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25 universal assets owners that could put a dent in the SDG financing gap

Canada had the most leaders on a list of the world’s top 25 responsible asset allocators, with six asset managers representing nearly $1 trillion under management.

Think tank New America published the list as part of its Bretton Woods II initiative, which aims to “unlock at least $250 billion in new resources to address challenges such as climate change, disease, bad governance, and weak infrastructure” in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

The “Leaders List” includes 25 sovereign wealth funds and government pension funds from 15 countries managing $4.9 trillion in assets (that’s 33 times the total of all foreign aid last year).

Just 1% of that group’s total capital would nearly equal all loans, grants, investments, and guarantees provided to developing countries by the World Bank in 2016, the report says.

The list includes well-known investment leaders such as Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, CalPERS and New York State Common Retirement Fund, and some less well-known (to us, at least) such as Khazanah Nasional Berhad in Malaysia, PREVI in Brazil, National Pension Service in South Korea and Public Investment Corp. in South Africa.

The key question for large asset holders, says New America, is not whether they can afford to make investments in social impact, but whether they can afford to miss such opportunities (see, “Crunch time for owners of the universe”).

Crunch time for the owners of the universe

Dalberg, the Global Development Incubator and the Fletcher School at Tufts supported the project.

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