Enabling financial health

Impact investing

Impact investing is investing with a goal of making a financial return as well as generating a measurable, beneficial social or environmental impact. Today, more and more people from all walks of life want to learn about how their money can be used to create social impact

Bank of America Corporation is committed to meeting client demand and working to build a commercially viable market for impact investing while enabling financial health. We know that structuring portfolios to help foster good corporate practices has enormous potential to change investments, lives, and communities.

For several years, our Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust advisors have been deepening relationships with clients by talking with them about their goals. During these discussions, clients are increasingly articulating impact-oriented goals alongside their overall financial priorities and our advisors can offer a broad range of impact investing opportunities, including custom portfolios, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and Separately Managed Accounts to help these clients pursue their goals.

Today, 17 percent of Merrill Lynch advisors use five or more impact investing solutions to help meet their clients’ needs – twice as many advisors compared to just three years ago. In response to these trends and growing client demand, we are enhancing process, platform, investment guidance and resources dedicated to impact investing.1

Our new and expanded capabilities will enable us to further incorporate clients’ impact investing preferences into wealth planning tools and portfolio construction, including:

  • Deeper client discovery conversations – Merrill Lynch will introduce additional ways to help clients articulate their impact investing preferences and further inform goals-based discussions with their advisors.
  • Integration with wealth planning tools – Merrill Lynch will also enhance one of its primary wealth planning tools – Wealth Outlook – to further support goals-based conversations with clients on the topic of impact investing.
  • U.S. Trust offers six investment sleeves within its overall Socially Innovative Investing Portfolio (S2I). They include a Socially Innovative Investing Strategy (Large Cap); Women and Girls Equality Strategy (WGES); Environmental Sustainability and Stewardship Account (E2S); Religious Voice and Values (R2V); Human Rights and Recognition (H2R); and S2 all cap. Additionally, investors can have custom portfolios created specifically for them.

Bank of America Corporation officially launched an impact investing program in 2013 to meet rapidly growing client demand for investments that have a positive impact on society or the environment without sacrificing performance. As of December 31, 2016, clients of Bank of America’s investment businesses had more than $11.3 billion in assets with a clearly defined environmental, social and governance (ESG) approach.1

1
Bank of America press release titled Bank of America to Further Integrate Impact Investing Into Goals-Based Approach to Serving Clients, 02/14/2017


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