An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers


An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers

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ImpactAssets 50: A Global Landscape of Impact Investment Fund Managers
The ImpactAssets 50 (IA 50) is the first open-source, publicly published database of experienced private debt and equity impact investment fund managers.

ImpactAssets 50

An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers

IA 50 2022 PROFILE

Finance in Motion

Total Assets Under Management: $1B or more
Asset Class: Private Debt - Absolute Return / Notes, Commodities, Private Equity
Primary UN Sustainable Development Goal: 17 – Partnership for the Goals
Clean Technology, Alternative Energy & Climate Change
Natural Resources and Conservation
Small/Medium Business Development

Firm Overview

Category: Private Debt - Other

Finance in Motion is a global impact asset manager focused exclusively on sustainable development in emerging markets and developing economies. We develop, manage, and advise impact investment funds that address climate change, strengthen biodiversity conservation, foster sustainable natural resource use, improve livelihoods, and promote economic opportunities – contributing to 13 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.  These funds have invested EUR 5.5 billion in Southeast Europe, the Caucasus, Latin America, the Middle East, North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa through equity and debt financing placed with financial institutions, projects, and corporates. Technical assistance accompanies these investments in order to maximize impact and promote responsible finance. Finance in Motion furthermore makes selected direct investments in impactful enterprises that share the company’s values. Through its 16 offices that manage activities across more than 30 countries, Finance in Motion helps partners develop their businesses and demonstrate that sustainable and financial returns can go hand-in-hand. 

Firm Headquarters: Western Europe
Years of Operation: 10 years or more
Total Assets Under Management:
$1B or more
Total Number of Investors: More than 25
% of Capital from Top 3 Investors: 25% – 49%
Investment Thesis:

As an impact asset manager, we harness the power of finance to make a positive difference for people and planet. We responsibly invest public and private capital and provide tailored technical assistance where it is needed to address the world’s environmental and social challenges.

Investment Overview:

Driven by the belief that economic returns can go hand-in-hand with positive social and environmental results, we develop and advise impact investment funds that focus on addressing climate change, sustainable use of natural resources, biodiversity conservation, promoting economic opportunities, and improving livelihoods. We connect different sources of capital available in mature financial markets with those who need capital in undersupplied markets, enabling our investors to create significant development impact. We pursue a holistic approach for impact by combining investments with technical assistance and research activities, as many social and environmental challenges cannot be solved by monetary means alone. Where possible, we engage sectoral institutions to solve local issues and foster an inclusive financial sector environment that adheres to the principles of responsible finance. We invest in long-lasting relationships and firmly believe that operating in physical proximity to our investees is the key to mutual success. 

Company Differentiator:

Finance in Motion is a pioneer of the blended finance fund model with 12-years experience. It brings together donor agencies, international financial institutions, and private investors, having mobilized EUR 5,5 billion for impact investments in emerging markets. We serve a wide range of topics, from green finance to entrepreneurship, target diverse investees from financial institutions to fintechs, and leverage various financial instruments from debt to equity. Our customized technical assistance helps anchor impact by enhancing conditions that foster development. Our 16 offices worldwide provide on-the-ground knowledge, and facilitate close local partnerships, which plays a key role in our competency to take quick action and mitigate disruption like the current COVID-19 crisis. Our holistic impact management approach combines E&S performance with positive impact and is integrated into the whole investment cycle. We contribute to transparent, and accountable impact management practices through public reporting and engagement in international working groups.  

Investment Example

The Fund promotes business and consumption practices contributing to biodiversity conservation, sustainable use of natural resources and climate change mitigation and adaptation in Latin America and the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa. The fund invests in local FIs committed to promoting green finance or directly in businesses pursuing sustainable production and consumption. Banco Pichincha, investee since 2015, is dedicated to promoting financial inclusion and providing financial services upholding strict E&S standards. Eco-Kakao, a family-run business and client of Banco Pichincha, exports sustainably certified cocoa and encourages sustainable production in small scale producers, contributing to ecosystem conservation, sustainable natural resources use and climate change adaptation. Through the provided loans, Eco-Kakao implemented training programs for cocoa farmers on crop management using environmentally friendly agricultural practices. This includes recovering degraded areas, promoting management and conservation of water sources, and preventing soil erosion. To date, Eco-Kakao has trained over 2,000 families in sustainable practices. 

Leadership and Team

Cumulative Leadership Experience in Impact Investing:
30 years or more
Cumulative Impact Experience of Top Three Firm Leaders:
30 years or more
Sylvia Wisniwski – Managing Director More Info

Sylvia Wisniwski oversees risk management at Finance in Motion. She has more than 25 years’ experience in development finance in over 30 countries and started her career in German international cooperation (GIZ). Sylvia has worked as a consultant for international organizations and held various management positions at consulting companies and asset managers before her appointment as Managing Director at Finance in Motion in 2010. She holds both an M.A. in Political Science and Sociology and an MBA from Tübingen University as well as an M.A. in International Studies from the University of Miami, Florida.

Elvira Lefting – Managing Director More Info

Elvira Lefting is responsible for the debt investments, technical assistance operations, and the company’s regional offices. She has devoted her career exclusively to development finance, combining financial sector development with the objectives of the green and blue economy. Elvira started her professional career at at German development consultancy IPC before moving to the EBRD and then KfW, adding a stint at the China Development Bank in between. Elvira holds an MA in Slavic Studies from the Ruprecht-Karls University Heidelberg.

Christoph Freytag – Managing Director More Info

Christoph leads core business support areas such as Finance, Fund Operations, Legal, Compliance, and IT. Christoph spent over 20 years championing inclusive banking and development finance in emerging markets. He has led institution building operations in Russia, Bulgaria, and Serbia; served as Managing Director of IPC; and became the first Managing Director of ProCredit Bank Germany in 2012. He joined the team of Managing Directors at Finance in Motion in 2018. Christoph is certified banker and graduated (M.A.) in economics from the Frankfurt University.

Percentage of Investment Professionals who identify as women:
Percentage of Investment Professionals who identify as people of color:*
Percentage of Senior Management Team who identify as women:
50% or more
Percentage of Senior Management Team who identify as people of color:*
*People of color include: Black, Latinx, Asian, Native American/Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander, Middle Easterm and multi-racial Americans

Financial Performance

Target Financial Returns Relative to Benchmark:
Market Rates
Actual Performance of Impact Products/Funds Relative to Target Financial Returns in the Past Three Years:
Over-delivered compared to initial target returns
Financial Reporting Frequency to Investors or Donors

Impact Performance

Percentage of Total Assets Under
Management that are Impact Investments:
Primary Impact Outcomes:
Addressing climate change and environmental issues
Alleviating poverty
Conserving land, oceans, ecosystems and natural resources
Creating jobs
Increasing access to financial services
Secondary Impact Outcomes:
Providing housing
Addressing gender inequities
Value-added Services Offered:
Access to markets
Business and legal training
Financial literacy training
Technology training

Investments systematically target companies where social and/or environmental impact is integral to the product/service being created:

Positive impact potential is a key factor in investee selection. Impact management is integrated throughout the investment cycle. During the DD process, an investment’s alignment with the impact objective is reviewed. Only if the investment meets the financial, impact and E&S requirements, will it proceed. We also identify areas for improvement where tailored TA is deployed strengthening capacities and deepening impact. Our funds invest exclusively in emerging markets, to achieve scale and strengthen the local financial sector. Most investees target underserved people and businesses.  By offering financing and TA, we strengthen FI’s E&S practices and foster an inclusive and sustainable financial sector. To a smaller extent, funds invest directly in companies and projects. The Green for Growth Fund, e.g., is investing in RE projects. This contributes to the long-term development of sustainable energy production and reduced CO2 emissions mitigating climate change, establishing strong standards and markets for commercial RE development.  

Investments systematically include social and environmental sustainability practices in the due diligence process:

Every fund has an Environmental and Social (E&S) Policy governing its investments to assure appropriate E&S risk management. Finance in Motion also has a dedicated Impact & Sustainability team, which supports the funds in developing and implementing their E&S management system (ESMS) throughout the investment cycle. The funds also provide technical assistance to help strengthen an investee’s ESMS. Prior to an investment, we ensure that the potential investee meets core eligibility standards. We investigate and evaluate the potential investee’s internal practices, based on an assessment of environmental performance, social performance (i.e. client protection, response to customer needs and staff treatment), corporate governance, and responsibility of the business model. Such assessments, based on on- and off-site due diligence, are repeated for each new transaction and form part of the investment proposal. Investees’ E&S performance is reviewed on an annual basis via dedicated reporting and ad-hoc reporting in case material incidence occur. 

Impact Tracking and Monitoring

Impact is Tracked:
Impact Verified by an Independent Third-Party:
Social and/or Environmental Impact is Reported to Investors and Donors:
Yes – to the public
Third Party Validations:
Member of Impact Capital Managers
Impact Frontiers Cohort Participant
Implement recommendations from Task Force on Climate Related-Financial Disclosure
Net Zero Assets Managers Initiative
Utilizes standardized impact metrics (e.g. IRIS+, GIIRS, etc.)
Participant on steering committees or leadership roles within impact industry associations
Publisher or contributor to industry white paper or other research in impact investing

Learn More

Key Contact Name: Milena Bertram
Phone: +49 69 271 035-127
Mailing Address:

Carl-von-Noorden-Platz 5, Finance in Motion GmbH, Frankfurt am Main, Hessen 60596 Germany

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