Deutsche Bank is the first investment bank to create a discrete, ring-fenced fund to invest in this nascent asset class. The Impact Investment Fund of Funds I will provide finance to social enterprises via intermediaries with the aim of generating both a meaningful social impact and a financial return.
Jonathan Jenkins, CEO of the Social Investment Business, gave a short speech in which he called Deutsche Bank’s £10m commitment a “watershed moment” for the market. “Deutsche Bank has moved social investment out of CSR and into its core business. This is seismic. We now have critical mass to continue,” he said.
Colin Grassie called it a “proud day for Deutsche Bank, the fruition of 18 months’ hard work that turned a social investment concept into an exciting proposition with long-term prospects.” Grassie thanked the law firm Clifford Chance, who provided pro bono legal services for the Fund.
Angela Knight CBE, Chief Executive of the British Bankers’ Association, took to the stage to express her support for the growing asset class. Praising the initiative shown by the entrepreneurs, she said: “Social investment entrepreneurs are twice as confident of their growth – we need that in this difficult time.”
Graham Hodgkin, Special Adviser to Deutsche Bank, moderated two separate panel discussions: one composed of Deutsche Bank employees who were closely involved in the creation of the Impact Investment Fund I, and another with four leading social entrepreneurs.
Representing Deutsche Bank on the first panel were Kate Cavelle, Head of Corporate Citizenship UK; Tiina Lee, Head of UK Strategy; and Chris Minter, Global Head of Deutsche Bank Private Equity. The panel emphasised the work involved in creating a robust structure, appropriate governance and investor guidelines for the Fund. Kate Cavelle highlighted the fact Deutsche Bank employees will work in conjunction with funds to give financial advice to entrepreneurs: “We put the intellectual capital of our employees to good use – not just our capital.”
Giving the social entrepreneurs viewpoint were: Tom Storey, CEO, Reds10; Ben Donnelly, CEO, Elixir Foundation; Simon McNeill Ritchie, Founder and Managing Director, FranchisingWorks; Lord Victor Adebowale, CEO, Turning Point. The panel members underscored that their businesses were very much for-profit, rather than ‘for-dividend’. Lord Adebowale encouraged audience members to work with social entrepreneurs not out of any sense of obligation, but because of the quality of the services on offer, saying, “Work with us not because you’ll get a halo, but because it’s the better way to do business.“