Brightlight appointed as investment manager for Australian Communities Foundation.

Following a rigorous tender process in which 14 leading investment advisory firms were invited to submit proposals, Brightlight have been appointed as the community foundation's new investment management and advisory firm, overseeing a social and responsible investment portfolio valued at AU$110m.

Brightlight was selected as the partner best placed to support the foundation in its ongoing focus on investments which achieve positive social and environmental returns alongside –and without sacrifice to – strong financial performance.

The engagement will see Brightlight working closely with ACF to ensure its portfolio is effectively screened for investments which have a detrimental social or environmental impact, while identifying opportunities for the ACF, its donors, not-for-profits and related foundations and trusts to accelerate their own impact investing methodologies.

ACF CEO Maree Sidey said of the appointment, "We are very pleased to have the support of the ACF community behind this decision. The Australian Communities Foundation Board has also endorsed the partnership with Brightlight, one of Australia’s foremost ethical and impact investment firms, recognising that it positions ACF as one of the leading foundations in Australia in relation to responsible investing."

Brightlight Managing Director Sam Richards, speaking of the alignment between the two organisations' objectives, agrees: "We're excited by Australian Communities Foundation’s decision to appoint Brightlight as the Foundation's investment manager. We see in the ACF a partner who is inspired to demonstrate to the broader investment market that transformational impact returns can be achieved without compromise to financial returns. Working together we can instigate innovation; we can learn from and add to global best practice in this space. We look forward to our journey with ACF on this important mission."

The announcement marks a significant step in Brightlight's pursuit of broad-market adoption of impact investing as the primary means to positively transform the lives of millions of people around the world, and heralds a major shift in the way capital markets view the transformational potential of their holdings.

Matthew Zschech