Threadneedle, Triodos and Liechtenstein’s LGT shortlisted in inaugural UK social investment awards

Awards show government committed to growing the market

Threadneedle Investments, Triodos Bank and the philanthropic arm of the House of Liechtenstein’s LGT Group are among 15 organisations shortlisted in the UK government’s inaugural social investment awards designed to celebrate the growth of the market and demonstrate its potential to mainstream investors.

The awards, which will be held on October 27 at banking group RBS’s headquarters in London, has five categories: Investor Access; Global Impact; Community Impact; Investment Readiness; and New Markets (full shortlist below).

The UK’s new Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson said: “The government is committed to growing the market and that also means rewarding those who are leading the way. Congratulations to all of those shortlisted.”

Dutch-based Triodos has been shortlisted for Investor Access. It has supported a number of charities and social enterprises in developing social impact bonds and charity bonds, including Mencap, which supports people with learning difficulties. The charity’s commercial arm, Golden Lane Housing, successfully raised £10m in bond finance to fund 30 permanent homes for people with a learning disability from a mix of retail and institutional investors. Investors into the bond will receive a fixed yield of 4% per annum for the five-year fixed term.

Golden Lane Housing is also up for an award for the above charity bond. It has been shortlisted, alongside charity bond provider Allia and Canaccord Genuity, the London and Toronto listed financial services firm, for the New Markets Award for the product.

Fund firm Threadneedle and Big Issue Invest are up for a New Markets Award for the UK Social Bond Fund that invests in daily tradable debt instruments from organisations which support socially beneficial activities and economic development. Most recently, Warwickshire County Council in central England invested £30m (€38.2m) in the fund.

The Global Impact Award’s contenders are global impact investor LGT Venture Philanthropy, the arm of the House of Liechtenstein’s LGT Group, the largest family-ownedprivate wealth and asset manager in Europe, the Omidyar Network of eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and the World Economic Forum (WEF).

WEF helped set up the Global Learning Exchange for Social impact Investment that strives to grow impact investing markets by building a global network to exchange ideas, resources and best practice. It also launched the Mainstreaming Impact Investing initiative in 2012.

The Omidyar Network has provided grant funding to support the expansion of social impact bonds globally and invested in UK social impact bond funds, including the £14m social impact bond run by social investor Bridges Ventures.

The full shortlist:

Investor Access:
• ClearlySo
• Ethex
• Triodos Bank
Global Impact:
LGT Venture Philanthropy
• Omidyar Network
• World Economic Forum
Community Impact:
• Key Fund & Unity House
• Pure Leapfrog & Wey Valley Solar Schools
• Wales Council for Voluntary Action & YMCA Swansea
Investment Readiness:
• Big Venture Challenge & Oomph
• Social Investment Business & Empower Community – Investment and Contract Readiness Fund
• Social Investment Scotland
New Markets:
• Allia and Canaccord Genuity & Golden Lane Housing – Retail Charity Bond
• Threadneedle & Big Issue Invest – UK Social Bond Fund
• Resonance & St. Mungos Broadway – Real Lettings Property Fund