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U2’s Bono throws star power behind impact investing

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What do classic rock and investing have in common? In the case of Bono, the lead singer of 80s rock juggernaut U2, they both depend on sustainability to grow and thrive.

Bono, also a well-known activist, has teamed up with middle market investment firm TPG Growth to launch a new analytics company, which he and his private equity partners say will broaden the financial industry’s commitment to sustainable development.

The independent research organization, Y Analytics, will help investors gauge the effectiveness of their sustainability goals. It’s an effort to “persuade the biggest institutional investors to commit their funds to tackling some of the world's most urgent challenges,” Bono said in a statement.

Y Analytics, launched in partnership with Bridgespan and KPMG to gauge the effectiveness of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, builds on the work of the TPG’s Rise Fund, a $2 billion social and environmental impact fund.

The company will leverage a team of economists and researchers to evaluate an investment’s social impact, according to Rise. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., Y Analytics will take a two-pronged approach to provide investors with qualitative and quantitative analysis.

“We need cold hard facts — that's what Y Analytics has been created to provide,” Bono said.

The top 20 are now home to nearly $1.2 trillion in combined assets.
January 9

Y Analytics is developing partnerships with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at MIT, the World Resources Institute and various researchers who will serve as the platform’s research advisory council, according to Rise.

“Capitalism isn’t immoral, but it is amoral and it needs direction,” Bono said in the statement. “If capitalism is to be a force for good we have to be able to measure when it's doing good and when it's doing harm.”

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