Housing | July 6, 2017

Economically targeted investments by pension funds are impact investments by another name

The team at


For decades, U.S.-based public and private pension funds have been seeking risk-adjusted returns from worker-friendly affordable housing, in-state businesses, infrastructure, and other high-impact projects.

Pension funds have invested more than $86 billion in more than 100 such economically targeted investments, according to a new report from Insight at Pacific Community Ventures (which cataloged the investments here).

Finding investment vehicles able to take large investments remains an obstacle to pension funds’ broader embrace of economic, social and environmental impact investments.

That is changing, the report notes, with fund managers such as Storebrand, Equilibrium, Obviam and Investing 4 Growth all able to receive investments between $50 and $100 million.

New products from BlackRock Impact, Bain Capital, and TPG Growth should enable more pension funds to deploy more capital in impact investments.

U.S. pension funds collectively manage $6.5 trillion in assets.