British pioneers share wisdom on impact investing with Turkish peers

Posted March 24, 2022

Mobilizing private capital is crucial to achieve a sustainable future, say experts at online forum organized by UNDP and EYDK

24 March 2022, Istanbul – British pioneers in social investment shared their experiences today with leaders of Turkish finance, industry and trade at an online panel discussion organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in cooperation with Turkey’s Impact Investment Advisory Board (EYDK). Funded by the UK Prosperity Fund, the session is part of a four-year global initiative by UNDP to channel US$1 trillion in fresh funding into the environmental and social targets embodied in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The keynote speaker at the event was Sir Ronald Mourad Cohen, Chair of the Global Social Impact Investment Steering Group (GSG) and the Portland Trust. In 1972, Cohen founded Apax Partners, a pioneering British venture capital firm. He chaired the Social Impact Investment Taskforce established under the UK’s presidency of the G8 (2013-2015). More recently, Cohen has been spearheading the UK social investment movement, aiming to combine financial returns with tangible social and environmental progress.

“Impact investment has now become a mainstream subject everywhere, because government leaders and others realize that without bringing private capital to achieve the social priorities and environmental objective of governments, it's very difficult to fund the efforts to meet challenges,” said Sir Ronald Mourad Cohen in his keynote speech. “We can begin to innovate in ways to attract the private capital. It can come in the form of social impact bonds or development impact bonds, it can come through the creation of outcome funds to pay for the results achieved by these bonds, it can come through impact private equity and impact venture capital and now it's coming 3 trillion dollars’ worth of a sustainability linked bonds. All of these tools are available to tackle the big social challenges that we face. I hope your panel today will show the way forward to using them at scale”.

“Impact investing is a crucial tool to close the gap between the ambitious targets of the SDGs and the financial resources the world has available to pursue them,” said UNDP Resident Representative Louisa Vinton in opening the event. “If we don’t manage to engage private capital in achieving the SDGs, we won’t stand a chance of protecting our planet and its people.”

Other speakers included Kutlu Karavelioğlu, Deputy Chairman of Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM); Serkan Valandova, Secretary General of the International Investors Association (YASED); Cliff Prior, CEO of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment; Adam Richards, Director of Impact in Social Value International (SVI); Ahmet Cüneyt Selçuk, Financial Investment Manager of the Investment Office of the Turkish Presidency; Şafak Müderrisgil, President of EYDK,  Jamie Banks, from the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; and Fabienne Michaux, Director of UNDP’s SDG Impact programme.  

The event was designed to share British and Turkish experience and know-how in channeling private investment funding into ventures that deliver better solutions for people and the planet. Topics of discussion included measuring investment impact, setting global standards and raising investor awareness. Participants were also briefed on the work of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment and the G7 Impact Taskforce co-led by the UK and Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG).

For more information:

Sezin Bulum, Marjinal Porter Novelli +90 533 282 2970

Deniz Şilliler Tapan, UNDP Turkey,