Influences on the Quality of Impact Investor Disclosure Statements
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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) currently have a funding gap of roughly 2.5 trillion dollars. This funding gap requires the help of private institutions to reduce the current gap. Impact investing, a form of investing that combines financial returns with social and environmental returns, came into fruition in 2008 to help close this gap, and since its inauguration, impact investing has exploded in popularity. However, with this growth in popularity also comes an increase in the number of critics and criticisms regarding the impact investing sector. The lack of accountability and the inability of a universal method of evidence and data collecting regarding impact investors’ social and environmental returns from their investments has led to fears that impact investing may be another form of “greenwashing”. A method that has been discussed to provide information to stakeholders regarding impact investing’s strategy to provide social and environmental returns is to create disclosure statements. These disclosure statements would explain impact investors’ strategies on investing ideas, methods, and goals. Disclosure statements provide accountability regarding impact investors and their investments and lead to investment efficiency and legitimacy for their stakeholders. One framework that has impact investors create these disclosure statements is OPIM or the Operating Principles for Impact Management. This framework has impact investors voluntarily joining their framework and disclosing their investment strategy by explaining how their investments will align with OPIMs 9 principles. This research thesis focuses only on the quality of reporting being done by impact investors, using a quantitative approach by analyzing the 116 OPIM member’s disclosure statements, and using a textual analysis to determine the overall quality of these reports. Following the textual analysis, a theoretical approach was done through legitimacy theory, voluntary disclosure theory, and institutional theory to understand whether the characteristics of size, location, whether being primarily an impact investor, or the date of adoption, have any influence on the quality of the produced disclosure statements. The findings found that location and the date of adoption to OPIM did have an impact on the quality of the disclosure statements. However, size and being primarily an impact investor did not. The research findings help understand why certain characteristics have an impact on the disclosure statements being produced by impact investors while others do not.
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Patrick Simon (2022). Influences on the Quality of Impact Investor Disclosure Statements. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/18634