PRO BONO: NGOs

Revolutionary Funding

Has the time come for impact investing?

White & Case has long been a pioneer in impact investing, which provides funding to address social or environmental problems while also seeking to make money for investors. New York partner Sylvia Chin’s 30 years of collaboration with Women’s World Banking, a global microfinance institution, has kept us at the forefront as the field has developed. We have also served Acumen, a leading social venture fund, almost since its founding in 2001. Numerous teams of White & Case partners and associates have structured Acumen deals and investments to fund viable businesses that bring light, water, health services, sanitation and more to the world’s poor.

Now, we are helping create capital markets for social ventures to raise debt and equity directly from the public. If successful, such markets will provide social enterprises with greater access to capital, thus magnifying their reach and effectiveness to solve the pressing problems of today.
 

iX

Impact
Exchange

WORLD’S FIRST SOCIAL INVESTMENT STOCK EXCHANGE

IIX

Impact Investment Exchange Asia

ASIA’S FIRST PRIVATE AND PUBLIC PLATFORMS FOR SOCIAL ENTERPRISES TO RAISE CAPITAL EFFICIENTLY

ACF

Althelia
Climate Fund

EARLY STAGE FINANCING PROVIDED BY A LOAN FACILITY OF CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL

 


The world’s first social investment stock exchange

London partners Melissa Butler and Gavin McLean and associate Tim Wood have advised Nexii, a social enterprise dedicated to directing capital flows to impact investments, on the legal considerations and process for listing on the world’s first social investment stock exchange, called the Impact Exchange, or iX (pronounced “eye-ex”).

A social investment stock exchange functions as a normal stock market in that it allows investors to trade securities issued by companies. However, the listed companies also have to fulfill the added requirements of demonstrating their social impact purpose, reporting their social impact performance and complying with mechanisms for protecting their social impact mission.

Operated by the Stock Exchange of Mauritius, one of Africa’s leading exchanges, the iX is a publicly regulated, multi-currency debt-and-equity bourse that offers social enterprises and impact investors all the benefits, efficiencies and opportunities that traditionally listed companies enjoy, together with the added social impact dimension. We helped Nexii work through complex jurisdictional and substantive issues relating to the listing process and the issuance of securities in different jurisdictions, and drafted model listing documents and guidelines that can be used for debt and equity offerings on the new exchange.

We continue to advise Nexii. As of year-end 2012, the first four applicant companies have received board approval to list six securities on the iX and are taking advantage of our work to complete the listing process.


Expanding the concept to Asia

We are also helping bring a social impact stock exchange to Asia. After learning that the Impact Investment Exchange Asia, or IIX, was in the planning stages, Hong Kong partner Anna-Marie Slot offered to help. She is leading a team that has provided IIX with legal support for the conferences it offers to its network of “Ecosystem Partners,” including financial institutions, accounting firms, law firms, rating agencies and government entities. The IIX also recently launched its Impact Partners platform, Asia’s first private platform dedicated to connecting social enterprises with impact investors.


The Althelia Climate Fund

We also helped establish a loan facility on behalf of Conservation International, one of the largest conservation organizations in the world. The loan facility will provide early stage financing for the Althelia Climate Fund (ACF). ACF aims to invest €250 million towards sustainable land use, ecosystem services and forest carbon assets generated by projects that reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. With investments focused in Latin America, Africa and the Southeast Asia-Pacific region, ACF’s goals are to fight climate change, protect key habitats for endangered species and improve the livelihoods of forest-dependent people.

We are helping create capital markets for social ventures to raise funds directly from the public.






















In 2012, we provided pro bono legal services to 312 non-governmental organizations, up from 240 in 2010.

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