On November 1-2, 2016, a dynamic group of endowment leaders convened at Loyola University Chicago to connect with their peers and learn from investment experts about the fast-evolving field of sustainable investing -- covering a broad range of concepts and strategies including ESG integration, impact investing, mission-aligned investing, shareholder engagement and more.
Participants heard from a variety of high-level speakers, including Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, as well as David Blood of Generation Management, Jeremy Coller of Coller Capital and the Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return (FAIRR) initiative, and more. See the program agenda page for a complete list of speakers.
The 131 participants included representatives from 28 colleges, universities, and philanthropic foundations, including Georgetown University, DePaul University, the Pratt Institute, Hampshire College, Benedictine University, the London School of Economics, the University of Dayton, and the University of Winnipeg. Many of the leading non-profits and investment management and consulting firms in the sustainable investing field space also brought their expertise to the conversation. A list of participating institutions is available here.
Participants advanced conversations that have been ongoing in the Intentional Endowments Network -- at previous events, and through Working Groups, webinars, and resource development -- and also introduced new areas of focus for the Network. Topics covered included:
- Financial performance of sustainable investment strategies
- Fiduciary duty
- Opportunities to demonstrate leadership by aligning investments with institutional mission, values, and sustainability goals
- Portfolio construction and considering ESG across asset classes
- Student-managed investment funds
- Investing in clean energy
- How to have constructive conversation on these topics at the Board level
IEN's Clean Energy Working Group announced the release of a new white paper titled -- Investing in Clean Energy: Campuses and Endowments, and members of the group presented a panel conversation about the variety of ways institutions can drive the shift to a clean energy economy, realizing significant costs savings and strong returns in the process.
Several action-plans were developed at Forum. Endowment participants shared plans to bring materials back to their investment committee meetings and have deeper conversations on sustainable investing strategies. A group of trustees and investment committee members formed a working group and tasked themselves with finding ways to facilitate more peer-to-peer networking among trustees at different institutions working on these issues. Another working group was proposed to connect student-managed investment funds from various campuses to share their learnings and develop guides to help students at others schools create new funds.
The Forum proved to be another valuable step in advancing the conversations around intentionally designed endowments, that aim to protect and enhance financial performance by better aligning investments with institutional mission, values, and sustainability goals.
Visit the Forum page for more details on the event including links to presentations and videos of speaker sessions.
We are very appreciative of all of the Forum Sponsors who made this event possible, and the host institution, Loyola University Chicago for their leadership in catalyzing this conversation.
If your institution is interested in hosting an IEN Forum or another type of event convening on these topics, please contact us.
Thank you to our Generous Sponsors:
Loyola University Chicago
Boston Common Asset Management
UBS Asset Management
Breckinridge Capital Advisors
Impax Asset Management
Praxis Mutual Funds
South Pole Group
Trillium Asset Management