BARD COLLEGE, PRESIDIO GRADUATE SCHOOL, CENTRAL WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, AND VIRGINIA WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY TEAMS REACH FINAL ROUND IN PRESTIGIOUS INVESTMENT COMPETITION
Leading Shareholder Advocacy and ESG Investing Groups to Host Finals of Collegiate Investment Competition
April 28, 2022 – Amid growing college and university endowment interest in shareholder engagement and environmental, social and governance (ESG)-focused investing, the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) will host the final round of the student-focused Corporate Engagement Competition on April 29th. Teams from Bard College in New York and Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco advanced to the finals in the graduate division, and Central Washington University in Ellensburg and Virginia Wesleyan in Norfolk advanced to the finals in the undergraduate division, and will face off in front of a panel of expert judges.
Universities across the country participated in the competition as a real-world introduction to sustainable investing and shareholder advocacy. Sponsored by Federated Hermes and TIAA, the competition focused on the responsibility of shareholders to directly engage company management on the risks and opportunities they see to improve company financial performance, as well as social and environmental impact.
The official winners of the graduate and undergraduate competitions will be announced on May 2nd.
Nicole Torrico, Program Director at the Intentional Endowments Network, said: "This Competition supports the next generation of investment leaders in exploring creative ways to implement solutions to ESG related issues including climate change, racial justice, and gender equity. These issues are increasingly front of mind for business leaders and investors as they pose material financial risks and opportunities for all companies, and as this month's IPCC report highlighted, a rapid boost in addressing inequality and the interrelated climate crisis is needed to stay within 1.5°C of warming."
Each student team worked throughout the spring 2022 semester to produce both a written investment recommendation for a publicly-traded company listed on any major exchange and a proposed shareholder engagement strategy that aligned with IEN’s Social Equity and Climate Goals. Along the way, the students received sustainable investing and shareholder advocacy coaching and training from members of IEN and As You Sow, an in-kind sponsor and educational partner.
A panel of judges selected the four finalists (two undergraduate and two graduate) based on their presentations, provided evidence, scale of embedded ESG analysis, and the creativity and efficacy of the shareholder engagement strategy to both improve company financial performance and make a meaningful positive social or environmental impact.
MEDIA CONTACT: To listen to the competition final presentations or interview any of the participating teams and/or sponsors, contact Alex Frank, (703) 276-3264 or [email protected].
The Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) is a peer learning network of colleges, universities, and other mission-driven institutional investors working together to achieve their risk and return objectives through investment actions that create a thriving, sustainable economy. IEN has more than 200 network members including endowments, asset managers, investment consultants, nonprofit partners, and individuals.