Impact Investing: Can Funds Achieve Both Social Impact And Returns At Scale?

The following article was published by the London School of Economics and Political Science online in the LSE Business Review. Click here to view.

Helping the common good while making money is difficult but possible, with robust methodologies to identify and seize such opportunities, write Feng Li, Gianandrea Giochetta and Luigi Mosca

Popular opinion has it that ‘investing for the common good’ has gone mainstream. Yet our research finds that only a small proportion of funds has consistently generated market rate return and measurable social and environmental impact at large scale – especially in capital-starved emerging markets’ small and medium enterprises (SMEs), often deemed as risky and unattractive by mainstream investors. With investing for return and impact, known as impact investing, only selected opportunities exist. And it takes particular leadership skills, professional expertise and organisational setup to tackle them.


What is impact investing?

The need for impact investing has arisen from the persistence of societal challenges and the inability of existing institutions to eradicate them. Yet despite growing enthusiasm for such goals, there is still no consensus on what impact investing is. This is reflected in the huge variations in the estimated size of assets under management, from $502 billion by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), to $30.4 trillion by the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance. Such lack of conceptual clarity and rigour causes confusion and dampens investor expectations. GIIN defines impact investing as“investments made with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return”.

Unlike socially responsible investment (SRI) or environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing, impact investing is not just about avoiding “sin stocks”or “do-no-harm”, but also actively deploying capital to address social and environmental objectives while generating financial returns for investors. It requires intentionality: portfolio companies must proactively track, measure and report on their social and environmental impact. If successful, impact investing can unlock substantial capital from mainstream investors.


Challenges and opportunities for impact investing

We conducted extensive research of institutional investors and their portfolio companies. The result, however, has been disappointing. Most funds can deliver return or impact, but very few deliver both consistently at large scale. ‘Impact washing’ (particularly ‘green washing’) is rampant. According to Confucius, “he who chases two rabbits catches neither.” The challenge for impact investing is first to demonstrate that it is indeed possible to catch two rabbits at the same time, and then develop robust methodologies to identify and seize such opportunities.

For impact investing to scale, products must be capable of addressing a range of institutional needs, including the ability to absorb large pools of capital, adequate liquidity and robust risk management practices while generating measurable return and impact. These have traditionally been met through investment strategies targeting blue chip securities. Such an approach, however, results in channelling funds where it is harder to proactively generate impact, as bondholders and minority shareholders have limited opportunities to directly influence senior management teams of large corporations. Furthermore, blue chip securities are concentrated in mature markets, while the greatest need for impact capital is elsewhere. The IMF estimates a $700 billion unmet credit demand globally in terms of debt financing to emerging markets SMEs, a niche where every $1 invested contributes a further $13 to the local economy.

From a financial perspective, a supply-demand mismatch of this magnitude represents a significant opportunity, while from an impact point of view, it highlights the imperative of channelling more capital to where it matters the most. Nevertheless, institutional appetite for emerging market SME financing, particularly fixed income, remains marginal, associated with its reputation for high risk and low return.

“The highest calling of impact investing is to increase the amount of capital being invested in places, companies, products, and services that have significant social benefits”. However, the momentum has been gained predominantly in listed security markets through strategies such as exclusionary screening, positive screening, or active ownership. Since investors in listed securities can only achieve impact by, at best, influencing responsible behaviour through proxy voting, active ownership and shareholder activism, impact investing should focus more on private capital markets, through means such as venture capital, private equity and private debt. This is where investors encounter most challenges. Managerial guidance is urgently needed.


Is it possible to achieve return and impact at large scale?

Our research has found that successful examples of impact investing remain rare, particularly those consistently generating market-rate return and measurable impact at large scale. Over the last ten years, we engaged with a large number of institutional investors and their portfolio companies purported to deliver return and impact. Within the niche of SME lending in emerging markets, we have found only a handful of institutional players operating in the segment, and TriLinc Advisors LLC (TriLinc) stood out as an exemplar. Its flagship fund, TriLinc Global Impact Fund (“TGIF”), has made over $1 billion in loans to 82 businesses in 36 countries since 2013, delivering a consistent unlevered net annual return of seven to nine per cent to investors and measurable impact using established international standards. The experience of this case study illustrates that impact investing is indeed possible, but very difficult to do. It requires special leadership skills, professional expertise and organisational setup to identify suitable opportunities and seize them. Importantly, the success of TriLinc can be replicated.


Managerial implications

Our research shows that specialising in fixed income – which is the largest capital market – rather than other asset classes, brings a huge potential for scaling up impact investments. The case is also unique in that it focuses on emerging markets, servicing primarily undercapitalised SMEs in developing countries. The TriLinc success stems from its ability to distil a simple yet actionable strategy, structure an investment product matching institutional expectations, and execute it through an effectively configured operation. A series of managerial considerations also mattered, an area little explored in the context of impact investing.

The case demonstrated that it pays to focus on less efficient markets where greater arbitrage opportunities may be found. The specific niche covered by TriLinc is vast and there are opportunities for other players to enter this segment. A similar approach may be applied to other market niches demonstrating such characteristics.

From an impact perspective, the challenge is to identify targets that are both realistic and measurable using established international standards. Rather than pursuing complex objectives, it may be preferable to aim for goals with a high probability of success and that may be achieved over a relatively short time span.


TriLinc Global Impact Fund (TGIF): impact investing in an unloved market niche

TriLinc Global Impact Fund, LLC (TGIF) is an impact-investing fund managed by California-based TriLinc Advisors, LLC (TriLinc). It was ranked 9th in the Global Banking and Finance Review’s top 100 impact companies in 2019. As of December 2018, its portfolio companies created over 18,500 jobs, achieved 100 per cent compliance with local environmental, labour, health, safety and business laws, standards and regulations, and all have committed to working towards implementing international environmental and health and safety best practices. Seventy-seven per cent of portfolio companies also demonstrated positive impact on their local communities through services or donations; and 91 per cent implemented environmentally sustainable practices (Figure 1).

Figure 1. The investment approach by TriLinc Global Impact Fund (TGIF)

We conducted extensive research on TriLinc, including multiple interviews with key members of the senior management team and exclusive access to a confidential dataset on some of its portfolio companies. Our research identified four critical factors for its success.


1. Veterans with track record in commercial investing and motivation for impact

After a long career on Wall Street, founder and CEO Gloria Nelund assembled an experienced team at TriLinc – who often described themselves as “reformed Wall Streeters”. The team are united by the vision that impact investing represents a realistic alternative only if it delivers financial return in line with or superior to traditional products. By building on their commercial experiences, they strive to align social and environmental motives with financial objectives.


2. Investment strategy engineered to maximise both return and impact

TriLinc’s strategy was engineered from the ground up to maximize both financial and impact objectives. The global impact fund focuses on short term financing to SMEs in selected emerging economies for their expansion projects. Most investments seek to generate employment growth and support local communities and sustainable growth that can be directly aligned with the business objectives. TGIF focuses on private, US dollar-denominated short-term notes such as trade finance or term loans. This allows the adoption of company-specific ESG targets based on IRIS* standard, and enhanced risk management through ad-hoc structuring and collateralisation. Short-term loans may be held to maturity, pragmatically addressing the fund’s liquidity requirements.


3. Local partner networks for opportunity identification and monitoring

TriLinc selects target countries using a proprietary macroeconomic analysis platform that takes into consideration a number of variables, including growth, stability and access. For each target country, TriLinc teams up with an institutional-class investment partner supporting through local knowledge and presence on the ground throughout the entire life cycle. No investment is made without a local partner. This approach is seen as an efficient and cost-effective way to build a global presence. TriLinc remains involved in all key decisions and activities.


4. Investment process attributing equal weighting to impact and financial considerations

All deals are appraised through an intertwined process assessing the merits from both financial and impact perspectives. A loan is only made when both sets of conditions are met. TriLinc has identified five core impact metrics, tracked by every investment across the portfolio on job creation, wage increase, increased revenue, profitability improvement and increased company taxes paid. Additionally, each portfolio company selects, and–through KPIs–is held accountable for, its own impact objectives. TriLinc can influence its portfolio companies through both “positives” and “proactive prevention of negatives”, using IRIS standard to track and report impact activities at both the fund and borrower levels.

* IRIS (Impact Reporting and Investment Standards) is an initiative of the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), a nonprofit organisation dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing.


  • Authors’ disclaimer: The authors do not receive any financial support, nor hold any financial interest in TriLinc and its associated companies or funds.
  • This blog post gives the views of its authors, not the position of LSE Business Review or the London School of Economics.
  • Featured image by Soneva Foundation, under a CC-BY-NC-2.0 licence
  • The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of TriLinc Global, LLC and its affiliates (collectively, “TriLinc”). It is meant for educational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy, or investment product.  Certain information contained herein regarding TriLinc is based on information provided or confirmed by TriLinc while other information has been obtained from third party sources and such information has not been independently verified by TriLinc. No representation, warranty, or undertaking, expressed or implied, is given to the accuracy or completeness of such information. Past performance is not indicative of future returns.

Feng Li is chair of information management at Cass Business School, City, University of London. His research investigates how digital technologies facilitate strategic innovation and organisational transformation in the digital economy. He has led a series of multi-million pounds (dollars) research programmes aimed at addressing grand societal challenges via financially sustainable and scalable approaches. He advises senior business leaders and policymakers on how to manage the transition to new technologies, new business models, and new organisational forms. He is a fellow of the British Academy of Management (FBAM) and the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS). E-mail:


Gianandrea Giochetta is a senior research fellow at Cass Business School, where he focuses on impact investing and socially responsible projects. He has over 20 years of experience in corporate strategy and international capital markets, both in mature and emerging economies. He previously worked for JPMorgan, McKinsey and Booz Allen & Hamilton.


Luigi Mosca is a research fellow at Imperial College London. His research interests lie at the intersection of organisation theory and strategy. He received his Ph.D. in economics and management from the University of Padova (Italy). Prior to joining Imperial, Luigi was a research fellow at Cass Business School.

Vulcan Capital Returns to TriLinc Global to Seed New Global Impact Offering

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — Vulcan Capital, the multi-billion dollar investment arm of Vulcan Inc. has again selected TriLinc Global Advisors, LLC (“TriLinc”) to seed the launch of its new TriLinc Global Sustainable Income Fund II, LLC (“TGSIF II”).

“Partnering with TriLinc to make investments in developing economies furthers Vulcan Capital’s mission,” said Chris Orndorff, Chief Investment Officer of Vulcan Capital. “This presents a unique opportunity for us to make a greater impact on lives and communities around the globe.”

“TriLinc could not be more pleased and honored to have Vulcan Capital partner with us again.”

“TriLinc could not be more pleased and honored to have Vulcan Capital partner with us again,” said Gloria Nelund, CEO of TriLinc Global, LLC (“TriLinc Global”). “Working together with Vulcan we can extend the impact of our investments in helping solve some of the critical global issues facing our world today.”

TGSIF II is a developing economy private debt fund focused on making private loans to private growth stage companies that are committed to responsible, sustainable management, and to the creation of positive measurable impact in their communities. “We are very pleased to continue to offer investors with what we believe to be lower risk access to private investment opportunities available in select-high growth economies including Latin America, Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Emerging Europe,” commented Ms. Nelund.


About TriLinc Global, LLC

TriLinc Global is an impact investing fund sponsor with a mission to link market-rate returns, positive impact, and scalable solutions. Through its registered investment advisor subsidiaries, TriLinc Global has invested over $1 billion in private debt globally and seeks to demonstrate the power of the capital markets in helping solves some of the world’s pressing socioeconomic and environmental challenges. TriLinc Global funds provide growth-stage loans and trade finance to established and small and medium enterprises (“SMEs”) in select developing economies where access to affordable capital is limited. Borrower companies must demonstrate the ability to pay market rates, pass TriLinc Global’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) screens, and commit to tracking and reporting on self-identified impact metrics. To learn more about TriLinc Global, please visit the TriLinc Global website at


About Vulcan Capital

Vulcan Capital is the private investment arm of Vulcan Inc., the company founded by Paul G. Allen in 1986 to manage his business and philanthropic initiatives. Vulcan Capital is focused on generating long-term value appreciation across a multibillion dollar portfolio, which spans diverse industry sectors and investment asset classes, ranging from early-stage venture investments to public equity value investing, leveraged buyouts, acquisitions, and distressed situations.



Robert Kronman – Director of Marketing 
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This information is for general purposes only and does not represent a recommendation or offer of any particular security, strategy, or investment. Amount invested represents current amount financed in term loans, trade finance, and short-term notes since 2013. There is no guarantee that TriLinc’s investment strategy will be successful or will avoid losses. Investment in a pooled investment vehicle involves significant risk including but not limited to: units are restricted; no secondary markets; limitation on liquidity; transfer and redemption of units’ distribution made may not come from income and if so will reduce the returns; are not guaranteed and are subject to board discretion. TriLinc Global is dependent upon its advisors and investment partners to select investments and conduct operations. TriLinc Global is not suitable for all investors. TriLinc Global, LLC (“TLG”) is a holding company and an impact fund sponsor founded in 2008. TriLinc Advisors, LLC (“TLA”) is a majority-owned subsidiary of TLG, and TriLinc Global Advisors, LLC (“TLGA”) is a wholly owned subsidiary of TLG. TLA and TLGA are SEC registered investment advisors. Securities offered through Frontier Securities LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC. Registration and memberships do not indicate a certain level of skill, training, or endorsement by the SEC, FINRA or SIPC.



The Global Economy’s Secret Engine: Middle Market Trade Finance

TriLinc is pleased to share with you our latest white paper: The Global Economy’s Secret Engine: Middle Market Trade Finance.

To download our whitepaper, please click here.


Trade finance, defined as short-term financing to facilitate the movement of goods, is a $17.7 trillion industry, with world merchandise trade volumes historically growing around 1.5 times faster than world real gross domestic product (“GDP”).1 The industry offers large investment potential with an estimated $1.5 trillion funding gap,2 and trade finance exhibits attractive characteristics such as U.S. dollar-denominated transactions, non-correlation, strong collateralization, and extremely low default rates, along with other risk mitigants. Middle market companies, also known as Small and Medium Enterprises (“SMEs”), are vital players in the sector, accounting for 40 percent of exports from Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, and a somewhat smaller share in developing countries worldwide.3 The trade finance gap affects SMEs disproportionately,4 which creates potential for attractive risk-adjusted returns from trade financing to SMEs in select high-growth economies with stable political environments and reliable legal systems.


1World Trade Organization. World Trade Statistical Review, 2018. 2Asian Development Bank. ADB. 3OECD, 4World Trade Organization”. Trade Finance and SMEs, 2016.

Weekly Impact Investment Market Update: February 22, 2019

Impact Investing & ESG

Impact Investing Gains Traction in Canada
The 2018 Canadian Impact Investment Trends Report says total assets under management (AUM) in impact investments — companies, organizations, or funds that aim to create a positive social or environmental impact in addition to a financial return — rose to $14.75 billion as of Dec. 31, 2017, from $8.15 billion at Dec. 31, 2015.

How Socially Conscious Young Investors are Putting Their Money Where Their Ideals Are
An influx of young investors are leading a charge of socially responsible and sustainable investing, experts say, funneling their money into investments and projects that serve the greater good.

Most Managers See Sustainable Investing as Essential to Thrive – Survey
Most U.S. money managers view sustainable investing as a strategic business imperative and have adopted such investment practices, said results of a new survey from the Morgan Stanley (MS) Institute for Sustainable Investing and Bloomberg.

‘Increasing Maturity’: PwC Highlights Growth of ESG and Sustainable Investing
Global survey of 145 private equity houses finds environmental, climate and sustainability issues increasingly key for investors

Behind the Numbers: Retail Investors a Growing Force of Sustainable Funds
Ethical funds have been growing in popularity, with managers starting to address the demand. Once a niche area, sustainable investing has become one of the hottest topics in the investment world.

High Net Worths Believe in ESG but yet to Proactively Invest
Around 76% of UK high net worth individuals (HNWIs) believe the idea of environmental, social and governance investing is important, according to research.

Pushing the Boundaries to Make Impact Investing Available to Everyone
One of the challenges of impact investing is the perception that there is a lack of opportunities. This is happening across investors, financial advisors and even pension fund managers.

ESG Investing Does Not Cost More, Research Shows
Pension funds performing well on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors don’t incur higher asset management costs, according to research.


Developing Economies

What to Expect from Sub-Saharan Africa Economy in 2019
The IMF economic outlook presents a picture of what to expect from each economy or region annually. For Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in 2019, a GDP growth rate of 3.4% is projected at the aggregate level; a slight improvement over the 2.9% actual growth rate of 2018.

Ghana Meets Most IMF Targets as Reforms Advance, Says Lender
Ghana met most of the targets under its program with the International Monetary Fund and is continuing to advance reforms that will promote economic stability, according to the lender.

Zambia, Botswana, Sign AfCFTA
Zambia and Botswana have signed the agreement of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) mean to create one African market. The two countries signed the agreement at the just-ended African Union Summit.

Politics Loom Over Thai Economy as Election Stirs Tension
Political tension has emerged as a threat to the domestic economic drivers Thailand is relying on amid a global slowdown. A push to disband a political party over a failed bid to make a princess its prime ministerial candidate lays bare deep splits ahead of a March general election, the first since a coup in 2014.

Vietnam’s Booming Economy Offers Investment Opportunities
Vietnam’s economy is growing and Asian fund managers are bullish on the country’s prospects. We assess the opportunities and how you can gain access.

TriLinc Takes Center Stage at EMPEA Conference

TriLinc Global Chief Investment Officer, Paul Sanford, recently participated in the Oxford-Style Debate at the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) 20th Annual Global Private Equity Conference in association with the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA).

The Global Private Equity Conference (GPEC) is the leading emerging markets private equity event in the world, each year hosting over 850 investment professionals from more than 60 countries. Organizations from family offices, to fund-of-funds, to private equity managers gather for thought-provoking discussions, debates and analyses that are most top-of-mind for today’s business and industry leaders.

On May 16th, GPEC hosted an Oxford-Style Debate on the subject of Private Debt versus Private Equity. Both debaters were also impact investors; Paul Sanford argued on behalf of private debt as Chief Investment Officer at TriLinc , and his counterpart Andrew Kuper argued in favor of private equity as Founder and CEO of Leapfrog Investments. Before presenting arguments, the audience was asked to vote in favor for private equity or private debt using a voting system through a mobile phone application integrated with the event.

Mr. Kuper opened the debate with a strong position rooted in the upside potential of private equity. He challenged the audience to imagine investing in a successful emerging markets company such as Alibaba.

“If you had invested in Alibaba… do you say, ‘Oh, how I wish I had invested in their bonds or given them a little bit of credit,’? Or do you say, ‘I wish I had invested in the equity, because I’d be a billionaire!’” Andrew Kuper, Founder and CEO of Leapfrog Investments.

Mr. Sanford opened the debate with an equally strong position on private debt and asked the audience to raise their hands if they were an LP or allocator. As member of the investment committee for City of Hope, a billion-dollar cancer research facility, Mr. Sanford is himself an LP and understands that pitching private equity in emerging markets might have his committee members, “pass out” (which drew a few laughs from the audience). Identifying with a large majority of the audience, he argued that private equity alone was too risky despite the opportunity to make large returns.

“[For LPs,] Emerging Market private debt is at a minimum the best way to dip their toe into the asset class, into the region, get comfortable with private assets, see the return stream and then say, ‘Well, that was a great experience – why don’t I look at private equity?’” Paul Sanford, Chief Investment Officer of TriLinc Global.

In true Oxford style, both debaters fielded questions from the audience before the audience was asked to cast another vote. Mr. Sanford’s arguments changed enough of the audience’s votes from private equity to private debt, and he was named the victor. In good fashion, both debaters felt a combination of both private equity and private debt is the best path to success when investing in Emerging Markets.

You can watch the debate in its entirety below:

Impact Investing was an overarching theme at this year’s 20th Global Private Equity Conference. Several panels and breakout sessions focused on impact investing, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing, and the growth of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It was Secretary Madeleine Albright’s opening statement that truly connected emerging market investing and impact investing.

“Good Emerging Market investors are all impact investors, and some of the best opportunities in Emerging Markets don’t just serve one country but many geographies,” Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State, 1997-2001.

Dr. Jim Kim, President of The World Bank, spoke with David Rubenstein, Co-Founder of The Carlyle Group. Dr. Kim discussed the need to make capitalism work for everyone on the planet and suggested that private investments will play a critical role in providing the capital and expertise needed in emerging markets. Mr. Rubenstein predicted that more private capital would enter emerging markets over the next 10 years as growth trends and the economic climate in emerging markets improve.

“We have 8 billion people with middle class aspirations,” Dr. Jim Kim, President of The World Bank.

TriLinc Global would like to thank EMPEA and the IFC for continuing to advance an industry by way of organizing, educating, and inspiring so many through its Global Private Equity Conference. We’re honored to have been asked to participate in a special way this year and look forward to next year. For more information on EMPEA, visit their website:

Vulcan Capital Provides Seed to TriLinc for Global Impact Investments

LOS ANGELES – (BUSINESS WIRE) — Vulcan Capital, the multi-billion dollar investment arm of Vulcan Inc., has selected TriLinc Global Advisors (“TriLinc”) to seed the launch of the TriLinc Global Sustainable Income Fund (“TGSIF”). The investment is part of Vulcan Capital’s impact investing strategy.

Impact Investing is defined as investing with the specific objective to achieve a competitive financial return as well as creating positive, measurable impact in communities across the globe. 

TriLinc Global is an innovative impact investing fund sponsor with a mission to link market-rate returns, positive impact, and scalable solutions. Through its registered investment advisor subsidiaries, TriLinc has invested over $700 million in private debt globally and seeks to demonstrate the power of the capital markets in helping to solve some of the world’s pressing socioeconomic and environmental challenges. TriLinc funds provide growth-stage loans and trade finance to established small and medium enterprises (“SMEs”) in select developing economies where access to affordable capital is significantly limited. Borrower companies must demonstrate the ability to pay market rates, pass TriLinc’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) screens, and commit to tracking and reporting on self-identified impact metrics. 

“We believe that if something has the potential to do good, then we should do it.”

Founded by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen, Vulcan Capital invests across all stages of corporate development including venture capital, growth equity and leveraged buyouts as well as investing in public equities and other liquid asset classes. Vulcan Capital’s current portfolio spans a range of industry sectors, including technology, internet, mobile, life sciences, energy, and natural resources, media and communications, and financial and information services. 

“Vulcan Capital is excited to be partnered with TriLinc Global in such a values aligned investment opportunity,” said Chris Orndorff, Chief Investment Officer of Vulcan Capital. “Vulcan strives to be at the cutting edge of impact investing, and we are proud to be partnered with TriLinc.” 

“TriLinc Global is honored to be partnering with Vulcan Capital,” said Gloria Nelund, Chairman and CEO of TriLinc Global, LLC. “Like Paul Allen and Vulcan, we believe that if something has the potential to do good, then we should do it, so we are thrilled to be working together with them to extend the impact of our investments in helping to solve some of the critical global issues facing our world today.”


About TriLinc Global, LLC

TriLinc Global is a private investment fund sponsor that empowers investors to use their private capital to make positive social impact at scale, without compromising return.  Through its registered investment advisor subsidiaries, TriLinc Advisors, LLC and TriLinc Global Advisors, LLC, TriLinc offers investors alternative investment products that pursue unique yield-oriented strategies while fostering the view that capitalism can be a force for good.  TriLinc believes in the power of the capital markets to solve social and environmental challenges and was founded on the conviction that impact investing not only rewards investors with attractive returns, it also has the power to change our world for the better.  For more information, please visit


About Vulcan Capital

Vulcan Capital is the private investment arm of Vulcan Inc., the company founded by Paul G. Allen in 1986 to manage his business and philanthropic initiatives. Vulcan Capital is focused on generating long-term value appreciation across a multibillion dollar portfolio, which spans diverse industry sectors and investment asset classes, ranging from early-stage venture investments to public equity value investing, leveraged buyouts, acquisitions, and distressed situations.  



TriLinc Global, LLC
Gloria Nelund, 310-220-0871
Chief Executive Officer 

Powering the World Economy: Small and Medium Sized Enterprises

Small and medium sized enterprises (“SMEs”), also known as middle market companies, are generally considered economic engines of the world economy – catalysts for creating jobs, drivers of economic growth and a vital component of global trade.

TriLinc believes providing financing to SMEs in select developing economies can be both a profitable investment proposition and an effective driver of sustainable economic development.



Weekly Impact Investment Market Update: January 04, 2019

Impact Investing & ESG

How Green Wall Street Can Weather 2019
The New Year promises serious challenges for the rapidly growing number of socially conscious investors.

Sustainable Investment in Asia: Ready to Take Off
Broader adoption of ESG investing is now accelerating in Asia. In particular, we’re seeing a greater push by leading institutions or governments in embracing ESG.

Impact Investing, Just a Trend or the Best Strategy to Help Save Our World?
Impact investment is capturing the growing attention of mainstream investors, and everyone is increasingly hearing and talking about it.

Impact Investing: The Mindless Mantra – ‘Doing Well by Doing Good’
To bring about fundamental change and to find long-lasting solutions, isn’t always pretty and it is certainly not always a win-win in the financial sense.

Want to Discuss Gender Lens Investing? #MeToo
Increasingly discussed in asset management firms and the financial press alike, gender lens investing is one of the most rapidly growing segments of sustainable investing. Specifically, gender lens investing in an investment thesis that seeks to turn the abstract idea of an investment’s benefit to women into a functional investment strategy.


United States & Europe

U.S. Economy Added 312,000 Jobs in December and Wage Growth Gained Steam, Marking a Strong Finish to 2018
The U.S. economy added 312,000 jobs in December, smashing expectations for year-end growth, and wages rose 3.2 percent in the year since December 2017 after nearly a decade of tepid improvements, federal economists reported Friday.


Developing Economies

Why Kenya’s Economic Prospects Look Promising
The year 2018 marked a turning point in Kenya’s economic growth. Projections suggest growth will be on an upward trend till 2022.

Southeast Asia is the Best Market for Fintech
Fintech investments in ASEAN countries in 2018 will exceed the $5.7 billion invested in 2017 by 20% to 30%, according to the report, which surveyed more than 60 private fintech firms. Online lenders and fintechs that facilitate access to credit are identified by the report as the most promising areas.

China’s Growth to Shape Asia’s Economy in 2019
The current slowdown in the Chinese economy, the world’s second-largest, is likely to define the 2019 economic outlook in Asia. After years of expansion, the Chinese economy is showing signs of waning. It is anticipated that growth in 2018 will be the weakest seen since 1990.

Weekly Impact Investment Market Update: December 14, 2018

Impact Investing & ESG

How Socially Responsible Stocks Could Protect Investors in a Bear Market
So-called ESG equity strategies—buying the stocks of companies that perform well on environmental, social-responsibility and governance metrics—can help you align your portfolio with your ethical values. But can they also help you ride out a down market, or even a bear market, with fewer losses? It seems 2019 may be the year that investors find out.

‘Investing for Good’ Meets the Law
By law, a trustee must abide by fiduciary duties of loyalty and prudence, and therefore act for the “exclusive” benefit of the beneficiaries, considering “solely” their interests, without regard for collateral benefits, such as advancing social or environmental causes.

Creating an On-Ramp for Impact Investors: An Interview with the GIIN’s Amit Bouri
Started in 2009, the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) conducts research on impact investment, runs training programs for investors and fund managers, organizes industry events and builds tools and resources for impact measurement.

IPE Conference: Quantitative vs Qualitative in Impact Investing
Being able to convey the social or environmental impacts of investments in numbers is not the be-all and end-all of impact investing, asset owners told IPE’s annual conference last week.

How Impact Investing Could Move from the Margins to Mainstream
The amount of money that goes towards impact investing globally is far short of what is needed to meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Charitable institutions, donors, foundations and NGOs have long been the chief champions of impact investing, and the best bet is for the private sector to address the funding gap, experts say.

Impact Investing Could Accelerate the Fight Against Cancer
A new generation of philanthropists, whose wealth was created via entrepreneurship in technology-driven fields, has the unique opportunity to make a real difference in speeding the pace of progress in the fight against cancer.

10 Key Alpha Drivers in Impact Investing
Yes, impact investing does boost financial returns, but does more, according to the latest study confirming this finding, which also zeroed in on 10 “unique drivers” that “can enhance or add financial value” for investors.


Developing Economies

Outlook 2019: Emerging Markets are Better than the U.S. if Dollar Cooperates
It’s already happening. Don’t let the recent sell-off scare you: The smart money is moving out of the U.S. and going abroad. The risk-off cash position is due to the Fed. The rest is a symptom of a red-hot U.S. stock market that got too expensive for its own good, and right at a time when interest rates are rising and tight labor markets have peaked.

Deals, Dollars and Development on the African Continent
The first-ever Africa Investment Forum was a resounding success with some fascinating math: 49 projects worth $38.7 billion over three days, all for the continent.

A Southeast Asian Currency is Set to Top 2018’s Emerging-Market List
Having a strong buffer in times of stress does pay off. Just look at the baht. The Thai currency has declined 0.3 percent to 32.672 against the dollar this year as of 1:11 p.m. in Bangkok, the best performance among 22 major developing-economy currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

From Politics to Policies: A Guide to Latin America Markets in 2019
Latin America’s two largest markets will start 2019 in the hands of new populist presidents who are pledging to overturn decades of consensus policies in an effort to revitalize growth and boost investor confidence.

Latin American Markets Look Promising in 2019 and Beyond
2019 is likely to be a year of volatility in Latin America, but markets look promising for long-term investors. Given banks’ and other financial institutions’ significant exposure to Latin America, analysts and investors will have to be very attentive to external and domestic factors that will influence the performance of Latin American bonds, equities and foreign exchange markets.

Brazil’s 2019 Earnings Growth May Top Emerging-Market Peers
Brazil’s Ibovespa index has advanced over 15 percent so far this year, one of the best performers among main global benchmarks, as corporate results shined amid record low interest rates and subdued inflation. In the third quarter, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization grew 27 percent for Ibovespa listed companies, according to Banco Santander Brasil SA.

Weekly Impact Investment Market Update: December 7, 2018

Impact Investing & ESG

Advisory Intelligence: The Importance of the ‘S’ in ESG
Though when ESG is split into its component parts: the ‘E’ – the environment has dominated the narrative, with the ‘G’ – governance – being the bread and butter issue companies must be seen to be dealing with effectively, while the social aspect, making up the ‘S’ has been left behind.

CalPERS Make ESG Changes
CalPERS officials hope ESG revisions will add alpha to the pension system’s $178.6 billion global equity portfolio.

FTSE Russell, Sustainalytics to Develop ESG Indexes
FTSE Russell and ESG research firm Sustainalytics are working together to develop ESG indexes. Through this partnership, investors will have environmental, social and governance-factor versions of the core Russell 1000, 2000 and 3000 family of U.S. indexes, using Sustainalytics’ ESG Risk Ratings tools, said Tony Campos, FTSE Russell director of North America ESG, in a phone interview.

ESG Can and Should be a Key Part of Credit Investing
ESG investing is rapidly growing in popularity as an investment theme around the world, and this couldn’t be truer than in Asia. ESG integration is a key component of fundamental research and is a theme that now features heavily across the spectrum of investment products.

UBS Global Wealth Management Will Give ESG Scores to Funds
UBS Global Wealth Management will score the environmental, social and governance strategies of investment funds available to its advisers and clients starting next year.


United States & Europe

U.S. Unemployment Holds at 3.7 Percent as Economy Adds 155,000 Jobs
The jobless rate remained at a nearly 50-year low of 3.7 percent in November as employers added 155,000 jobs, fewer than in October and less than expected by private analysts.

EU Reaches Limited Agreement to Bolster Economic and Monetary Union
EU finance ministers concluded a deal on Tuesday (4 December) to bolster the region with new tools to save ailing banks and member states but postponed Europe-wide instruments to protect depositors or stabilize national economies.


Developing Economies

Trade Truce Offers Dose of Cheer for Emerging-Market Investors
A temporary truce from a highly anticipated dinner between U.S. and Chinese leaders may give emerging-market traders a reason to cheer Monday, though it didn’t dispel the uncertainty that their dispute has inflicted on markets through much of the year.

AEC 2018 – Africa’s Private Sector can be Major Driver for Regional Integration
Africa’s growing and vibrant private sector can be a major driver of the regional integration across the continent, according to leading experts at the ongoing African Economic Conference (AEC) 2018.

Rwanda the Emerging Economy to Watch
In recent years, at business summits across the world, it’s not uncommon to hear such praise about Rwanda. Various speakers have singled it out as one of the emerging economies to look out for in terms of investment opportunities, value for money and economic growth.

South Africa’s Economy Out of Recession as GDP Expands 2.2% in Q3
South Africa’s economy grew more than expected in the third quarter as manufacturing and agriculture accelerated to drag the country of its first recession in nearly a decade, data showed Tuesday.

Shenzhen and Jakarta Shine in City Economy Forecasts for 2030
U.S. cities have a firm grip on the ranking of the biggest urban economies on either side of the Pacific, but a power shift lies ahead within Asia, new data from the Japan Center for Economic Research shows.

Brazil Economy Bounces Back in Third Quarter
Brazil’s economy grew at its fastest pace in 18 months during the third quarter as the country bounced back from a crippling trucker strike and providing a fillip to the incoming government of Jair Bolsonaro.