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In recent years, a significant transformation has been occurring in the world of finance and investing. Family offices, private wealth management entities catering to affluent families, have increasingly recognised the importance of integrating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors into their investment strategies. Simultaneously, there has been a remarkable surge in the adoption of impact investing, which seeks to generate positive social and environmental outcomes alongside financial returns. This blog post explores the driving forces behind the rise of ESG and impact investing among family offices and the profound implications this trend carries for the global financial landscape. 

Understanding ESG Investing

ESG investing refers to the incorporation of environmental, social, and governance criteria into the investment decision-making process. These criteria enable investors to assess a company’s sustainability practices, ethical standards, and corporate governance policies.

According to the Capgemini World Wealth Report 2023, 41% of surveyed HNWIs globally rated investing for ESG impact as a top priority. Family offices have come to realise that ESG considerations can mitigate investment risks, enhance long-term returns, and align their portfolios with the values of the family and beneficiaries. 

Why Family Offices are Embracing ESG

  • Generational Shift: A new generation of wealth owners is taking the helm of family offices, and they often hold more progressive views on societal and environmental challenges. As millennials and Gen Zs gain decision-making power within their families, they advocate for investments that align with their values, emphasising the importance of sustainability and social responsibility. A survey by PwC showed that Gen Z shows a proclivity towards increasing focus on social responsibility and sustainability more compared to other generations. 
  • Performance and Risk Management: A growing body of research suggests that companies with strong ESG practices tend to outperform their peers over the long term. Moreover, integrating ESG factors can help identify companies with better risk management practices and resilience to potential disruptions, making for a more resilient and stable investment portfolio. 
  • Changing Stakeholder Expectations: Investors and stakeholders, including clients, employees, and beneficiaries, are becoming increasingly aware of the impact of their investments. They expect family offices to not only generate financial returns but also contribute positively to society and the environment. 
  • Regulation and Reporting: Regulators worldwide are pushing for greater ESG disclosure and transparency. Family offices recognise the importance of staying compliant with these evolving regulations and embracing ESG as a proactive approach to address the demands of responsible investing. 


Impact Investing: A Force for Positive Change 

Impact investing takes the principles of ESG investing a step further. It involves investing in projects, companies, or funds with the explicit goal of generating measurable social and environmental impact, alongside financial returns. This approach resonates with family offices that want to use their capital for good while still achieving financial objectives. 


Drivers of Impact Investing Growth 

  • Philanthropy and Social Impact: Family offices have historically engaged in philanthropy to address societal issues. Impact investing provides an avenue to deploy capital strategically, unlocking new opportunities to tackle pressing challenges such as climate change, poverty, and healthcare. 
  • Aligning with Family Values: Impact investing allows family offices to align their investments with their core values and mission. It enables them to take an active role in shaping the future they envision for their community and the world. 
  • Market Maturation: As impact investing gains traction, the market is maturing, offering family offices a broader range of investment options, asset classes, and financial instruments tailored to their preferences. 


The rise of ESG and impact investing among family offices signals a fundamental shift in how wealth is managed and deployed. These enlightened investment practices demonstrate that financial success and positive societal impact are not mutually exclusive. As more family offices embrace ESG and impact investing, we can expect these approaches to continue reshaping the global financial landscape, influencing corporations to adopt responsible business practices, and fostering a sustainable and inclusive economy for future generations. This journey toward a better, more equitable world is just beginning, and family offices are playing a critical role in driving positive change. 

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