Nicole Torrico

  • Webinar: Proxy Voting and Shareholder Engagement for Endowments

    Webinar: Proxy Voting and Shareholder Engagement for Endowments 

    Register today! 

    Date: February 27, 2017, 12:30 - 1:30 PM ET

    The webinar will provide an overview of the value of proxy voting and additional forms of engagement for endowments that are involved in commingled funds through an outsourced CIO – including the current landscape, trends, specific issues, and why it is important for investors. Guidelines and opportunities of how to take action will also be provided.

    Panelists:

    • Heidi Welsh, Executive Director at Sustainable Investments Institute
    • Natasha Lamb, Director of Equity Research and Shareholder Engagement, Arjuna Capital
    • Tim Smith, Director of ESG Shareholder Engagement, Walden Asset Management
    • Moderator: Jacquelyn Smith, Senior Fellow, Intentional Endowments Network 

      

    Speaker Bios: 

     

    Natasha Lamb, Managing Partner, Director of Equity Research & Shareholder Engagement, Arjuna Capital

    Natasha integrates Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors into Arjuna’s investment process while engaging major corporations to improve their performance through shareholder advocacy. Previously, Natasha was Vice President, Shareholder Advocacy and Corporate Engagement, and an Equity Analyst at Trillium Asset Management. Read full bio... 

     

    heidi_welsh.pngHeidi Welsh, Executive Director, Sustainable Investing Institute

    Heidi Welsh, the founding executive director of the Sustainable Investments Institute (Si2), has analyzed and written about corporate responsibility issues for more than two decades. She oversees Si2's operations and research. Read full bio...

     

    Tim_Smith_2013.jpeg

    Tim Smith, Director of ESG Shareowner Engagement, Walden Asset Management, Boston Trust

    Tim Smith serves as the Director of ESG Shareowner Engagement at Walden Asset Management, a division of Boston Trust & Investment Management Company.  Walden has been a leader in sustainable and responsible investing (SRI) since 1975. As of December 30, 2016, Walden managed approximately $3 billion in assets for individual and institutional clients.  Read full bio... 

     

     

     

     

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  • Webinar: Divesting from Climate Science Deniers - The Barnard College Story

    Date:  July 26th, 2018, 1:00 pm EST

    In this webinar, participants will hear from Rob Goldberg, COO of Barnard College, Chris Ito, CEO of FFI, and Kathy Mulvey, Climate Accountability Campaign Manager at The Union of Concerned Scientists.

    They will take a deeper dive in Barnard College’s process of evaluating the question of fossil fuel divestment and creating an innovative approach that focuses on fossil fuel companies that deny climate science or otherwise seek to thwart efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change. Barnard’s partners at the Union of Concerned Scientists and FFI will share how their research can help inform investors on which fossil fuel companies have been hindering climate policy.

     

     

    Relevant Resources:

     

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  • Webinar: Aligning University Investments With Carbon Reduction Goals in the UK Through Fossil Fuel Divestment

    Date:  July 16th, 2018

    In this webinar, participants will hear from Louise Ryan, Deputy Chief Financial Officer at Trinity College Dublin, Jon Gluyas, The Dean of Knowledge Exchange and Director of The Durham Energy Institute at Durham University, and Sian Ferguson, Trust Executive for Ashden Trust, Mark Leonard Trust, and JJ Charitable Trust, three of The Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts.

    Sian Ferguson will kick off the discussion with an overview of the global importance and growth of the DivestInvest movement, as well as the impact of the movement on universities and the vital role they have played. Jon Gluyas will then discuss the research process behind Durham University’s divestment decision, specifically speaking to the University’s communication with industry research partners and funders in the oil industry. Louise Ryan will follow with a review of Trinity College Dublin’s process of engaging with students, as well as an evaluation of the financial and social dimensions of fossil fuel divestment.

     

     

     

     

    Speakers:

    • Louise Ryan, Deputy Chief Financial Officer at Trinity College Dublin
    • Jon Gluyas, The Dean of Knowledge Exchange and Director of The Durham Energy Institute at Durham University
    • Sian Ferguson, Trust Executive for Ashden Trust, Mark Leonard Trust, and JJ Charitable Trust, three of The Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts
    • Moderator: Nicole Harman, Program Manager, Intentional Endowments Network

     

    Note: The Intentional Endowments Network will also be hosting a webinar the following week (Tuesday, July 26th) on Barnard College’s (NY, NY) process of evaluating the question of fossil fuel divestment and creating an innovative approach that focuses on fossil fuel companies that deny climate science. For more information and to register for this related webinar, click here.

     

     


  • Announcing the Winner of the 2021 Student Corporate Engagement Competition!

    IEN's Student Corporate Engagement Competition puts a new spin on the traditional approach to investment competitions by focusing on the responsibility of investors to directly engage company management on the risks and opportunities they see.

     

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  • ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS TAKE TOP HONORS IN NATIONAL SUSTAINABLE INVESTING CONTEST

    Students Pursuing Active Stewardship of Their Portfolios Corroborate April IEN Study That Showed Student ESG Portfolios Thriving At Schools Across the Country

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 13, 2021 -- Amid growing college and university endowment interest in shareholder engagement and environmental, social and governance (ESG)-focused investing, students from Arizona State University (ASU) were recognized today by a panel of judges as the best among college competitors in the student-focused SIILK Corporate Engagement Competition hosted by the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN).  

    Teams from four universities -- Arizona State University, Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business, University of California Haas School of Business, and University of Chicago -- participated in the competition as a real-world introduction to sustainable investing. The Competition, sponsored by Federated Hermes, focused on the responsibility of investors 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 ASU Team proposed an investment in BlackRock, Inc., chosen for its financial reliability, strong ESG performance with material topics, competitiveness as an industry leader, commitment to racial justice, and opportunity to reduce its risks. According to the team, when discussing their proposed shareholder engagement strategy: “As the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock is well-positioned to advance racial equity by investing in initiatives that strengthen minorities' ability to accumulate wealth. By improving diversity internally and in its invested companies, BlackRock can realize additional financial returns directly and indirectly through improvement in diversity and inclusion.” To multiply leverage to move BlackRock, the team proposed building a coalition of universities whose endowments either also employ BlackRock as an OCIO/fund manager or can invest in BlackRock as a shareholder. 

    Nicole Torrico, Program Manager at the Intentional Endowments Network, said: This competition is one of the ways IEN's SIILK Network is connecting students, faculty, and staff to transform sustainable investing education through student-managed investment funds. We're seeing active ownership become one of the fastest growing strategies to address material investment risks and position companies for an equitable, low-carbon economy. The students in this competition showed why and how to mobilize capital for positive impact by integrating active stewardship right into their investment decision making.” 

    Each student team worked throughout the semester to produce both a written investment recommendation in 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.

    A panel of judges selected the winning team based on presentation, provided evidence, scale of embedded ESG analysis, and the creativity and efficacy of the shareholder engagement strategy to both improve company financial performance and have a meaningful positive social or environmental impact.

    A member of the judging panel, Emily DeMasi, Director, EOS at Federated Hermes, said: “This year’s IEN SIILK Student Competition showcased four talented and engaging student teams.  Each team came well prepared with rigorous financial analysis, thoughtful engagement approaches and genuine enthusiasm for the competition.  The inclusion of ESG issues and shareholder engagement in business school case studies is a testament to how much the industry has evolved and grown over the last decade.  The value of competitions like this one, particularly IEN’s, is in developing the next generation of ESG leaders.”  

    A member of the judging panel, Laura Jernegan, Associate, EOS at Federated Hermes, said: “It was an honor to participate as one of the judges for this year’s IEN SIILK Student Competition. The rigor and passion of the student teams sparked memories of my own MBA experience, as case competitions provide a valuable platform to expand experience beyond the classroom and connect with like-minded professionals and fellow students and can be an integral part of shaping a passion into a career. It is inspiring to see the next generation of students focusing on shareholder engagement on material ESG issues and recognizing that more opportunities to create value present themselves when companies embrace and engage with their stakeholders.” 

    This announcement builds off of a major new report from the Intentional Endowments Network  released last month that found that many higher-education institutions, including those that have been reluctant to divest or adopt sustainable investment strategies, already have student-managed investment funds (SMIFs) that are increasingly adopting sustainable investment approaches. 

    As of 2020, IEN found 10% of SMIF assets under management (AUM), representing $68.4M in AUM, have a clear sustainable investing strategy, as colleges and universities recognized their responsibility in developing the next generation of investment leaders that emphasized long-term, strategic thinking to build a sustainable economy. SMIFs can be one way to build bridges between endowment investing and student leaders. 

    The IEN report, “Educating the Next Generation of Sustainable Investment Leaders: A Report on the State of the Field of Student-Managed Investment Funds,” found: “Of the surveyed sustainably invested SMIFs, funding sources varied, with the majority of funds being carved out of the university endowment or funded by a separate pool of donations. Over half (55%) of surveyed funds invested in public equity, followed by a large number of respondents that indicated they invested in private equity (42.5%). Regarding sustainable investing integration, one quarter of funds focused on ESG integration, close to a quarter (23%) invested with an impact lens, 18% utilized negative and positive screens, and 5% engaged as shareholders.”

     

    ABOUT IEN

    The Intentional Endowments Network 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 165 network members including endowments, asset managers, investment consultants, nonprofit partners, and individuals. www.intentionalendowments.org 

    IEN’s SIILK (Sustainable and Impact Investing Learning and Knowledge) Network has three main goals: (1) scale the uptake of sustainable investing education, including courses and experiential education opportunities like SMIFs, (2) support SMIFs as they work to build stronger bridges between their SMIF and their institution’s broader endowment, and (3) increase the diversity and number of students that enter the sustainable investing field. www.SIILKnetwork.org  

     

    ABOUT FEDERATED HERMES                          

    Federated Hermes, Inc. is a leading global investment manager with $625.0 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2021. Guided by our conviction that responsible investing is the best way to create wealth over the long term, our investment solutions span equity, fixed-income, alternative/private markets, multi-asset and liquidity management strategies. Providing world-class active investment management and engagement services to more than 11,000 institutions and intermediaries, our clients include corporations, government entities, insurance companies, foundations and endowments, banks and broker/dealers. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Federated Hermes’ nearly 2,000 employees include those in London, New York, Boston and offices worldwide. For more information, visit FederatedHermes.com.

     


    CONTACT:   Alex Frank, (703) 276-3264 and [email protected].

     

     


  • IEN Report: U.S. Colleges and Universities Yet to Divest From Fossil Fuels May Be Home to Student Investment Funds That Have Done So

    10% of Student-Managed Investment Funds Now Have a Clear Sustainable Investing Strategy, Reaching $68.4M in Assets Under Management in 2020.

    ANDOVER, MA. – April 6, 2021 – Interest over the past decade in the university and endowment investing space has focused primarily on endowment divestment from fossil fuels, including many high-profile portfolio decarbonization pushes at institutions such as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Students and alumni alike have been pushing these institutions to divest their large endowments of fossil fuels and adopt sustainable investing practices. A major new report from the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) finds that many of the higher-education institutions that have been reluctant to divest or adopt sustainable investment strategies, already have student-managed investment funds that are increasingly adopting sustainable investment approaches. 

    As of 2020, IEN found 10 percent of student-managed investment funds (SMIFs) have a clear sustainable investing strategy, as colleges and universities recognized their responsibility in developing the next generation of investment leaders that emphasized long-term, strategic thinking to build a sustainable economy. 

    The IEN report, “Educating the Next Generation of Sustainable Investment Leaders: A Report on the State of the Field of Student-Managed Investment Funds,” found: “Of the surveyed SI SMIFs, funding sources varied, with the majority of funds being carved out of the university endowment or funded by a separate pool of donations. Over half (55%) of surveyed funds invested in public equity, followed by a large number of respondents that indicated they invested in private equity (42.5%). Regarding sustainable investing integration, one quarter of funds focused on ESG integration, close to a quarter (23%) invested with an impact lens, 18% utilized negative and positive screens, and 5% engaged as shareholders.”

    Report co-author Nicole Torrico, program manager, IEN, said: “Colleges and Universities should strongly consider developing sustainable investing focused student-managed investment funds as a way to provide students with experiential learning opportunities and actively develop the next generation of sustainable investment leaders. As institutions designed to anticipate tomorrow’s challenges and prepare students to enter the workforce, colleges and universities have a responsibility to respond to the emerging trends of sustainable investing.”

    The following are four SI SMIF case studies cited in the report:

    • Yale University Dwight Hall Socially Responsible Investment Fund (DHSRI): Undergraduate-run socially responsible investment fund. Yale’s Dwight Hall Center for Public Service and Social Justice initially seeded the fund with $50,000 of its $10 million endowment in 2008. DHSRI has over $200,000 AUM and pursues positive social and environmental impact while maximizing financial return. In 2016, DHSRI became the first student group to pursue shareholder engagement as a sustainable investing strategy.
    • Northeastern University Impact Fund (NUImpact Fund): Undergraduate-run investment club with over 40 members focusing on Impact and Community Investing. The fund manages over $50,000 in AUM via Private Equity. 
    • Bryant University Archway Investment Equity Fund: Undergraduate-run fund established in 2005 to provide Bryant University students with the opportunity to manage an investment portfolio of actual money following the principles used by financial professionals. The initial investment in the Fund was $200,000. Over the years, Bryant University has provided four additional cash infusions totaling $250,000. The fund’s portfolio was valued at about $1,700,000 in December 2020.
    • Portland State University Impact Investing Fund: The graduate-run PSU Impact Investing Fund focuses on investing in private, early-stage companies in the Pacific Northwest and especially those in Portland. The fund has a particular interest in pursuing investments in early-stage start-ups with high potential to make significant positive environmental or social impact alongside financial returns.

    As the IEN report concludes: “Sustainable investing student-managed investment funds provide an invaluable learning experience for students and prepares them to enter into the sustainable investing field, while also promoting long-term systemic thinking to build a more sustainable economy.”

    The 40 SI SMIFs surveyed in the IEN report are: Appalachian State University; Arizona State University, ASU ESG SIM Fund; Bard College, Student Managed Fund; Brigham Young University, University Impact; Brown University, Socially Responsible Investment Fund; Bryant University, Archway Investment Fund; California State University, Northridge, FIN491BH A & B; Claremont McKenna College, Student Investment Fund; Columbia Business School, Microlumbia Fund; Duke University, Duke University Investment Club; Emory University, Emory Impact Investing Group; Emory University, Goizueta Business School, Goizueta Impact Investors; Haverford College, Microfinance and Impact Investing Initiative (Mi3); Indiana University, Hoosier Social Impact Fund; Loyola Marymount University, Student Investment Fund; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan Investment Management Club (IMC); Middlebury College, RISE (Research & Investment in Sustainable Equity); New York University, NYU Impact Investment Fund; Northeastern University, NU Impact Investing Initiative; Ouachita Baptist University, Eddie and Phyllis Ary Student Investment Fund; Portland State University, Student Investment Fund; Santa Clara University, Impact Capital; Simon Fraser University (Graduate), SIAS Fund; Simon Fraser University (Undergraduate), Beedie Endowment Asset Management (BEAM) fund; Stanford University, Graduate School of Business, GSB Impact Fund; Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, ESG Fund; Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, Tuck Social Venture Fund; University of California, Berkeley, Haas Socially Responsible Investment Fund; University of Dayton, Hanley Sustainability Fund; University of Michigan, Ross School of Business; University of Minnesota, Carlson Funds Enterprise; University of North Carolina, Asheville, Student Environmental Center – ESG Fund; University of Oregon, University of Oregon Investment Group; University of Pennsylvania, Wharton Business School, Wharton Impact Investing Partners; University of Utah, Sorenson Impact Center; University of Virginia, Darden Business School, Darden Impact Ventures; Villanova University (Graduate), Student Managed Fund; Villanova University (Undergraduate), Student Managed Fund; Washington College, Brown Advisory Student-Managed Investment Fund; Yale University, Dwight Hall Socially Responsible Investment Fund.

     

    ABOUT IEN

    The Intentional Endowments Network 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 165 network members including endowments, asset managers, investment consultants, nonprofit partners and individuals. www.intentionalendowments.org 

    IEN’s SIILK (Sustainable and Impact Investing Learning and Knowledge) Network has three main goals: (1) scale the uptake of sustainable investing education, including courses and experiential education opportunities like SMIFs, (2) support SMIFs as they work to build stronger bridges between their SMIF and their institution’s broader endowment, and (3) increase the diversity and number of students that enter the sustainable investing field. www.SIILKnetwork.org

     

    CONTACT:   Alex Frank, (703) 276-3264 and [email protected].

     

     




  • Choose Your Own Climate Future: En-ROADS Climate Simulator Workshop for Investors

    Date: March 17th, 2021, 1:00 p.m. ET

    The challenge of climate action is also a challenge of climate conversation - how do we make sense of significant policy and technological uncertainty? How do we take meaningful action as investors? The purpose of the En-Roads Climate Solutions Simulator is to help make these conversations as constructive and informative as possible. Grounded in the best available science, the En-ROADS (Energy Rapid Overview and Decision Support) simulator allows people to choose which policy and technology levers to pull, and see the climate results for themselves in real-time. This 1-hour workshop over Zoom will allow participants to engage in interactive “policy testing” to explore pathways to a safer climate future. 

     
    En-ROADS is a transparent, freely-available policy simulation model, developed by Climate Interactive, Ventana Systems, and MIT Sloan.

     

    Recording:

     

    Workshop Facilitators: 

    • Jason Jay, Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Director of the Sustainability Initiative at MIT Sloan

    • Pedro de Vasconcellos Oporto, Research Assistant, MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative

     

     


  • published Henry Lancaster in Steering Committee 2020-11-12 08:46:18 -0500

    Henry Lancaster

    Henry M. Lancaster, Partner at Lancaster Craig & Associates, Director of the HBCU Green Fund, and Trustee of Lincoln University

     

     

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  • published Justin Wilson in Steering Committee 2020-11-12 08:41:55 -0500

    Justin Wilson

    Justin Wilson, Director, Diverse Asset Managers Initiative (DAMI)

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  • published Daren Smith in Steering Committee 2020-11-12 08:41:31 -0500

    Daren Smith

    Daren Smith, President and Chief Investment Officer, University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation (UTAM) 

     

     

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  • published Carol Malnick in Steering Committee 2020-10-23 16:46:57 -0400

    Carol Malnick

    Carol Malnick, Vice President, Boston Common Asset Management

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  • published Karan Kishorepuria in Steering Committee 2020-10-23 16:31:34 -0400

    Karan Kishorepuria

    Karan Kishorepuria, Student, Northeastern University

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  • published Erik Gross in Steering Committee 2020-10-23 16:31:10 -0400

    Erik Gross

    Erik Gross, Board Treasurer, UNH Foundation

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  • published Catie O'Connell in Steering Committee 2020-10-23 16:30:50 -0400

    Catie O'Connell

    Catie O'Connell, Director, Institutional Development Unit, Natixis Investment Managers

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  • published Keryn Brock in Steering Committee 2020-10-15 14:00:33 -0400

    Keryn Brock

    Keryn Brock, Head of Institutional Endowment and Foundation Business, Brown Advisory

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  • Educating the Next Generation of Sustainable Investment Leaders: A Report on the State of the Field of Student-Managed Investment Funds


    Download the full report 

     

    About the Report

    This report compiles information on the 40 sustainably invested student-managed investment funds (SMIFs) engaged in The SIILK Network (IEN's student and faculty facing work), and highlights the assets under management, fund structure, and sustainable investing strategies used by student-managed investment funds. As of 2020, IEN found 10% of SMIF assets under management (AUM), representing $68.4M in AUM, have a clear sustainable investing strategy, as colleges and universities recognized their responsibility in developing the next generation of investment leaders that emphasized long-term, strategic thinking to build a sustainable economy. 

    SMIFs provide an experiential education opportunity for students interested in finance by allowing students to actively participate in financial markets by managing a real investment portfolio. These SMIFs support students in gaining real-world experience and developing their professional networks, frequently resulting in high job placement rates.

    Report findings include:

    • Of the surveyed sustainably invested SMIFs, funding sources varied, with the majority of funds being carved out of the university endowment or funded by a separate pool of donations.
    • Over half (55%) of surveyed funds invested in public equity, followed by a large number of respondents that indicated they invested in private equity (42.5%).
    • Regarding sustainable investing integration, one quarter of funds focused on ESG integration, close to a quarter (23%) invested with an impact lens, 18% utilized negative and positive screens, and 5% engaged as shareholders.

     

    About SIILK & Getting Involved

    The SIILK (Sustainable and Impact Investing Learning and Knowledge) Network is an initiative of IEN. SIILK has three main goals: (1) scale the uptake of sustainable investing education, including courses and experiential education opportunities like SMIFs, (2) support SMIFs as they work to build stronger bridges between their SMIF and their institution’s broader endowment, and (3) increase the diversity and number of students that enter the sustainable investing field.

    Through SIILK, IEN is working to ensure higher education institutions develop the next generation of leaders committed to an equitable, low carbon, and regenerative economy through student-managed investment funds and sustainable investing curriculum. Contact Nicole Torrico at [email protected] for more information or to get involved. To be included in future iterations of this report, complete this survey: https://tinyurl.com/SIILKsurvey

     

    Acknowledgments

    Development of this report would not have been possible without the contributions and survey responses from members of the SIILK Network, or the generous support and sponsorship from our partners.

    Contributing Authors:

    • Julia Maloney, Sustainable Investing Graduate Fellow, Intentional Endowments Network
    • Nicole Torrico, Program Manager, Intentional Endowments Network

     

     

     

     


  • published Randall Strickland in Steering Committee 2020-09-25 10:08:26 -0400

    Randall Strickland

    Randall Strickland, Director and Investment Advisor, Cornerstone Capital Group

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  • published Neda Nobari in Steering Committee 2020-09-25 10:03:11 -0400

    Neda Nobari

    Neda Nobari, Vice Chair of the Foundation Board, San Francisco State University

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  • published Libby George in Steering Committee 2020-09-25 09:59:18 -0400

    Libby George

    Libby George, Director of Investments, North Carolina State University

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  • published Tim Coffin in Steering Committee 2020-09-25 09:46:10 -0400

    Tim Coffin

    Tim Coffin, Senior Vice President, Breckinridge Capital Advisors

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