Bridges Social Impact Fund
The Bridges Social Impact Bond Fund, the first of its type, was launched in April 2013 with Big Society Capital as the cornerstone investor, alongside Omidyar Network and Panahpur, and a co-investment agreement with the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund. By investing in ‘Social Impact Bonds’ (a type of ‘payment by outcomes’ funding mechanism that engages private capital), the fund provides investment and support to charities and social enterprises that are delivering intervention programs with social outcomes.
Bridges Ventures, founded in 2002, is a specialist fund manager dedicated to sustainable and impact investment. As at December 2015, it has almost £600m in funds under management. Bridges Ventures focuses on opportunities where investments can generate investor returns through helping meet pressing social or environmental challenges, such as job creation in underserved markets or provision of environmentally friendly care homes for the elderly. Bridges Ventures is majority owned by its senior management team, who donate the equivalent of 10% of their own profits to the Bridges Charitable Trust (a minority shareholder of Bridges Ventures) for philanthropic activities.
Prevention of youth unemployment, preventing entry into care, supported adoption, therapeutic fostering, support for young homeless people, and social prescribing for patients with long-term conditions.
As at December 2015, the Fund has positively impacted approximately 10,000 beneficiaries to varying degrees. For example, some of their programs assist a comparatively low number of beneficiaries but at a deep and transformative level (e.g. finding a permanent adoptive family for a child), whereas other programs impact more beneficiaries with a lighter touch intervention (e.g. providing training or educational support to teenagers).
Big Society Capital, Omidyar Network, Panahpur, European Investment Fund, Great Manchester Pension Fund, Merseyside Pension Fund, Deutsche Bank, The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation, Trust for London and The Highwood Foundation.
- It’s All About Me: Finding families for children who otherwise would not have a home across the UK, delivered by a number of organisations including Action for Children, Caritas Care and Adoption Matters.
- Community Links: Supporting disadvantaged young people into work in East London.
- Fusion Housing: A multi-disciplinary team approach to reduce youth homelessness and unemployment in West Yorkshire.
- Career Connect: Providing mental toughness support to teenagers on Merseyside.
The fees are in line with an alternative investment fund of its size.
10 year fund.
The fund’s investments aim to improve life outcomes for children, young adults and elderly patients in areas such as employment, homelessness, therapeutic care and foster care.
Given the nascent stage of the payment by outcomes market, it is too early to comment on the returns of the fund. However, Bridges Ventures believes the social impact bond market has the potential to deliver attractive risk-adjusted returns as a track record is established.
Bridges Ventures Social Impact Bond Fund