INVESTOR FORUM | HIGHLIGHTS
- IFC and SPTF Social Investor Working Group held an Investor Forum on April 3-4, 2019, entitled “Responsible Finance for Digital Inclusion: Investing for Impact”.
- Participants shared investment lessons in social performance and impact management, recent strategies for digital transformation, and latest developments in impact investing tools for financial inclusion and the larger impact space–critical to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Investors in financial inclusion and digital financial services (DFS) showed how risks were being addressed with the growth of DFS opportunities, and investment experiences were shared by co-founding and new Signatories of the Guidelines for Responsible Investing in Digital Financial Services.
- Day 1 – Wed, April 3 – Social Performance Management and Strategies for Digital Transformation: Participants from SPTF Social Investor Working Group, which is co-chaired by Triple Jump and Grassroots Capital, shared experiences in social performance management, and impact investing tools for financial inclusion in the morning. The afternoon covered latest strategies for digital transformation, culling insights and latest evidence from investors and private sector players who are shaping the business case for digital financial inclusion. Visit the SPTF Social Investor Working Group for more info and latest resources.
- Day 2 – Thu, April 4 – Responsible Investing in Digital Financial Services and Investing for Impact: Widespread adoption of digital innovation is driving the growth of emerging market economies and investments across all sectors. IFC presented new Operating Principles for Impact Management, followed by the important role that Signatories of the Investor Guidelines can play in advancing “Responsible Investing in Digital Financial Services.” This is a concrete step towards operationalizing the Impact Principles, given the rapid pace of digital innovations. Signatories to the Investor Guidelines have continued to grow, representing over 120 investors and endorsers, out of which a dozen investors also became the First Adopters of the Impact Principles: BIO, CDC, CIM, DEG, Finnfund, FMO, IFC, Incofin, Microvest, OPIC, Proparco and ResponsAbility. A total of 60 investors became the First Adopters of the Impact Principles which was officially announced at the World Bank Spring Meetings.
- Investor Roundtable Meeting: Signatories identified four priority themes on the agenda to advance the Investor Guidelines–these were top issues facing digital consumers, innovators and investors. Co-founding investors and signatories stepped forward to share their experiences, through briefing notes on pricing and transparency (draft by DEG) and interoperability (forthcoming by Goodwell and GSMA). Case examples and tools were also presented on: data algorithms, data consent and consumer data protection, respectively, by FIDO, Lendable, and Accion Venture Lab. IFC also shared a comprehensive due diligence and risk matrix tool for further investor feedback. These “investor sprints” are work-in-progress, designed to be a more agile way to engage by capturing what works or what doesn’t work with “live” investments, while adapting latest developments from industry.
- What’s Next? Signatories of the Investor Guidelines are working together to fortify the signatory base, by reaching out to their own networks and partners who are investing in digital financial services and fintechs for inclusion.
- RFF works with a broad base of global networks to collaborate on priority themes through annual forum, investor roundtables and industry webinars, such as with the SPTF’s social investor group.
SPEAKERS AND PARTICIPANTS
- We are grateful to the 100+ participants and speakers who joined us at the Investor Forum–altogether representing a wide diversity of investors, senior executives, business leaders, fintech innovators and industry experts!