Rethinking Responsible Equity Exits

A Call to Action for Impact Investors

In February 2024, e-MFP - (the European Microfinance Platform, which is the leading network of organizations and individuals active in the financial inclusion sector in developing countries) - and Cerise+SPTF - (the global organization tackling social and environmental performance management) - released a joint paper shaking up the world of impact investing.

Entitled Rethinking responsible equity exits”, it is a rallying call to all impact investors to ensure their exits uphold the values they have championed throughout their investments.

Indeed, when it comes to impact objectives, the last stage – the exit – is far too often forgotten, or at best, given minimal attention. And yet, for equity investors, that last step can be as important as the initial investment, or the work done throughout the life of the investment. A bad exit could easily undo decades of social impact work.

Here’s a breakdown of what the paper emphasizes:

  1. Stay cool in hot markets: In bustling markets, the pressure to prioritize profits over people can be intense. This paper offers strategies to stay true to social missions even in the most competitive environments.
  2. Know when to exit responsibly: Defining responsible exits isn’t always straightforward. The paper sets out clear guidelines to help investors navigate this crucial stage with integrity.
  3. Take action, secure impact: It is not just about talk; the paper urges investors to take tangible steps to make responsible exits the norm. Collaboration and knowledge sharing are key to driving lasting change.

One quote from one of our impact investors sums it up perfectly:

“For exits in private equity we need to strive to think about what is responsible and what is not or the impact we claim will go away.”

This joint paper isn’t just another document; it’s a roadmap for investors committed to making a real difference and live by our motto “Do No Harm”.

Download it now to join the movement towards equity exits that truly make the difference.

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