San Francisco, USA and Zurich, CH – January 16th, 2018 – Toniic Institute, the global action community for impact investors, and the Center for Sustainable Finance and Private Wealth (CSP) at the University of Zurich, announce today the launch of a partnership to facilitate the study of the investment behavior and motivations of private impact investors.  CSP will lead a consortium of leading academic researchers who will have access to anonymized data from Toniic members who have committed to “100% impact” investing.

“This partnership is a breakthrough for the study of impact investing,” said Dr. Falko Paetzold, Managing Director of CSP.  “This type of data is rarely available for academic study, because it concerns the private wealth of individuals.  Wealth managers who have access to such data have neither the permission nor the motivation to share it with academia.  Toniic members, who are motivated to improve transparency and build the field, are sending a powerful message by making this data available.”

“We know impact investors have different motivations and thus exhibit different investing behavior than traditional investors, but we don’t understand those differences with precision,” said Dr. Paetzold.  “This partnership will facilitate investigation of the drivers of impact investing, the barriers to deployment, the various approaches being taken to impact measurement, and the results being achieved.”

“Our members are leaders in building the field of impact investing,” said Adam Bendell, CEO of Toniic.  “Their desire to promote transparency, their trust in us to protect appropriate confidentiality, and our trust in CSP, creates a unique opportunity.”

With their partnership, Toniic and CSP enable for the first time fundamental research in the field of impact investing and private wealth at a level of rigor that only academic study can provide.

Dr. Charly Kleissner, Toniic co-founder and chief strategist of Toniic’s 100% Impact Network, said: “We are thrilled that this research will benefit not only the academic community, but also practitioners.  Impact investors are yearning for a “Post-Modern Portfolio Theory” that includes impact at its core, not as a so-called “externality,” as the current antiquated theory of investing does. Deep impact investors are seeking appropriate financial return for the level of impact risk they are willing to take to achieve a targeted level of impact.  That is a fundamentally different starting point than traditional asset allocation, and it is not yet guided by rigorous academic research.  This partnership promises to change that.”

Anonymized data from the Toniic T100 Project will be made available to CSP, who will share it with selected researchers who participate in an academic consortium.  Consortium members will be empowered to pose questions to Toniic’s wealth holders for inputs into their own research, and will in turn shape Toniic’s ongoing data gathering to improve its academic rigor.

“With real-world questions and actual data in hand, the academic community can provide tremendous value to the investing community,” said Prof. Timo Busch, Senior Fellow at CSP and collaboration partner at the University of Hamburg.  “This partnership serves as a strong light-house example of the power of collaboration between practitioners and academics.  We believe that this collaboration can be a critical turning point in impact investing.”


The Center for Sustainable Finance and Private Wealth (CSP) is a research and teaching unit of the Department of Banking and Finance at University of Zurich. The team of about 12 researchers is focused on academic research, teaching, and the application and uptake of the broad spectrum of sustainable finance solutions in private wealth management. It is funded by private wealth owners and developed out of the Next Gen Impact Investing program launched at the Initiative for Responsible Investment at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2015.


Toniic Institute is the global action community for impact investors.  Toniic’s members in more than 20 countries share a vision of a global financial system creating positive social and environmental impact. Toniic’s mission is to empower impact investors.

Each of Toniic’s 100% Impact Network members, who comprise a sub-group of Toniic members, have committed to move an entire investment portfolio into 100% impact, across asset classes. Portfolios range in size from less than $2 million to more than $300 million for an aggregated commitment of close to $4 billion.

The T100 Project is a longitudinal study of the portfolios of some of those investors.  It reveals insights into the impact journey and feasibility of 100% impact investing.  The T100 project includes periodic reports, issue briefs, videos and podcasts, and the Toniic Diirectory, a peer-sourced directory of over 1,500 impact investments across all asset classes. For more information, visit or contact us at


Further information / Media contact:

Toniic Institute:
Danielle Lacasse, Communications Manager;; +44 (0)75 026 086 23,

Center for Sustainable Finance and Private Wealth (CSP):
Andrea Frederick, Project Manager;; +41 (0)44 634 35 97,

More information about the project is available at

This research collaboration was initiated with the kind support of Ford Foundation.

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