Cambridge to roll out benchmarks for impact investments in real assets

Cambridge Associates will benchmark impact investments in real estate, infrastructure, timber and other real assets.

The move reflects growing interest in such investments as impact investors seek alternatives across asset classes. (Cambridge’s Impact Investing Benchmark for private equity and venture capital funds pegged returns across 51 funds raised between 1998 and 2010 at 6.9 percent, compared to 8.1 percent for comparable funds with no deliberate focus on social impact.)

The benchmarks aim to establish a standard for against which investors can measure the performance of their impact portfolio.

The advisory firm tracks more than 800 mission-related funds and will break out real assets funds by size, year, and intended impact. “One of the challenges in this space is the lack of knowledge, prompting people to talk about financial performance abstractly,” Cambridge’s Jessica Matthews said in an interview.

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Photo credit: Hauck & Aufhaeuser

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