Meet Impax: Ambitiously driving the sustainable investment industry

  • In the driving seat is Ian Simm, Impax Asset Management Founder & Chief Executive
  • We talk key trends in sustainable investment, the benefits of being a listed company, COP26 and much more

Sustainability. In the recent past, it’s a word that’s been on the lips of leaders and investors, and sought after in many a pitch deck. The guest is in this edition of the Driving Ambition interview series set up his company well before sustainable business practices were an en vogue necessity. Since its conception in 1998, Impax Asset Management has gone on to solidify Ian Simm’s ambition to be a part of creating a better future for our planet.

Impax is a specialist asset manager investing in the opportunities arising from the transition to a more sustainable global economy. The company was floated on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in 2001. With Simm firmly in the driving seat, the company has solidified itself as one of the UK’s leading champions of sustainable investment. This recognition from investors continued to grow during the pandemic as the spotlight was firmly shone on sustainability.

Our series host Oli Barrett sat down with Ian to discuss key trends in sustainable investment, the benefits of being a listed company, COP26 and much more. Watch the full discussion below and be sure to catch up with the rest of the interviews in the Driving Ambition series.


Here’s what we covered during the discussion:

  • Could you tell us about Impax and the work that you do? (0:44)
  • What sort of companies does Impax invest in? (1:40)
  • You started the business over 20 years ago, before there was a keen focus on sustainability. How were you so tuned into the direction the business world was heading? (2:21)
  • Could you tell us about the scope of the business as it stands today? (3:07)
  • We’ve had Brexit and the pandemic over the past few years. How has your company managed through this and how has it changed as a result? (3:37)
  • What are the benefits of being a listed company, especially in times of turbulence? (5:18)
  • What do you foresee as the challenges and the opportunities over the next 12 months? (6:18)
  • Would you like to see UK leadership be more outspoken about the opportunity of sustainable development? (7:27)
  • When you hear companies declaring their target towards Net Zero, should we be happy that it’s progress or should we question the accidental consequences of these declarations? (8:32)
  • Impax isn’t just interested in deploying capital into great companies, but you’re also interested in the bigger picture (for example policy and the future of tech.) Why do you have this wider view and how do you go about it? (10:30)
  • What would you say motivates big companies to invest in Impax? (12:31)
  • What should the UK learn from other countries about sustainable investment? (13:59)
  • As a business leader, do you believe that COP26 is an important gathering? And if so, why? (15:30)
  • What are the sectors or trends that we should keep an eye on around the topic of sustainable investment?  (16:50)
  • Are there any particular areas of the world that stand out when it comes to producing exciting investments? (18:07)
  • Do we have enough talent in the UK to keep pushing the sustainability agenda forward? (19:22)
  • What differentiates Impax from other asset management companies? (20:35)
  • Have you ever thought about transitioning over to politics? (22:00)

What is the finnCap Ambition Nation Listed 50?

The Driving Ambition interview series highlights companies that feature on finnCap’s Ambition Nation Listed 50. In 2018, renowned financial advisor finnCap launched Ambition Nation; a platform for innovative, high growth companies to showcase their success stories and discuss the challenges of the modern business landscape.

Firmly at the beating heart of corporate Britain’s growth, the companies on the Ambition Nation Listed 50 are small- to mid-cap PLCs that have been identified using the finnCap Group’s Slide Rule. This equity analysis tool identifies companies that offer the best blend of growth and quality.

finnCap advise ambitious companies and promote their stories to find the right investment for growth. They also help these companies access the growth capital that’s right for them. See the finnCap website for information.

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