Big Society Capital and Schroders team up for £100m impact trust launch

The UK’s Big Society Capital is creating a new company to raise £100m from investors, with the hope of raising between £300m and £500m over the next five years.

The social investment wholesaler is partnering with global investment manager Schroders to launch the Schroder BSC Social Impact Trust plc, a publicly listed investment trust which will open access to private impact markets to a wide range of investors such as pension funds or individuals.

This “new and unique proposition” for investors would be “a significant milestone” for both Big Society Capital and the social impact investment market, interim CEO Stephen Muers wrote in a note shared yesterday.

Once listed, Big Society Capital will manage the portfolio of investments on behalf of the new company – managing other investors’ funds as well as its own capital for the first time.

The trust aims to deliver positive social impact in the UK as well as long-term capital growth and income for investors. The initial portfolio will focus on the relatively estasblished areas of high impact housing, debt finance for social enterprises and social outcomes contracts.

We hope it will encourage others to follow and launch similar products, growing the market even further

Big Society Capital was set up in 2012 with £425m from dormant bank accounts in England and £200m from the largest UK banks (Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group and NatWest Group). 

It has a mandate to grow the overall social investment market, and recently reported that impact investing in the UK had achieved a six-fold increase, to over £5bn, in the past eight years.

Muers said he hoped that the new trust would help demonstrate the impact of social investment, and “encourage others to follow and launch similar products, growing the market even further”. 

Big Society Capital is still recruiting a permanent CEO, since the departure of Cliff Prior in May this year. Muers will be continuing as Interim CEO in the meantime, he confirmed.

Read more from Big Society Capital here.

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