14 September 2020
US-based non-profit investment firm Calvert Impact Capital (CIC) has experienced 12 months of rapid growth, epitomised by the nearly $700 million of its Community Investment Notes sold through brokerage firms to retail investors, the most money raised for an impact Note programme through advisor platforms.
The note, a fixed-income investment product, has raised over $2 billion since its inception, to channel into high impact investments in communities around the world. The notes blend financial, social, and environmental returns into one accessible product and is one of the only widely distributed retail impact investment products in the US, with sales through over 100 brokerage platforms.
In 2019, the CIC portfolio hit a record high of over $400 million, with 2020 expected to be another year of significant growth as they respond to markets in need, the firm said. Last year its 100 borrowers collectively deployed over $4.7 billion into more than 100 countries across the globe. CIC's track record and scale has enabled it to catalyse debt markets in new sectors such as off-grid renewable energy in Sub-Saharan Africa and build new financial structures such as the first environmental impact bond in the US.
CIC's goal is to efficiently match the needs of investors with tailored financing solutions for under-resourced communities.
To further this goal, it has also launched a new syndication services. These services were built to address a gap in the market and reduce the friction between the supply of capital from institutional investors and the demand from high-impact organisations. To date, CIC has syndicated or administered more than $230 million of capital for impact-oriented transactions.
In Spring 2020, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, CIC leveraged its syndication services to rapidly develop solutions for distressed small businesses, in partnership with public, private and non-profit organisations. It was the lead arranger for the New York Forward Loan Fund, a $100 million fund providing relief for the smallest small businesses (less than 20 employees), non-profits and landlords across New York state, who were underserved by federal relief programmes. CIC is currently working with partners to launch similar funds in California and across a 13-state region in the Southern US.