Shearman & Sterling advised firm pro bono client Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) over a three-year period on the creation and offering of Women’s Livelihood Bonds, a first-of-its kind listed debt security with a dual focus on social and financial returns. The bonds were offered to a global group of investors, and the proceeds will be used to fund organizations in Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines that work to enhance women’s livelihoods through improving access to credit, markets and products. The bonds were supported by a limited guarantee from USAID, and the social impact will be monitored and reported to investors by IIX.
The bonds are a unique security comprising a complex secured asset base of the borrower entities, together with a public bond structure that is listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange. Shearman & Sterling’s global scope, and the team’s exceptional structured finance, private finance, international capital markets, regulatory and tax capabilities were critical in creating this new security. This platform is designed to be the starting point for a new product area in global philanthropy, by tapping a far greater pool of potential capital beyond philanthropies and charities to drive social impact activities around the world. Shearman & Sterling represented the issuer in connection with the creation of the bond, the loan documentation the issuer used to make loans to the local organizations, the USAID guarantee, and the other contracts associated with the program.