The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government's development finance institution, has engaged investment advisor Cambridge Associates to invite input from investors, advisors, entrepreneurs and other interested parties about how best to design a call for proposals to catalyze impact investments-projects which deliver significant social and environmental impacts to emerging markets while at the same time generating profits. The call, to be issued by OPIC this month, will be open to equity, debt and hybrid strategies in any sector that relates to social and environmental impact investing in developing countries.  

This is a big step in generating interest and investment activity among mainstream investment advisors for impact investing.

OPIC is America's development finance institution and helps to solve critical world challenges by delivering innovative finance that enables U.S. businesses to successfully compete in emerging markets. The agency provided debt financing and political risk insurance to American companies, and supports private equity investment funds.

It's a hugely profitable arm of the U.S. government, earning $352 million last year alone.

RFP design input can be sent to [email protected].  

"OPIC is enthusiastically committed to supporting the development of the impact investing sector and its participants," said Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC President and CEO.  "We are ready to do so by filling financing gaps, reducing investor's risks, enhancing returns and by developing innovative and accommodating financial structures that meet the needs of social entrepreneurs and their investors."  

Cambridge Associates has partnered with OPIC and other development finance institutions on a range of projects related to investments in the emerging markets since 2002. Cambridge Associates has formally established a Mission-Related Investing Group to continue supporting its clients' interest in social investing, an area the firm has been advising on for many years.  

Opportunities abound in the field for other financial managers.

The call for proposals is akin to pension funds and other large institutional managers modus operandi that brings into the fold money managers, investment advisors, consultants and a range of research and due diligence opportunities. With expectations for up to a trillion dollars worth of assets to roll into the impact investing space, track records can be built and capitalized on now.

Financial advisors take note.