McKinsey & Company

McKinsey on Society


Voices Financing Social Change

Challenges and opportunities in social investing

Q.Should private investors be paid a financial return for backing policies that promote good social policy?
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A cofounder and former chairman of Apax Partners, Sir Ronald Cohen pioneered the British venture-capital industry. Over the past decade, he has also stood at the vanguard of social investing. When Britain established its first social-investment bank, Big Society Capital, in 2011, Sir Ronald was named its chairman. In a conversation with Ian Davis, McKinsey’s former managing director and a board member of the bank, he describes the opportunities and challenges of financing social investments and the parallels he sees between these activities and the rise of the venture-capital industry.

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