In this issue of our bi-monthly newsletter, we highlight an article and two case studies that were recently published in Business Officer Magazine, as well as a newly published IEN resource, titled "IEN Toolkit: How to Start and Run a Student-Managed SRI Fund."
If you're in the Boston area, space is still available for endowment and foundation representatives to attend the IEN Community Impact Investing Roundtable on June 11th. The Roundtable will convene endowment and foundation decision-makers and other stakeholders interested in enhancing their leadership on sustainable investing. More information is below.
As always, your contributions to the conversation are welcome and needed. Please be in touch with any questions, news or ideas for the IEN.
Georges & The IEN Team
Feature Schools: Lewis & Clark College and Becker College
By: Anthony Cortese, Co-Founder and Principal, Intentional Endowments Network, Carl Vance, CIO, Lewis and Clark College, and David Ellis, CFO, Becker College
This March The Intentional Endowments Network was featured in Business Officer Magazine, a publication of The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO). The published pieces include an article on 'Investing With Purpose' as well as two institution case studies: 'A Cooperative Path Toward Divestment' featuring IEN Member Lewis & Clark College, and 'Matching Investments to Mission' featuring IEN Member Becker College. This article and case studies show that smaller institutions are equally equipped to assume a more intentional investment strategy that aligns with institution mission and values. And, they prove that active engagement with stakeholders across the entire campus can help expedite the time required to move boldly in this direction. Follow this link to read each article.
Feature Resource: How To Start and Run a Student-Managed SRI Fund Toolkit
By: The Intentional Endowments Network Student-Managed Fund Working Group
The Intentional Endowment Network's (IEN) new resource, titled "IEN Toolkit: How to Start and Run a Student-Managed SRI Fund", was designed to aid in the creation of new student-managed funds, expand current student-managed funds, and increase the number of funds that include sustainable, responsible, and impact (SRI) strategies in the investment process.
Student-managed funds promote student leadership, advance education and real-world training, and enhance the ability of all graduates to drive sustainability solutions throughout their careers. Student consultations on sustainable investing to the institution’s endowment based on student-managed fund performance are increasingly common, benefiting both students by providing practice and experiential education, as well as endowments by providing research and new ideas. This toolkit highlights the different ways student-managed funds can be designed, as well as the growing interest in how new and existing funds address sustainability factors in the investment process. Click here to read the Toolkit.
If you are interested in connecting with stakeholders involved with student-managed funds on campuses across the country to share best practices, resources, events, curricula and undertake other activities to support sustainable investing funds and education, please reach out to Nicole at [email protected]. More information on the group can be found here.
Feature Event: IEN Community Impact Investing Roundtable
On June 11th The Intentional Endowments Network will host a Community Impact Investing Roundtable focused on opportunities for place-based investing. The Roundtable will convene endowment and foundation decision-makers and other stakeholders interested in enhancing their leadership on sustainable investing. While space is still available for endowment and foundation representatives, registration for asset managers, advisors, and other service providers is now full. This Roundtable event will explore a variety of community investment strategies, drawing on the experience of community foundations, philanthropic foundations, and endowments as well as investment managers and consultants. It will include a focus on practical approaches for higher education endowments to integrate community impact investing strategies in their portfolios. For more information and to register, click here.
Updates from the Network
New IEN Members
We are pleased to welcome the following organizations to the Network as contributing members: The University of New Hampshire, Nesta, The Unitarian Universalist Association, Pegasus Capital Advisors, Nia Impact Capital, Strategic Investment Group, and Callan. To see a full list of contributing members, click here. To learn more about the leadership opportunities and benefits of IEN membership, click here.
Last Month, IEN hosted a webinar on Long-Short ESG Strategies for Endowments. Two members of Middlebury College's RISE (Research and Investment in Sustainable Equity) Group also presented on their work. Follow the links to view recordings of each presentation. This month, we are happy to be hosting the following two webinars. Be sure to click each link for more information and to register:
- The Impact Management Project l May 17, 2018, 1:00 p.m. ET
- The Importance of ESG Data & Corporate Engagement | May 23, 2018, 1:00 p.m. ET
IEN Working Groups meet regularly to advance key strategies in support of the network's goals. Below is a brief update of what current Working Groups have accomplished.
Fiduciary Duty & Policy: This group is developing a piece on crafting RFPs when seeking investment consultants to ensure they are familiar with ESG investing. They are also exploring opportunities to offer leadership development workshops and resources for trustees. This group is also connecting with the Trustee Peer Group to get feedback on what resources trustees most need. If you are interested in participating in this group, please reach out to Alice at [email protected].
Clean Energy: This working group is in the final stages of developing a briefing paper highlighting options endowments can take to invest in solar energy across the value chain. This paper will build off of the Clean Energy White Paper that was released last fall, and will provide guidance on three main approaches endowments can utilize to invest in solar:
allocating capital across traditional asset classes in the investment portfolio, sponsoring a project by investing funds for its development, and allocating capital to a campus green revolving fund. If you are interested in participating in this group, please reach out to Nicole at [email protected].
Student Managed Funds: This working group connects student-managed fund advisors, academics focused on sustainable investing, and students involved in student-managed funds to share best practices and resources to advance sustainable investing curriculum and strategies in each fund. Last month, two members of the group from Middlebury College presented on the College's RISE (Research and Investment in Sustainable Equity) Group. A recording of their presentation is available here. The Group recently published a Toolkit on How to Start a Student-Managed Fund, and is working to pull information together on different student-managed funds across the country, including information on where they are in the process of establishment and how they are managed. If you are interested in connecting with stakeholders involved with student-managed funds on campuses across the country to share best practices, resources, events, curricula and undertake other activities to support sustainable investing funds and education, or if your school has we would greatly appreciate your assistance in entering the fund’s information in the database. Please reach out to Nicole at [email protected] to access the database.
Shareholder Engagement: This group has been connecting with additional endowments interested in becoming more active on shareholder engagement and proxy voting. Members have presented to investment committees and advisory committees on responsible investment. The group has been promoting resources, such as the annual Proxy Preview report, ICCR's proxy guide, Ceres's shareholder resolution database, as well as events and webinars associated with these resources. The group plans to continue to explore ways to support resource-constrained endowments in being more active, particularly when many use outsourced CIOs and external managers and therefore don't always own shares directly. If you are interested in participating in this group, please reach out to Alice at [email protected].
- Trustee Peer Group: The Trustee Peer Group is currently focused on bringing new members into the group to create more opportunities for peer-to-peer learning among college and university fiduciaries on sustainable investing. The group hosted a very successful AGB’s 2018 Foundation Leadership Forum. If you are interested in participating in this group, please reach out to Tony at [email protected].
- Webinar: The Impact Management Project l May 17, 2018, 1:00 p.m. ET
- Webinar: The Importance of ESG Data & Corporate Engagement | May 23, 2018, 1:00 p.m. ET
Community Investing Roundtable | June 11, 2018, Boston, MA *(this event, originally scheduled for April 27 has been postponed to June 11th)
- Confluence Philanthropy's 2018 Advisors Forum l Confluence Philanthropy and The Intentional Endowments Network, June 19-20, 2018, New York, NY
Intentionally Designed Endowment Roundtable at the Appalachian Energy Summit | July 30 - August 1, 2018, Boone, NC (by invitation)
- 2019 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit | February 10-12, 2019, Tempe, AZ
- Mission Forward! MIE’s 2018 National Conference l Mission Investors Exchange, May 14-16, 2018, Chicago, IL
Davos on the Delta l iSelect Fund, May 15-17, 2018, Memphis, TN
- US SIF Annual Conference l US SIF, May 30 - June 1, 2018, Washington DC
- Global Climate Action Summit l Global Climate Action Summit, September 12-14, 2018, San Francisco, CA
- PRI In Person l Principles for Responsible Investment, September 12-14, 2018, San Francisco, CA
- The 29th Annual SRI Conference l November 1-3, 2018, Colorado Springs, CO
To view more upcoming events, click here.
Below are some recent resources from the Intentional Endowments Network and other organizations. To see more reports, articles, videos and other resources by topic, visit the resource page on our website.
Resources from IEN:
- Toolkit on How to Start a Student-Managed Fund l IEN Student-Managed Fund Working Group
- Investing With a Purpose l Business Officer
- A Cooperative Path Toward Divestment l Business Officer
- Matching Investments to Mission l Business Officer
- The Intentionally Designed Endowment l Trusteeship Magazine
- How ESG Engagement Creates Value For Investors and Companies l Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI)
- Proxy Voting Guidelines 2018 l As You Sow
- Best Interests in the Long Term: Fiduciary Duties and ESG Integration l SSRN
- Plant-Based Profits: Investment Risks and Opportunities in Sustainable Food Systems l FAIRR
- Banking on Climate Change: Fossil Fuel Finance Report Card 2018l Rainforest Action Network
- Impact Investing Can Deliver Financial Returns with Better Data Finds New Study from Distilled Analytics and Boundless Impact Investing l Globe News Wire
- Cornerstone Capital Group Publishes Report on Impact Investing Essentials l Cision
- Roadmap for the Future of Impact Investing: Reshaping Financial Markets l The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN)
In the News
Below is a sampling of recent news articles we've posted on our Newsfeed, ranging in topics from Sustainable Investing, Climate Risk, Science & Regulation, Sustainability in Higher Education, Divestment, Clean Energy, and more.
IEN in the News:
- University Endowment Funds Face Increasing Pressure to be More Sustainable l Financial Times
- Perspectives on DOL Field Assitance Bulletin l IEN Blog
- Callan Joins Intentional Endowments Network to Accelerate ESG Research and Education l Callan
- University of Toronto Asset Management Corp. Reports on Responsible Investing Performance l University of Toronto
- Want Your Endowment to Grow? Try Diversifying Your Investment Team l The Chronicle of Higher Education
- UC Administration to Reinvest $500 Million Away from Fossil Fuels l The Guardian
- Knox College Committee Formed to Provide Guidance on Socially Responsible Investments l The Knox
- CalPERS Invests $1B in ESG Global Equity Portfolio l Chief Investment Officer
- Team ASEAN Storm Resilience Fund Aims to Help Communities Withstand Extreme Weather Events in Southeast Asia; Wins 2018 Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge l Business Wire
- Elizabeth City State University Eyes Rules for 'Responsible' Investing l Daily Advance
- Church Fund Endowment Goes 100% Fossil Fuel Free l Pensions & Investments
- Stetson University Students Announce New ESG Stock Index l Cision
- Mission Alignment Marks Next Frontier of Endowment Investing l Pro Bono
- One Year After Divestment Decision, Barnard Shifts Focus to Sustainability Practices l Columbia Spectator
- Washington University to Consider Creation of Endowment Transparency Committee l WU Student Life
- Durham University to Divest its Shares in Fossil Fuels l Climate Action
- The University of Bristol Announces Sector-Leading Fossil Free Divestment Target l University of Bristol
- Mercers, Guns, and Opioids: When Should a College Divest? l Bloomberg
- Nathan Cummings Foundation Letter to the Field: Focused on the Future We Want l Nathan Cummings Foundation
- Governor Cuomo and Comptroller Dinapoli Appoint First-Ever Decarbonization Advisory Panel l New York State Press Room
If you have an original piece you would like to submit for an upcoming newsletter, or for more information about the Intentional Endowments Network and how you can support this work, please contact Nicole Harman at [email protected].