Downing launches its first impact fund

We are proud to have launched a new Healthcare EIS Knowledge Intensive Fund focused on impact investing. The new fund aligns with UN Sustainable Development Goal 3, which centres on ‘Good Health and Well-being', and further emphasises our commitment to responsible investing. 

The new fund follows our underlying Healthcare investment strategy of investing in innovative companies across the healthcare & life sciences sector. In addition, the fund will focus on investing in companies that generate a measurable and beneficial social or environmental impact, alongside a financial return.   

The healthcare companies must also qualify as knowledge intensive (KI), i.e. they are carrying out research, development or innovation to a set level for a fixed period of time after issuing shares.   

Ensuring sound ESG criteria  

To assess the impact credentials of healthcare companies, we will look for evidence that the business is developing products or services that contribute to the main target set out in SDG 3: ‘ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages’.  

As part of the due diligence process, we will carry out initial screening, ongoing measurement and reporting on portfolio companies’ progress against impact KPIs relating to SDG 3 and, over time, will work closely with them to improve their environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance. The performance and progress of these companies will be reported to investors annually to enable them to see the impact of their investment.  

Responsible investing is the future  

We recognise that an ESG framework is a common analytical structure that enables an investor to tilt portfolios towards positive environmental and social contribution, and away from harmful products and behaviours. By focusing on the ESG performance of the portfolio companies we can, over time, enhance and protect value for investors through active ownership and stewardship.   

This theme ties into the growing interest in responsible investing. More investors are demanding transparency from companies around business practices and want to see their capital contributing towards measurably positive outcomes for the world. This fund gives investors an opportunity to satisfy that demand.  

Kostas Manolis, Head of Unquoted Investments, comments: 

"We recognise the growing interest in impact investing and have already made a firm-wide commitment to the principles of responsible investment. It’s right that more investors are demanding transparency from companies around business practices and want to see evidence that their capital is contributing towards something good.  

“Our latest Healthcare EIS product satisfies this demand by prioritising impact investing and we strongly believe that by selecting companies that directly contribute to our society’s health and well-being, we can provide returns that are both attractive and sustainable for investors.”  

Graham Brady, Head of Sustainability, comments:   

"We're really excited to be delivering an innovative product like this. There has been a lot of debate recently about what it means to deliver impact. But we think it's simple. We follow three main criteria when investing with impact: intention, addition and measurement.  

A product like this, I believe, delivers impact in its purest form."   

If you would like to find out more about the new fund, please click here. 

Important note: 

Capital at risk and returns not guaranteed. This product is only suitable for advised, high-net-worth and sophisticated investors.