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Trowers & Hamlins advises on the funding and launch of impact investing platform, The Big Exchange

Trowers & Hamlins advises on the funding and launch of impact investing platform, The Big Exchange

Trowers & Hamlins has advised impact investing platform, The Big Exchange, on its initial fundraising of at least £1 million. The Big Exchange, whose founders include The Big Issue Group, Aberdeen Standard Investments, Columbia Threadneedle, Alliance Bernstein and Alquity, aims to launch a mobile-first investment platform designed to bring social and environment impact funds directly to a retail audience.

Central to The Big Exchange is that investors can understand the positive difference made by their choices. Its unique approach will show investors through clear indicators how funds support sustainable development goals and align with its commitment to people and the planet. The platform will also offer educational and supportive content. Users will be able to choose from ready-made bundles or individual funds, and track not only performance but impact through the app. The impact that each user creates will be recognised and rewarded through a unique digital social passport and token system. Its overall objective is a complete blockchain-based ecosystem that works for everyone.

The Big Exchange team has developed the platform to user testing stage with a beta version to be launched early in 2019. It will then be further enhanced with additional functionality and financial products over the course of the year.

As core members of The Big Exchange advisory team, Herbert Smith Freehills and Trowers & Hamlins have worked alongside each other to advise on the establishment and launch of the platform.

The Trowers & Hamlins team was led by Corporate Partner, Ed Hooper, who commented:

“We are delighted to have worked with The Big Exchange, its founders and launch advisory group on this important initiative. With investors increasingly seeking out impact investing opportunities, we believe this platform, its use of technology and its high levels of corporate governance is coming to market at a great time. We look forward to continuing to advise this exciting social enterprise business in closing out its fundraising and moving ahead with launch in 2019.”

Nigel Kershaw, Chairman of The Big Exchange and The Big Issue Group, said:

“We are very grateful to Ed and the Trowers & Hamlins team for their commitment and support in guiding us through the legal steps from our initial vision through to a position where we will be funded and able to launch our mission. We have greatly valued their commercial advice and expertise spanning the social enterprise, financial services and tech sectors and appreciate their investment in our long-term business relationship.”