity and debt investing expertise with a new impact measurement and management capability.
The new unit, a team of 12 existing staff members, is part of the asset manager’s sustainability investment platform and will be led by Matt Christensen, global head of sustainable and impact investing.
The new impact measurement and management capability refers to the launch of an impact framework to facilitate due diligence and the selection of investments that contribute to material and positive impact.
Diane Mak, who joined AllianzGI in August from Y Analytics, where she oversaw TPG Global’s impact assessments and management activities, is leading the new capability, with plans to build a team.
AllianzGI’s impact rating framework assesses both the impact of the investee enterprise or portfolio, and the contribution that AllianzGI and other investors bring in supporting investees’ impact generation.
The ‘Enterprise Impact Rating’ framework is aligned with the Impact Management Project’s five dimensions of impact (who, what, how much, contribution of the enterprise, impact likelihood).
The Impact Management Project was a time-bound consensus-building forum that ran until 2021. A new collaboration has been formed to take up the mantle with the aim of mainstreaming effective impact management by companies and investors.
AllianzGI said its approach “supports rigorous measurement and management of impact over the lifecycle of the investment to ensure that impact is being delivered”.
“The future growth trajectory of impact investing depends on asset managers demonstrating how the impact can be measured and reported”
Matt Christensen, global head of sustainable and impact investing
“Impact investing is fast-growing out of its niche,” said Christensen. “The future growth trajectory of impact investing depends on asset managers demonstrating how the impact can be measured and reported.
“Our new impact measurement and management approach enables us to measure impact in private equity and debt investments, and will allow us to develop our offering further according to the best standards.”
Martin Ewald, lead portfolio manager, leads the private equity impact investing team within the new unit, while Nadia Nikolova, lead portfolio manager, manages the development finance and private debt impact investing team.
Nikolova is a blended finance specialist and an active contributor to the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance’s efforts to scale up the use of blended finance vehicles. She previously spoke to IPE about the importance of private investors getting hold of data about the recovery rates for development banks’ portfolios.
Christensen, who was previously at AXA Investment Managers, was hired by AllianzGI in late 2020 to drive the growth of impact investing as part of the its growing private markets platform.
At an AllianzGI private markets event last year Christensen said the firm was looking at allocations with a social impact, with healthcare among areas of interest.