MDIF (formerly MDLF) has partnered with independent asset manager and leading social investment company responsAbility and Swiss private Bank Vontobel to launch the third issuance of responsAbility Press Freedom Voncert, an impact investment product that will raise CHF5 million (about USD5.35 million) investment capital for news outlets in developing markets.
In an innovative product structure, two leading philanthropic foundations, Open Society Foundations and Stichting Democratie en Media, will guarantee part of the issuance, thus leveraging philanthropic capital to mobilise private investment for a social cause.
“This third issuance builds on the success of the first responsAbility Press Freedom Voncert, which we launched in 2006 and which returned 1% to investors and is now fully repaid, and the 2011 issuance, which was completely subscribed in a matter of days,” said Harlan Mandel, CEO of MDLF. “The proven social and financial track record of responsAbility Press Freedom Voncerts underpins a growing recognition of the value of investing in the free flow of quality information as one of the cornerstones of an open society and a dynamic democracy.”
The responsAbility Press Freedom Voncert will again pay 1% interest to investors, who will also receive a ‘social return’; their capital will be used to provide affordable financing to help journalists build sustainable businesses around quality journalism.
Voncerts are not available to investors from the US, UK, European Marketing Area and DIFC Dubai (UAE).