Nicole Torrico

  • published Support Our Work in Take Action 2022-06-22 13:17:01 -0400

  • Save The Date

    2023 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit

    February 5 - 7th, 2023

    University of Miami

    Miami, FL

    This page will be updated as more information is available, including registration and a call for content.

    In the meantime, reach out to [email protected] with any questions.

     

     


  • 2023 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit

    February 5 - 7, 2023

    Learn more here.

    WHEN
    February 05, 2023 at 6:00pm - February 07, 2023 at 6:00pm
    WHERE
    University of Miami
    Miami, FL
    United States
    Google map and directions
    rsvp

  • published As You Vote in Engaging Corporations 2022-05-10 14:37:49 -0400

     

     

    Make an impact by voting your proxies in line with your endowment's ESG mandates using As You Vote -- a new ESG aligned proxy voting service.

    As You Sow, Broadridge, The Intentional Endowments Network (IEN), and Confluence Philanthropy are partnering to offer this service -- which simplifies proxy voting and empowers endowments and other institutional investors to vote their proxies in line with their ESG mandates, using a time and cost efficient platform with optional customization. 

    All shareholders have the right to vote their proxies, but it is an underutilized process among higher education endowments. Proxy voting is an important tool that endowments can utilize to make an impact, influencing corporate policy on issues like climate change, racial justice, political spending, gender equality, and toxins in the food system. Influencing these corporations has immense impact, as corporate decisions influence policy, supply chains, livelihoods, cultures, and markets on a global scale.

    As You Vote is a rules-based ESG proxy voting system hosted on Broadridge’s ProxyEdge platform. After you sign up, your proxy statement is auto-filled by As You Sow and submitted via ProxyEdge. Nothing else is required, but subscribers can easily change any ballot item prior to auto-submission, and a voting report will indicate whether the ballot was customized.

    Using As You Vote costs $15 per equity, with a $1,500 minimum. These fees are efficient and competitive with other services, and profits are split between As You Sow, IEN, and Confluence Philanthropy -- funding ESG peer-learning and implementation. 

     

     

     

    For more information, watch the video below, and reach out to [email protected] with any questions.




  • BARD & VIRGINIA WESLEYAN WIN TOP HONORS IN NATIONAL COLLEGIATE INVESTMENT COMPETITION

     

    Leading Shareholder Advocacy and ESG Groups Crown Champions in Sustainable Investing Contest’s Undergraduate and Graduate Divisions.

    NEW YORK – MAY 3, 2022 – The Corporate Engagement Competition, a semester-long investing tournament that saw student teams from 10 universities across the U.S. and Canada compete head-to-head, has new champions. Bard College in upstate New York and Virginia Wesleyan University in Norfolk are the 2022 graduate and undergraduate division winners, respectively. The contest was hosted by the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) and focused on sustainable investing and environmental, social and governance (ESG) shareholder advocacy.

    Connor Merk, a junior at Virginia Wesleyan University, said: “We had a great experience with the IEN Student Corporate Engagement Competition. We did not come into this competition as experts in investing, ESG factors, or corporate engagement, but through tutorials presented by IEN, communication with our mentor, and collaboration with the group members, we were able to grow our knowledge in each of those areas.”

    Lindsey Moreau, an MBA Candidate at Bard College, said:As Bard College MBA students, we see an opportunity to drive systemic environmental and social change by leveraging the influence of capital markets. The IEN Corporate Engagement Competition allowed us to demonstrate the value of creating an investment recommendation and engagement strategy that is 1) backed by risk mitigation, market opportunity and long-term returns, 2) seeks to catalyze a more equitable and sustainable economy, and 3) is underscored by a clear financial case for investment.”

    Last week, student teams from Bard College in New York and Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco advanced to the finals in the graduate division, with Bard edging out Presidio to receive top honors for their shareholder proposal addressing human rights risks in the renewable energy supply chain of a major U.S. energy firm. In the undergraduate division, the student team from Virginia Wesleyan University won the final round of competition for its endowment investment proposal focusing on Ford Motor Company with Central Washington University securing second place honors.

    Moreau continued:We built our strategy to inspire system-level thinking in future corporate engagements. We focused on the energy utilities sector because of its critical role in decarbonizing the global economy, and industry leader NextEra energy because of its potential to influence industry expectations and impacts on workers in global renewable energy supply chains. Participating in this competition gave us the opportunity to work alongside faculty, industry professionals and colleagues, and we are grateful and empowered by their support to take our learnings into our professional careers.”

    Merk added: “We chose to study Ford Motor Company, specifically because of their commitment to Electric Vehicle production, changes to U.S.-based manufacturing, commitment to reduce waste and emissions made it a worthy consideration for investment, and its status of being a globally recognized brand. For the engagement strategy, our proposal included the development of EV-Lithium-Ion battery recycling program through Ford's factories and dealerships.” 

    Universities from across the country and Canada 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.

    Nicole Torrico, Program Director at the Intentional Endowments Network, said: “The investment recommendations and engagement strategies proposed by the winners of this year's Student Corporate Engagement Competition exemplified the power investors have to hold corporations accountable through shareholder advocacy. Their inspiring strategies showcase how to integrate active stewardship into investment decision making -- an essential skill for the next generation of ESG leaders.”

    A member of the judging panel, Miguel​ CuUnjieng, Associate Director, Engagement, EOS at Federated Hermes, said: “It was impressive to see the robustness of the ESG investment analysis performed by this year’s student teams, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Following the experience, I am left with greater confidence in the emphasis on ESG in higher education, and awareness of ESG issues by the next generation of professionals. I greatly appreciate case competitions, like the IEN’s in particular, for inspiring and empowering the next generation of leaders to translate passion into profession.

    A member of the judging panel, Megan Fielding, Senior Director, Responsible Investing, at Nuveen, a TIAA Company, said: “TIAA is delighted to support the IEN Student Corporate Engagement Competition this year. At Nuveen, the TIAA asset manager, responsible investing is an integral part of our work and has been for over 5 decades; the Competition offered us the opportunity to see up close the next generation of experts dedicated to ESG principles for our communities and our world, all of whom show strong passion, insight and intellect and left us very inspired!”

    The ten colleges participating in the competition were: Arizona State University, Bard College, Central Washington University, New York University: Stern School of Business, Presidio Graduate School, Ryerson University, University of California Berkeley: Haas School of Business, University of Minnesota, and Virginia Wesleyan University.

    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 winners 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 receive a copy of the investment competition final presentations or interview any of the participating teams and/or sponsors, contact Alex Frank, (703) 276-3264 or [email protected]

    ABOUT IEN

    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.

     

     

     

     


  • published Commitment to JEDI in About 2022-01-10 12:15:13 -0500

    IEN's Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Statement

    Crane Institute of Sustainability, the nonprofit home of the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN), is committed to making justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) part of the culture and the strength of our organization and work. We believe that diversity improves the creativity and problem solving of our organization and enhances the impact of our work.  We strive to recognize, and help others recognize, the implicit biases we hold and how those affect our decision making and worldviews. We aim to be an anti-racist organization and to help breakdown the unjust systems to enable the development of more equitable and just systems in all facets of society including education, business, finance, governance, and civil society. 

    We value cognitive diversity - the different ways that people think and communicate - and demographic diversity, as it relates to age, color, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status, and other characteristics that make our employees and constituents unique.

    We work to integrate JEDI into our structure and mission.  We are continuously seeking opportunities for staff training, exploration, and education on JEDI topics.  We proactively build our networks to include more people from diverse backgrounds including our board of directors, staff, interns, steering committees, and working groups.  We seek continuous improvement in developing skills to create a welcoming and inclusive environment within our organization and through our network activities.  We believe this helps to retain employees, board members and network members.  We prioritize JEDI in the design of our programs, making every effort to ensure we always have women and people of color and diverse perspectives on the agenda for all programs.

    Our programming goals include dismantling racism and supporting the careers and professional development of traditionally marginalized or underrepresented groups to help create a more equitable and just society, aligning with the mission of the organization.   

    Learn more about our ever-evolving programmatic work on these topics via the Investing in Social Equity page

     

     


  • 2022 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit 

    It was inspiring coming together virtually at the 2022 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit to reflect on our accomplishments and be empowered to pursue climate justice with dedication for a just and carbon free society.

    About the 2022 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit
    The Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit, hosted the Intentional Endowments Network and  Second Nature is the premier annual gathering of higher education leaders committed to addressing inequality and the climate crisis. The 2022 Summit (April 5-8, 2022) brought together over 650 registrants16 sponsors23 Host Institutions and 11 organizational partners and provided the space for courageous conversations, creation of new partnerships, connect with peers and cross-sectoral climate sectors to find solutions to the most consequential climate and justice issues of our time. 

    Sessions Highlights

    The four days of the programing covered a range of higher education sustainability topics across operations, endowment investing, academics, and policy. These conversations offered participants unique opportunities to connect on the urgency of climate action and the ways to drive capital toward solutions and frontline communities.

    The Summit opening Keynote session, Towards a New Mission for Higher Education, featured Dr. David Orr, Dr. Santa Ono, Terri Taylor and Dr. Fatemeh Shafiei who discussed engagement and collaboration opportunities Higher Education need to explore in order to address the complexities of climate justice in their respective campuses. The speakers highlighted the need for higher education institutions to establish a balance between the tragic sense of life with technological optimism, the necessity to empower students and collaborate with the governments and to focus on the problems and solutions that will have the biggest impact. Watch session recording 

    Higher education needs to rethink and redefine its mission in this time of extreme inequality, climate crisis, and threats to democracy." David Orr

    It is incumbent upon institutions that value evidence-based reporting and the truth to take a strong stance in prominent media and our own communication channels. Democratic nations and institutions are fragile but the climate crisis is upon us and not going to wait for democracy to spread around the globe so we need to work with everyone and cooperate on existential challenges to address the problem democratic or not." Dr. Santa Ono

    "1 in 10k of non-green jobs transition into a green job. We need to educate students and incorporate climate plans." Terri Taylor 

    "When we deprive ourselves of having everyone at the table we limit our ability to generate solutions." Dr. Fatemeh Shafiei

     

    On the second day of the Summit we had a plenary session conversation on Integrating Sustainable Investment Options into Higher Ed Retirement Plans featuring Ali Khawar, Acting Assistant Secretary U.S. Department of Labor, Tiffany McGhee, Chief Executive Officer & Chief Investment Officer Pivotal Advisors, Amy O'Brien, Global Head of Responsible Investing Nuveen (A TIAA Company) and David Finegold, DPhil President Chatham University

    The panel members elaborated on the importance of having sustainable investment options to drive impact and ways higher education employees can advocate for ESG options. Employees of all 4500 colleges and universities in the U.S have invested about 1 trillion  their retirement savings. The Schroders’ retirement survey showed that 9 of 10 of those surveyed would like a sustainable investing option and 69% of them said that they would consider putting more money in their accounts if it was available. Watch session recording

    It is time for a movement where [a sustainable retirement plan] is looked at in a more holistic way and open the conversation around what’s going on in the retirement plans.” Amy O'Brien

    “If you are not an expert about this topic then you should hire someone that is.” Tiffany McGhee

    “Once the new rule is out, I recommend the managers to engage in a conversation with your supervisor about what’s taken into account and how to keep it into account.” Ali Khawar

     

    Summit participants were privileged to listen to Megan Red Shirt-Shaw, Director of Native Student Services University of South Dakota as a keynote who spoke on Beyond Land Acknowledgements - How Higher Education Can Commit to Transformative Change.

    Megan accentuated on the fact that acknowledgment of dispossession is an important component of land acknowledgments. Acknowledging the land that institutions reside on is a result of land acquisition hence campuses don't own the land and to imply otherwise is offensive to tribal communities. She recommended in addition to making land acknowledgements, Higher Institutions should partner with tribal communities and work toward repareations by either giving the land back, or provide tuition free education to natives of the lands on which the universities are located. Watch session recording

    "I can remember the first time I heard a land acknowledgment. I felt seen."  Megan Red Shirt-Shaw

    "We think of land as something that we own; the notion of buying land is offensive to Native people who were disposed of those locations, but instead think of having a relationship with land by thinking how often we connect (have a relationship) with nature, land and earth." Megan Red Shirt-Shaw

    2022 Summit Session Recordings

    The 2022 Summit sessions recordings is currently available. See some of the sessions recordings below: 

    Endowments Sessions

    Net Zero/JEDI Sessions

     

    Asses the full summit playlist here 

    Thank You to Our Sponsors, Host Institutions and Organizational Partners

    Without you, this event wouldn't have been possible!

     
     

    We will be back in-person for the 2023 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit in Miami, Florida.

    Questions? Please contact Nicole Torrico at [email protected].


  • COP26 Underscores the Need for Endowments to Lead on Climate

    World leaders, titans of industry, and grassroots activists in Glasgow, Scotland over the past two weeks for COP26, also known formally as the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference: a global effort to create plans to collectively limit global warming in coming years and decades. The goal to this point (per the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement) has been limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. 

    But so far commitments and actions, leave that goal in doubt. Many scientists are saying that with the weakened text in the Pact the goal of 1.5 degrees is all but dead - unless these commitments are fulfilled and ambition is ratcheted up quickly. 

    This underscores the importance of investors in driving businesses to accelerate progress toward net zero to avert the massive suffering and loss of value that will accompany temperature rises over 1.5 degrees C.  The folks at GreenBiz outlined 13 big deals that made COP26 the ‘Business COP’.

    And there is a lot of momentum among investors - including endowments - to push credible, authentic steps for a just transition to net zero in the business community.  The cost of capital for fossil fuels has risen sharply, diverging from that for renewables due to investors shifting investments through fossil fuel divestment and/or ESG strategies.  The Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) recently released a new Net Zero Standard which will be a key tool for investors in monitoring companies' progress toward net zero. And there is a growing recognition that investors must take an intersectional approach to climate change and social inequality, as Cambridge Associates' new paper on Climate Justice summarizes.

    Here at the Intentional Endowments Network, we believe that it will take an all-hands-on deck approach to curb emissions, which is why we convene and support endowments in learning about Net Zero Portfolios, making the commitment, and participating in shareholder engagement efforts to get portfolio companies onto decarbonization pathways. To help meet the 1.5-degree limit, the global financial system must play an essential role in the overall effort to reduce the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere -- as discussed below, endowments and the higher education sector are critical to making that happen. 

     

    Read more

  • Webinar: Introduction to Impact Investing

    Date:  June 29th, 2017

    In this webinar, Fran Seegull, Executive Director at the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance at The Ford Foundation, Allison Spector, Senior Manager of Investors' Council & Membership Programming at The Global Impact Investing Network, and Shawn Wischmeier, CIO of Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, will offer an introduction to impact investing for institutional investors.

     

     

     Panelists:

    • Fran Seegull, Executive Director, U.S. Impact Investing Alliance, Ford Foundation  

    • Allison Spector, Senior Manager, Investors' Council & Membership Programming, Global Impact Investing Network

    • Shawn Wischmeier, CIO of Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies

    • Georges Dyer (Moderator), Principal, Intentional Endowments Network

     

     

     

     


  • Webinar: Sustainable Agriculture Investing

    Date:  May 31st, 2017

    A profound change of the global food and agriculture system is needed if we are to nourish the 7.3 billion people of today and the additional 2 billion people expected by 2050. The food and agriculture sector offers key solutions for development, and is central for hunger and poverty eradication, as outlined in the UN Sustainable Development Goal Two to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.

    In this webinar, Sada Geuss, an Investment Manager from Trillium Asset Management, will present on Trillium’s recently released White Paper: Impact Investing in Sustainable Food and Agriculture Across Asset Classes: Financing Resilient Value Chains through Total Portfolio Activation. Maria Lettini, Director of the Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return (FAIRR) Initiative, will focus on the risks associated with investments in factory farming and the animal protein sector, and will offer some examples of diversification of the protein supply chain. Don Wiviott, Partner at Sustainable Farm Partners, will discuss the investment opportunities in grain production and carbon capture, and David Miller will present on Iroquois Valley Farms impact investments in organic and local agriculture. Following their presentations, there will be an interactive question and answer session with the panelists.

    Panelists:

    • Sada Geuss, Investment Manager, Trillium Asset Management
    • Maria Lettini, Director, Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return (FAIRR) Initiative
    • Don Wiviott, Partner, Sustainable Farm Partners
    • David Miller, CEO, Iroquois Valley Farms
    • Moderator: Georges Dyer, Principal, Intentional Endowments Network    

     

     


  • 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... 

     

     

     

     

    Resources:

     


  • 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:

     

    Speakers:

     

     


  • 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.

     

    Read more

  • 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 2021-12-09 12:11:55 -0500

    Henry Lancaster

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

     

     

    Read more

Get up to date IEN News

Sign up for our Newsletters