Weekly News Round-Up: October 26th, 2018

Weekly News Round-Up: October 26th, 2018

Please find this week's news round-up below. 

If you have an idea for next-level conversations, workshops, or concurrent sessions at the 2019 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit, the request for proposals is open through Monday, October 29, 2018. Friends from all disciplines, backgrounds, and perspectives are invited to submit proposals, learn more here.

We hope you will join us at the Summit in Tempe from Feb. 10-12, 2019 and register today

Lastly, IEN is currently hiring a Program Administrator and   Membership Manager. Please help us find exceptional candidates by sharing these descriptions with your networks!

Have a great weekend,


Nicole Torrico (formerly Harman)
Program Manager, The Intentional Endowments Network

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Sustainable Investing by Institutional Asset Owners

This Family Foundation Wants to Inspire Philanthropists to Consider Impact Investing l The Triple Pundit

  • The Russell Family Foundation has focused on protecting the environment and empowering communities in the Pacific Northwest and Puget Sound regions since its inception in 1999. Maximizing positive impact has always been a top priority for the Foundation’s work—following the ethos of its co-founders, George and Jane Russell, and their experience pioneering innovative strategies and industry-wide financial benchmarks through the global asset management firm Russell Investments.

CalSTRS Hires Director of Corporate Governance l CalSTRS

  • The California State Teachers’ Retirement System announced Kirsty Jenkinson has been hired as the director of corporate governance and will start in January 2019. At CalSTRS, Ms. Jenkinson will lead an ESG portfolio of more than $4.1 billion.

The World’s Largest Allocator Decided to Abandon Oil. Then the Problems Started. l Institutional Investor

  • This article discusses the support and opposition to Norway's $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund's decision to abandon investment in oil and gas companies, the equivalent of $35 billion in investments, to reduce its exposure to the very asset from which it derives its great wealth. 

The 411 on Universities and Socially Responsible Investing l Master Studies

  • With growing numbers of this up-and-coming generation heading off to college and into the workforce, it follows that universities are increasingly turning toward socially responsible investment - not only because their constituents are demanding it and it's the right thing to do, but also because it pays off. This article offers a closer look at the trend, along with what students can do to get in on the action.
Sustainable, Responsible, Impact & ESG Investing

The Investment Gap that Threatens the Planet l The Stanford Social Innovation Review

  • This article highlights how, to stave off drastic climate change, we must invest more in nascent solutions ignored by traditional, capital markets. Philanthropists are in a unique position to fund these efforts.

ESG Reporting Standard Setters Urged to Agree ‘Unified Agenda’ l Investments & Pensions Europe

  • A group of global investor organizations has urged listed companies and ESG reporting standard setters to do more to agree an approach to the treatment and inclusion of ESG information in company disclosure and reporting.“It is important to state clearly that the group believes a workable ‘solution’ can be achieved with the existing data providers and standard setters,” it said in a discussion paper published last week.

BlackRock Stakes Claim on ‘Sustainable Investing’ Revolution l Financial Times

  • BlackRock intends to become a global leader in “sustainable investing”, says Larry Fink, as the world’s largest asset manager launched a range of ETFs in the US and Europe that incorporate ESG criteria. “Sustainable investing will be a core component for how everyone invests in the future,” the BlackRock chairman and chief executive said in an interview with the FT. “We are only at the early stages.” Mr Fink estimated that assets in ETFs that incorporate these “ESG” factors will grow from $25bn to more than $400bn in a decade. BlackRock currently has close to 25% of the market segment with $7bn of assets.

Changing The Status Quo: How Women Are Leading The Charge On Impact Investing l Forbes

  • This article contains an interview with three women in investment and financial services, where they discuss the intersection of social good and impact investing, particularly within the context of gender equality and diversity & inclusion.

Sustainable Investment May Not Be Mainstream – But It’s On Its Way l Triple Pundit

  • This article highlights how a number of trends bear out the case for optimism that sustainable investing may enter the mainstream faster than expected. Good governance remains a systemically important trend, increasingly a goal for regulators and for fixed income and equity investors through active ownership. ESG considerations have driven new regulations in a growing list of countries, which is tangibly affecting credit fundamentals. Global supply chains pose growing risks if poorly managed, and investors may be quick to penalize companies for human rights issues, environmental impact and other ESG considerations.

ESG and EMs: How to Overcome Developing World Hurdles l City Wire

  • Thanks to the sheer quantity of new launches, it is much easier to find ESG strategies these days. However, it is more difficult to identify the good ones, says Patrick Lenhard, who takes the lead on selecting ESG funds within the multi-manager solutions team at Vontobel Asset Management.

Making Sustainable Investing Mainstream Could be key to Solving the World's Most Critical Problems l Campden FB

  • While a decade ago there was just a steady hum of interest in sustainable investing, it has now become a roar. Wealthy investors are actively seeking out ways to align their investments with their values. In fact, four in five (81%) are doing so, according to UBS Investor Watch, the largest recurring global study of high net worth investors. For this edition, we spoke to more than 5,000 investors across 10 markets about their views and adoption of sustainable investing.

The Pope Likes This Kind of Investing l CNN

  • For some Catholic investors, it's no longer enough to do no harm. They want their money to help the world's poorest, and they've got the backing of Pope Francis. While Catholic investment funds have traditionally avoided businesses that are inconsistent with church teachings, there's a growing movement towards "impact investments" that actively deliver a social good. Since 2014, the Vatican has held three impact investing conferences that were aimed at helping Catholic institutions understand how private capital can help the poor. One was held as recently as June.

How to Use Donor-Advised Funds to Make Impact Investments l Stanford Social Innovation Review

  • This article discusses the vast opportunity to use DAFs for making impact investments in support of market-based solutions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Student-Managed Fund News

BioLargo Closes Bridge Financing with TRITON FUNDS LP, the Largest Student-Run Investment Fund in the Nation l NASDAQ

  • BioLargo, Inc, developer of sustainable science and technologies and a full-service environmental engineering company, today announced the closing of a $225,000 bridge loan secured from TRITON FUNDS LP, the La Jolla, CA-based investment fund founded and managed by students from the University of California, San Diego and California State University, Northridge, and backed by scientific and academic advisory boards. TRITON is the largest student-run investment fund in the United States and focuses on "millennial growth ESG" investment themes.
Green Bonds

Institutional Investors Seek ESG Opportunities via Fixed-Income Vehicles l Plan Adviser

  • RBC Global Asset Management recently published its third annual Responsible Investing Survey. At a high level, the survey results suggest institutional investors in the U.S. are rapidly warming to the utilization of ESG factors when building out their portfolios—and many are already implementing their own takes on ESG investing. Notably, the percentage of U.S. institutional investors that reject ESG considerations outright shrank dramatically year over year, from 51% to 34%.

ESG Is Not Just for Investing in Stocks, Barclays Study Finds l Barron's

  • On Monday, Barclays released a new study that expands on work it published two years ago that found that ESG works in fixed income, too. Not only is there no drag on performance -- there is even a slight positive effect, according to Barclays.
Investment Firm News

 Achieving Impact in Global Equities l Boston Common Asset Management

  • In Boston Common's second annual Engagement Impact Report, Achieving Impact in Global Equities, they detail the outcomes of their global engagement efforts in 2017 – highlighting 60 measurable impacts and improvements in corporate policies, processes, or products.

Impact Shares Receives $1 Million in Additional Funding from The Rockefeller Foundation l Associated Press

  • Impact Shares, the first 501(c)(3) nonprofit ETF platform, has secured an additional $1 million grant from The Rockefeller Foundation to expand its partnerships with leading nonprofits and help translate their social values into investable products.

German Churches Back Development Bank’s $200m SME Lending Fund l Investments & Pensions Europe

  • Germany’s Evangelische Bank has targeted $200m (€174m) for a new loans fund investing in small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) in emerging markets. The €4bn asset manager for German protestant churches and their pension funds will seek to raise the money over the next two years, it announced earlier this month. Together with the German development bank DEG, the protestant churches will be investing in local banks in emerging markets, which then offer loans to local SMEs under certain conditions linked to ESG criteria. 

Global Family Office Report 2018 l UBS

  • From February to May 2018 UBS and Campden Wealth surveyed 311 family offices, each with an average of $808m in assets under management. 38% of them were located in Europe, including Luxembourg, Monaco, Russia and the UK. 48% of family offices reported that their assets under management increased over the year,” UBS said in a press release. The report is produced by Campden Wealth in partnership with UBS.
General Endowment News

To Understand The High Costs of Colleges, Think of Them as Investment Banks l Pacific Standard

  • This article discusses the semantics of growing endowments, including how a small part of the overall endowment is invested, and how the remaining endowment affects the overall institution's costs.

Elite Universities Are Entrenching a Privileged Class. An Endowment Tax Can Fix That l The Atlantic

  • Ideally, an endowment tax would be designed in such a way as to encourage elite universities to become less elitist, much as a carbon tax is designed to curb pollution. What would this look like in practice? This article explores how the endowment tax could level the socioeconomic playing field.

Michigan Endowment Returns 10.7% l Chief Investment Officer

  • The investment portfolio of the University of Michigan’s endowment returned 10.7% for the fiscal year that ended June 30, raising its total asset value by $1 billion to $11.9 billion, and surpassing the 8.3% median return for universities as measured by Cambridge Associates. The endowment’s 20-year annualized return is 9.6%, which the university said ranks it in the top 10% for long-term investment performance among university endowments.

Carnegie Mellon University Endowment Posts 11.2% Return l Pensions & Investments

  • Carnegie Mellon University's $1.9 billion endowment returned a net 11.2% in the fiscal year ended June 30, said a report issued by the Pittsburgh-based school. Carnegie Mellon's three-, five- and 10-year returns were 7.7%, 9.6% and 6.3%, respectively. Benchmark information was not provided in the report. The endowment returned a net 13.2% in the previous fiscal year.

University of Texas Endowment to Impose New Rules for Iran Ties l Bloomberg

  • The University of Texas Investment Management Co. has created a set of guidelines compelling managers of its $31 billion in assets to divest from companies with ties to entities sanctioned by the U.S. The new policy comes less than a month before U.S. sanctions targeting foreign purchases of Iranian oil, as well as Iranian port operators, insurance and reinsurance businesses, go into effect.

Williams College Endowment: Looking Back and Beyond l William's Record

  • Next month, the Williams Investment Office (WIO) will release the 2018 Investment Report for the College’s endowment. This article discusses different findings from the report.
General Higher Education Sustainability News

 The Princeton Review Releases Its  "Guide to 399 Green Colleges" For 2018 l The Princeton Review

  • The “Guide to 399 Green Colleges” 2018 Edition profiles colleges that the education services company names as having the most exceptional commitments to sustainability out of several hundred institutions The Princeton Review annually surveys for this project. The schools were selected based on their academic offerings, campus policies, initiatives, activities and career preparation for students. (Information on the selection criteria follows.) Most of the 399 schools in this edition are in the U.S. Thirteen are in Canada. One is in Egypt and one is in Greece.
Climate Risk, Science and Regulation

U.K. Lawmakers Call for Ban on Polluting Cars in 14 Years l Bloomberg

  • Britain should ban gasoline and diesel fueled cars by 2032 to speed up a shift toward zero-emissions vehicles, a panel of lawmakers from the main parties in Parliament said. The Business Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee in the House of Commons said the government should implement the ban by 2032, eight years earlier than the current target, and that failing to do so would undermine promises to reduce air pollution by over two thirds by 2050.

Scottish Power to Develop ‘Sizeable’ UK Solar Portfolio Following Fossil Fuel Divestment l Solar Power Portal

  • Scottish Power has confirmed that solar will feature in its future generation plans following the sale of over 2.5GW of gas and hydro assets to Drax, becoming the first 'Big Six' energy company to go fully renewable. Speaking to the Guardian late last week, chief executive Keith Anderson said the company was looking at solar as “a good opportunity” for investment due to its falling technology costs and its ability to complement the generation output of wind assets throughout the year.

They Know Seas Are Rising, but They’re Not Abandoning Their Beloved Cape Cod l Inside Climate News

  • This article highlights how lifelong residents of Cape Cod are building higher with each flood. But while they deal with climate change, some say they aren’t sure what to believe about the cause.
Fossil Fuel Divestment

Fossil Free GW Interrupts Board of Trustees Meeting l The GW Hatchet

  • About 30 George Washington University students interrupted a Board of Trustees meeting Friday morning to urge administrators to divest from the University’s holdings in the fossil fuel industry. Two members of Fossil Free GW stood up in the middle of University President Thomas LeBlanc’s report at a Board of Trustees meeting Friday and called on officials to divest from the fossil fuel industry. The protest was at least the third time the group has rallied in favor of divestment at a Board meeting.

Divest University of Denver Starts Move to Renewable Future l DU Clarion

  • By Fall Quarter of 2019, 7-8% of The University of Denver's energy consumption will rely on solar power. This initiative was accelerated by Divest DU, a student organization that started five years ago to spread awareness about DU’s investments with energy companies that produce fossil fuels. Divest DU has been working to lobby DU’s Board of Trustees to end this investment in fossil fuels. Although this specific goal was shot down by the board during the 2017-2018 school year, Divest DU aims to hold DU to its sustainability goals.

Climate Advocates Renew Call For University of British Columbia to Completely Divest From Fossil Fuels l The Ubyssey

  • At a small demonstration this week, University of British Columbia campus climate activist group UBCC350 renewed its call for UBC to completely divest from its investments in fossil fuels. The university currently has a fossil fuel-free investment path for donors called the Sustainable Futures Fund (SFF) — but as UBCC350 member Victoria Nava pointed out, it only constitutes around one per cent of UBC’s endowment.
Job Opportunities at IEN

Program Administrator

  • The Program Administrator will be a key member of the team and will support the management and growth of IEN. The Program Administrator will include but are not limited to managing calendars and scheduling appointments, helping coordinate events and meetings, assisting with email communication and task prioritization for managers, collaborating with other IEN team members to support communications and marketing, and researching topics and contribute to writing reports related to sustainable investing at college and university endowments.

Membership Manager

  • The Membership Manager will be a key member of the team and will lead in the strategy development, management, and growth of IEN’s membership. The position encompasses leading both network growth (new members) and network engagement (current members) through outreach and relationship management and strategy development.
Calendar of Upcoming Events

The 29th Annual SRI Conference l November 1-3, 2018, Colorado Springs, CO

Webinar: The Intersection of Financial Risk and Climate Resilience l Arizona State University, November 7, 2018, 1:15 p.m. ET

Endowment & Foundation Forum 2018 l Opal Group, November 13, 2018

RI Americas l Responsible Investor, December 5-6, 2018

2019 Foundation Leadership Forum l AGB, January 27-29, 2019, Fort Lauderdale, FL

2019 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit | February 10-12, 2019, Tempe, AZ

2019 Endowment and Debt Management Forum l NACUBO, February 13-15, 2019, New York, NY




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