Press Release: EMPEA and WSII Partner to Expand Impact Investing Performance Database

Impact InvestingPhiladelphia, PA, January 21, 2015 –  EMPEA and Wharton Social Impact Initiative announced a partnership to greatly expand Wharton’s impact investing performance database. The new partnership will accelerate the field by providing quantitative evidence necessary for the continued expansion and development of impact investment. The joint venture will provide comprehensive metrics for institutional investors, fund managers, academics and other industry stakeholders to conduct a rigorous analysis of financial and social returns and other important dynamics in the field.

Impact fund managers are encouraged to join the current data gathering cycle by February 28, 2015.

The Impact Investing Performance Database will allow investors and academics to examine unbiased, comparative data at a fund level, as well as portfolio company level, across a wide range of financial and social parameters.

The researchers hope to shed light on which sectors, investment strategies and business models are achieving the best outcomes to date.

“At the Wharton Social Impact Initiative, we think the industry is at a unique crossroads that makes it intriguing to study,” says WSII Senior Director Jacob Gray, who oversees all of WSII’s impact investing work. “We think there are finally enough data points to provide quantitative performance evidence for the field, the kind of evidence mainstream investors are hungry for.”

The Impact Investing Performance Database builds upon a wealth of research conducted by academics, industry associations and other critical builders of the impact investment industry. But a lack of performance data has been a barrier to attracting institutional capital from major investors in alternatives, such as private and public pension funds, insurance companies, endowments and family offices. EMPEA and WSII are calling upon all self-identified impact fund managers to contribute data to a comprehensive survey targeting comparative data across a wide range of financial and social factors.

Housed within the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, WSII is the internationally recognized business school’s hub for social impact activities, information and resources. Through numerous programs, research, and training, WSII supports members of the community to investigate and create sustainable solutions to enduring social problems. As a renowned research institution, Wharton lends its academic rigor to the Performance Database to tackle the unexamined questions surrounding impact investing and provide unbiased results.

With over a decade of experience in providing authoritative market intelligence, EMPEA has been providing fundraising, investment and exit activity via its proprietary database FundLink that has  become a trusted resource for industry analysis. Through this collaboration with the global industry association for private capital in emerging markets, a significant number of fund managers are expected to join those who have already contributed to WSII’s initial data collection and analysis.  Several members of EMPEA’s Impact Investing Council, representing some of the largest and most active impact investors, have taken a leadership role in this groundbreaking research project by contributing ideas on key criteria to examine and their own fund data.

Pat Dinneen, Chair of EMPEA’s Impact Investing Council says, “In order to unlock private sector capital at scale for impact investing, it is vitally important to provide the quantitative evidence about the financial returns that can be achieved alongside social and environmental benefits. Through this database, EMPEA can help professionalize impact investing, similar to what we have done over the past ten years for emerging markets private equity –empowering the industry with reliable data, rigorous analysis and best practices.”

The results of the initial survey round will be announced by early summer 2015.

Visit for a downloadable version of the release, as well as an FAQ document for more information.