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Perspectives on Exxon Mobil Exiting Lobbying Group ALEC

Written By: Tim Smith, Walden Asset Management To Colleagues  involved in Shareholder Advocacy on Exxon and Alec  And Lobbying:Some of you may have seen the news released yesterday that ExxonMobil had decided to withdraw from ALEC.  I enclose three stories below capturing the key points. There are many investors who have chosen to avoid ownership of energy or oil company stocks like Exxon. Others have chosen to use their shares to put pressure on companies on climate change. All of us are deeply concerned about the power of fossil fuel companies on public policy. One of the focus points is how companies lobby directly or through trade associations on climate-related legislation. There have been ten years of lobbying disclosure resolutions including...

Read More


Gender Lens Investing Landscape: Barriers & Opportunities

Nearly four decades before they were even allowed to vote, women in the U.S. were placing their bets within the financial markets. In 1880 Mary Gage opened the first stock exchange in Manhattan for women – prior to this, women depended on men to invest in public equities on their behalf. Fast forward to the 21st century, the financial markets and companies more broadly only recently started to realize the value of female representation. The gender lens discussion was further fueled by the United Nations in late 2015, when it listed gender equality among its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Nevertheless, some market practitioners have long understood the importance of gender lens investing, and in particular, its impact to the bottom line....

Read More


What We're Reading: Barron's Special Report on Sustainabl...

This week, Barron's released a Special Report on Sustainable Investing containing 8 articles on topics ranging from how to get started in sustainable investing, the 20 most influential people in ESG investing, and a cover story on BlackRock's work in the space, highlighting CEO Larry Fink's 2018 annual letter to companies emphasizing 'positive contribution[s] to society.' “Short-termism has been captured by the tick-tock of reporting, that’s why I’m trying to create a louder dialogue about long-termism, or the idea that a long-term Warren Buffett-like process will lead to greater sustainable returns,” Fink reports in the article. “ESG risks are going to be a formidable component of investing over a sustained period of time. We want ESG risk management to be a...

Read More


The Crane Institute of Sustainability - Home of the Inten...

We are pleased to announce that the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) has broadened its executive team with the addition of two new members to the Board of Directors of The Crane Institute of Sustainability (Crane), IEN's organizational home. Both Sandra Urie, chairman emeritus of investment advisory firm Cambridge Associates, LLC, and Anthony Rust, chairman of the investment committee at the Warren Wilson College, joined Crane’s Board in June. Collectively they bring nearly six decades of investment management experience and deep experience working with endowments on sustainability, impact, and mission-related investing. “We are delighted that Sandy and Anthony have joined the Board” said Georges Dyer, co-founder and executive director of Crane and IEN. “Both bring extensive expertise and first-hand experience in helping endowments...

Read More


IEN’s Community Impact Investing Roundtable

Community impact investing can be a powerful tool to redirect capital into our own backyard. Reinvesting in our communities can generate many benefits especially for anchor institutions such as foundations and endowments, including the creation of prosperous and thriving neighborhoods in which they work and the development of relationships with local communities. IEN’s half-day roundtable on Community Impact Investing on June 11, 2018 at the Boston Foundation convened more than 70 endowment and foundation decision-makers along with other stakeholders interested in working closer with their local communities. The interactive structure of the roundtable allowed participants to learn not only from distinguished panelists but also from others in the room with years of experience in this field.   Program Agenda | Event...

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Perspectives on DOL Field Assitance Bulletin

By: Keith L. Johnson, Heads of Institutional Investor Legal Services, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c., Member of the IEN Executive Committee, and Chair of the IEN Fiduciary Duty & Policy Working Group April 27, 2018 Investor fiduciaries should be careful not to overreact to Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) Field Assistance Bulletin 2018-01 on the exercise of shareholder rights and consideration of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors, which was issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) on April 23, 2018.[1] Some are reading it as backtracking on assurance about consideration of material ESG factors and related company engagement practices contained in interpretive bulletins that were issued in 2015 and 2016.   Tone of the Bulletin is definitely harsher....

Read More


Intentionally Designed Endowment Case Studies and Article...

This March The Intentional Endowments Network published 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 the links below to read each article.   Investing With Purpose l By: Anthony Cortese, Co-Founder and Principal, Intentional Endowments Network A Cooperative Path Toward Divestment l By: Carl Vance, CIO, Lewis and...

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Perspectives on the 2018 Higher Education Climate Leaders...

By: Anthony Cortese, Co-Founder and Principal of the Intentional Endowments Network, Georges Dyer, Co-Founder and Principal of the Intentional Endowments Network and Tim Carter, President, Second Nature Second Nature and the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) held the 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit February 4-6 in Tempe, Arizona.  It was the year’s largest gathering of higher education presidents, chancellors, trustees, and other senior leaders committed to accelerating climate solutions with over 275 participants.  It came at a critical time as society deals with the ongoing and worsening impacts of climate disruption.  Working together with business, state and local leaders, the higher education sector can and must shape the future of America’s global climate leadership.  After the U.S. Administration’s announcement to withdraw from the international Paris...

Read More


Intentionally Designed Endowments in 2017

As we reflect on 2017, we are again overcome with a profound sense of hope and gratitude; gratitude for all of the support and engagement from participants in the Intentional Endowments Network, and hope for accelerating progress toward the tipping point for a sustainable future. When we talk about hope, we often quote author and Oberlin professor, David Orr who is fond of pointing out that “hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up.” Recently our newest team member at Crane, Kristian Nammack introduced us to a similar observation on hope from author Rebecca Solnit: “Hope is not a lottery ticket you sit on the sofa and clutch. Hope is an axe you use to break down doors in...

Read More


Crane Board Chair, Natasha Lamb, Named one of 2017's Top ...

Natasha Lamb, Chair of the Board of The Crane Institute of Sustainability -- the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is home to the Intentional Endowments Network -- has been named one of 2017's Top 50 Most Influential People by Bloomberg Businessweek.  Visit the Bloomberg Top 50 to read more about this honor and watch a video featuring Natasha and the other changemakers helping to shape our society.    Natasha is a Managing Partner at Arjuna Capital and has served as Chair of the Board of Crane since its inception.  Her shareholder activism work has covered critical business issues ranging from climate risk to gender pay equity to fake news, and has focused on ensuring that companies are taking a long view and...

Read More


Crane Board Chair, Natasha Lamb, Named one of 2017's Top ...

Natasha Lamb, Chair of the Board of The Crane Institute of Sustainability -- the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is home to the Intentional Endowments Network -- has been named one of 2017's Top 50 Most Influential People by Bloomberg Businessweek.  Visit the Bloomberg Top 50 to read more about this honor and watch a video featuring Natasha and the other changemakers helping to shape our society.    Natasha is a Managing Partner at Arjuna Capital and has served as Chair of the Board of Crane since its inception.  Her shareholder activism work has covered critical business issues ranging from climate risk to gender pay equity to fake news, and has focused on ensuring that companies are taking a long view and...

Read More


Intentionally Designed Endowments in 2017

As we reflect on 2017, we are again overcome with a profound sense of hope and gratitude; gratitude for all of the support and engagement from participants in the Intentional Endowments Network, and hope for accelerating progress toward the tipping point for a sustainable future. When we talk about hope, we often quote author and Oberlin professor, David Orr who is fond of pointing out that “hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up.” Recently our newest team member at Crane, Kristian Nammack introduced us to a similar observation on hope from author Rebecca Solnit: “Hope is not a lottery ticket you sit on the sofa and clutch. Hope is an axe you use to break down doors in...

Read More


Perspectives on the 2018 Higher Education Climate Leaders...

By: Anthony Cortese, Co-Founder and Principal of the Intentional Endowments Network, Georges Dyer, Co-Founder and Principal of the Intentional Endowments Network and Tim Carter, President, Second Nature Second Nature and the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) held the 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit February 4-6 in Tempe, Arizona.  It was the year’s largest gathering of higher education presidents, chancellors, trustees, and other senior leaders committed to accelerating climate solutions with over 275 participants.  It came at a critical time as society deals with the ongoing and worsening impacts of climate disruption.  Working together with business, state and local leaders, the higher education sector can and must shape the future of America’s global climate leadership.  After the U.S. Administration’s announcement to withdraw from the international Paris...

Read More


Intentionally Designed Endowment Case Studies and Article...

This March The Intentional Endowments Network published 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 the links below to read each article.   Investing With Purpose l By: Anthony Cortese, Co-Founder and Principal, Intentional Endowments Network A Cooperative Path Toward Divestment l By: Carl Vance, CIO, Lewis and...

Read More


Perspectives on DOL Field Assitance Bulletin

By: Keith L. Johnson, Heads of Institutional Investor Legal Services, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c., Member of the IEN Executive Committee, and Chair of the IEN Fiduciary Duty & Policy Working Group April 27, 2018 Investor fiduciaries should be careful not to overreact to Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) Field Assistance Bulletin 2018-01 on the exercise of shareholder rights and consideration of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors, which was issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) on April 23, 2018.[1] Some are reading it as backtracking on assurance about consideration of material ESG factors and related company engagement practices contained in interpretive bulletins that were issued in 2015 and 2016.   Tone of the Bulletin is definitely harsher....

Read More


IEN’s Community Impact Investing Roundtable

Community impact investing can be a powerful tool to redirect capital into our own backyard. Reinvesting in our communities can generate many benefits especially for anchor institutions such as foundations and endowments, including the creation of prosperous and thriving neighborhoods in which they work and the development of relationships with local communities. IEN’s half-day roundtable on Community Impact Investing on June 11, 2018 at the Boston Foundation convened more than 70 endowment and foundation decision-makers along with other stakeholders interested in working closer with their local communities. The interactive structure of the roundtable allowed participants to learn not only from distinguished panelists but also from others in the room with years of experience in this field.   Program Agenda | Event...

Read More


The Crane Institute of Sustainability - Home of the Inten...

We are pleased to announce that the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) has broadened its executive team with the addition of two new members to the Board of Directors of The Crane Institute of Sustainability (Crane), IEN's organizational home. Both Sandra Urie, chairman emeritus of investment advisory firm Cambridge Associates, LLC, and Anthony Rust, chairman of the investment committee at the Warren Wilson College, joined Crane’s Board in June. Collectively they bring nearly six decades of investment management experience and deep experience working with endowments on sustainability, impact, and mission-related investing. “We are delighted that Sandy and Anthony have joined the Board” said Georges Dyer, co-founder and executive director of Crane and IEN. “Both bring extensive expertise and first-hand experience in helping endowments...

Read More


What We're Reading: Barron's Special Report on Sustainabl...

This week, Barron's released a Special Report on Sustainable Investing containing 8 articles on topics ranging from how to get started in sustainable investing, the 20 most influential people in ESG investing, and a cover story on BlackRock's work in the space, highlighting CEO Larry Fink's 2018 annual letter to companies emphasizing 'positive contribution[s] to society.' “Short-termism has been captured by the tick-tock of reporting, that’s why I’m trying to create a louder dialogue about long-termism, or the idea that a long-term Warren Buffett-like process will lead to greater sustainable returns,” Fink reports in the article. “ESG risks are going to be a formidable component of investing over a sustained period of time. We want ESG risk management to be a...

Read More


Gender Lens Investing Landscape: Barriers & Opportunities

Nearly four decades before they were even allowed to vote, women in the U.S. were placing their bets within the financial markets. In 1880 Mary Gage opened the first stock exchange in Manhattan for women – prior to this, women depended on men to invest in public equities on their behalf. Fast forward to the 21st century, the financial markets and companies more broadly only recently started to realize the value of female representation. The gender lens discussion was further fueled by the United Nations in late 2015, when it listed gender equality among its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Nevertheless, some market practitioners have long understood the importance of gender lens investing, and in particular, its impact to the bottom line....

Read More


Perspectives on Exxon Mobil Exiting Lobbying Group ALEC

Written By: Tim Smith, Walden Asset Management To Colleagues  involved in Shareholder Advocacy on Exxon and Alec  And Lobbying:Some of you may have seen the news released yesterday that ExxonMobil had decided to withdraw from ALEC.  I enclose three stories below capturing the key points. There are many investors who have chosen to avoid ownership of energy or oil company stocks like Exxon. Others have chosen to use their shares to put pressure on companies on climate change. All of us are deeply concerned about the power of fossil fuel companies on public policy. One of the focus points is how companies lobby directly or through trade associations on climate-related legislation. There have been ten years of lobbying disclosure resolutions including...

Read More


Crane Board Chair, Natasha Lamb, Named one of 2017's Top ...

Natasha Lamb, Chair of the Board of The Crane Institute of Sustainability -- the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is home to the Intentional Endowments Network -- has been named one of 2017's Top 50 Most Influential People by Bloomberg Businessweek.  Visit the Bloomberg Top 50 to read more about this honor and watch a video featuring Natasha and the other changemakers helping to shape our society.    Natasha is a Managing Partner at Arjuna Capital and has served as Chair of the Board of Crane since its inception.  Her shareholder activism work has covered critical business issues ranging from climate risk to gender pay equity to fake news, and has focused on ensuring that companies are taking a long view and...

Read More


Gender Lens Investing Landscape: Barriers & Opportunities

Nearly four decades before they were even allowed to vote, women in the U.S. were placing their bets within the financial markets. In 1880 Mary Gage opened the first stock exchange in Manhattan for women – prior to this, women depended on men to invest in public equities on their behalf. Fast forward to the 21st century, the financial markets and companies more broadly only recently started to realize the value of female representation. The gender lens discussion was further fueled by the United Nations in late 2015, when it listed gender equality among its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Nevertheless, some market practitioners have long understood the importance of gender lens investing, and in particular, its impact to the bottom line....

Read More


IEN’s Community Impact Investing Roundtable

Community impact investing can be a powerful tool to redirect capital into our own backyard. Reinvesting in our communities can generate many benefits especially for anchor institutions such as foundations and endowments, including the creation of prosperous and thriving neighborhoods in which they work and the development of relationships with local communities. IEN’s half-day roundtable on Community Impact Investing on June 11, 2018 at the Boston Foundation convened more than 70 endowment and foundation decision-makers along with other stakeholders interested in working closer with their local communities. The interactive structure of the roundtable allowed participants to learn not only from distinguished panelists but also from others in the room with years of experience in this field.   Program Agenda | Event...

Read More


Intentionally Designed Endowment Case Studies and Article...

This March The Intentional Endowments Network published 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 the links below to read each article.   Investing With Purpose l By: Anthony Cortese, Co-Founder and Principal, Intentional Endowments Network A Cooperative Path Toward Divestment l By: Carl Vance, CIO, Lewis and...

Read More


Intentionally Designed Endowments in 2017

As we reflect on 2017, we are again overcome with a profound sense of hope and gratitude; gratitude for all of the support and engagement from participants in the Intentional Endowments Network, and hope for accelerating progress toward the tipping point for a sustainable future. When we talk about hope, we often quote author and Oberlin professor, David Orr who is fond of pointing out that “hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up.” Recently our newest team member at Crane, Kristian Nammack introduced us to a similar observation on hope from author Rebecca Solnit: “Hope is not a lottery ticket you sit on the sofa and clutch. Hope is an axe you use to break down doors in...

Read More


Perspectives on DOL Field Assitance Bulletin

By: Keith L. Johnson, Heads of Institutional Investor Legal Services, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c., Member of the IEN Executive Committee, and Chair of the IEN Fiduciary Duty & Policy Working Group April 27, 2018 Investor fiduciaries should be careful not to overreact to Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) Field Assistance Bulletin 2018-01 on the exercise of shareholder rights and consideration of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors, which was issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) on April 23, 2018.[1] Some are reading it as backtracking on assurance about consideration of material ESG factors and related company engagement practices contained in interpretive bulletins that were issued in 2015 and 2016.   Tone of the Bulletin is definitely harsher....

Read More


Perspectives on Exxon Mobil Exiting Lobbying Group ALEC

Written By: Tim Smith, Walden Asset Management To Colleagues  involved in Shareholder Advocacy on Exxon and Alec  And Lobbying:Some of you may have seen the news released yesterday that ExxonMobil had decided to withdraw from ALEC.  I enclose three stories below capturing the key points. There are many investors who have chosen to avoid ownership of energy or oil company stocks like Exxon. Others have chosen to use their shares to put pressure on companies on climate change. All of us are deeply concerned about the power of fossil fuel companies on public policy. One of the focus points is how companies lobby directly or through trade associations on climate-related legislation. There have been ten years of lobbying disclosure resolutions including...

Read More


Perspectives on the 2018 Higher Education Climate Leaders...

By: Anthony Cortese, Co-Founder and Principal of the Intentional Endowments Network, Georges Dyer, Co-Founder and Principal of the Intentional Endowments Network and Tim Carter, President, Second Nature Second Nature and the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) held the 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit February 4-6 in Tempe, Arizona.  It was the year’s largest gathering of higher education presidents, chancellors, trustees, and other senior leaders committed to accelerating climate solutions with over 275 participants.  It came at a critical time as society deals with the ongoing and worsening impacts of climate disruption.  Working together with business, state and local leaders, the higher education sector can and must shape the future of America’s global climate leadership.  After the U.S. Administration’s announcement to withdraw from the international Paris...

Read More


The Crane Institute of Sustainability - Home of the Inten...

We are pleased to announce that the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) has broadened its executive team with the addition of two new members to the Board of Directors of The Crane Institute of Sustainability (Crane), IEN's organizational home. Both Sandra Urie, chairman emeritus of investment advisory firm Cambridge Associates, LLC, and Anthony Rust, chairman of the investment committee at the Warren Wilson College, joined Crane’s Board in June. Collectively they bring nearly six decades of investment management experience and deep experience working with endowments on sustainability, impact, and mission-related investing. “We are delighted that Sandy and Anthony have joined the Board” said Georges Dyer, co-founder and executive director of Crane and IEN. “Both bring extensive expertise and first-hand experience in helping endowments...

Read More


What We're Reading: Barron's Special Report on Sustainabl...

This week, Barron's released a Special Report on Sustainable Investing containing 8 articles on topics ranging from how to get started in sustainable investing, the 20 most influential people in ESG investing, and a cover story on BlackRock's work in the space, highlighting CEO Larry Fink's 2018 annual letter to companies emphasizing 'positive contribution[s] to society.' “Short-termism has been captured by the tick-tock of reporting, that’s why I’m trying to create a louder dialogue about long-termism, or the idea that a long-term Warren Buffett-like process will lead to greater sustainable returns,” Fink reports in the article. “ESG risks are going to be a formidable component of investing over a sustained period of time. We want ESG risk management to be a...

Read More


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