AVPN Appoints Chief of Impact Investing to Further its Capital Flow Towards Impact in Asia

AVPN, the largest network of social investors in Asia, has announced the appointment of Vikas Arora as Chief of Impact Investing, with immediate effect.

In this newly-created role, Arora will lead AVPN’s overall strategy and direction of impact investing. This includes driving the plans and strategic operations to effectively implement the organisation’s impact investing priorities, identifying impact opportunities across AVPN’s four impact focus areas of climate action, gender equality, youth, and health; and fostering strategic partnerships with AVPN members, industry stakeholders, and business partners.

Arora brings over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, including a 25-year stint at Deutsche Bank. He joins AVPN from MUFG Bank, where he was Managing Director and Head of Sales for Transaction Banking in Asia.

He is an active advocate for sustainability and social impact and currently pursuing a postgraduate diploma in Organisation and Leadership for Social Change at the Singapore University of Social Sciences. He is also an Independent Board Director at Singapore non-profit Heartware Network.

As part of the AVPN leadership team, he will contribute to the development of AVPN’s strategic vision. He will also look at operationalising best practices, including the appropriate integration and collaboration of teams and functional areas to drive sustainable growth.

For the past 10 years, AVPN has established a highly engaged global network of over 600 members where diverse funders and resource providers collaborate and drive capital towards impact in Asia through the “Continuum of Capital”, which encompasses everything from philanthropy, venture philanthropy to corporate social responsibility, sustainable investment, and impact investing.

However, due to the pandemic, much of the progress that had been made toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals had stalled or, in some cases, been reversed. Asia is now facing a critical urgency for solutions that specifically solve Asian issues, and despite representing 60% of the world’s population and accounting for 45% of the world’s GDP, the region receives only 14% of global impact investment, which is where the gap currently is within the continuum.

Naina Subberwal Batra,  CEO, AVPN said: “Vikas’ deep experience in financial markets, coupled with his passion for sustainability, makes him the ideal candidate to bolster our work in accelerating the flow of social investment capital in Asia. I am confident that Vikas’ leadership will deepen our organisation and our members’ impact through our “Continuum of Capital” approach, in which funders may combine grants, debts, and equity across multiple investments within their own portfolio, to achieve greater impact.”

“Social investments have only scratched the surface of creating impact in a region which is home to over 50% of the world population, and I see many opportunities to further increase the efficiency and impact of knowledge, human, and financial capital deployed towards addressing the systemic social and environmental challenges the Asia Pacific is facing,” Arora said.