Nicole Torrico

  • 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 Keve Bonilla Gross in Team 2021-02-02 21:46:05 -0500

    Keve Bonilla Gross

    Keve Bonilla Gross, CFSI Fellow

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  • 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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  • published Valerie Red-Horse Mohl in Board Members 2020-09-08 16:34:54 -0400

    Valerie Red-Horse Mohl

    Valerie Red-Horse Mohl, Founder and CEO, Red-Horse Financial Group, Inc.

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  • published Dianne Dillon-Ridgley in Board Members 2020-09-08 16:34:11 -0400

    Dianne Dillon-Ridgley

    Dianne Dillon-Ridgley, environmentalist and human rights activist; Co-Chair, Green Leadership Trust (GLT); Vice Chair, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)

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  • published Randall Strickland in Steering Committee 2020-08-19 13:07:50 -0400

    Randall Strickland

    Randall Strickland, Director and Investment Advisor, Cornerstone Capital Group

    Randall is a Director for Cornerstone Capital Group, a financial services firm offering investment advisory, thematic research, and strategic consulting services to endowments and family offices in the field of Sustainable/Impact Investment. He is responsible for supporting the firm's investment advisory clients in the areas of investment policy planning, environmental, social and governance (ESG) and impact investment integration, investment manager and strategy selection, and impact measurement. He brings over 25 years of experience in the asset management arena.  Randall also serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Sustainable MBA program at Bard College and the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University, teaching Sustainable Finance and Impact Investing.

    Prior to joining Cornerstone, Randall served as a Sustainable Investment Specialist at Sentinel Investments, where he was a member of the firm’s sustainable investment team. Randall’s experience also includes senior positions at City National Bank of New Jersey, ImpactAssets, Principal Global Investors, Commonfund and TIAA.  He serves on the board of Net Impact, the HBCU Green Fund, and the Global Leadership and Achievement Foundation of Kappa Alpha Psi, Jersey City (NJ) Alumni Chapter.  He earned a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and a Master of Arts from New York University.

     

     


  • published Ken Redd in Guest Speakers 2020-08-19 10:37:23 -0400

    Ken Redd

    Ken Redd, Senior Director, Research and Policy Analysis, National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO)

    Kenneth E. Redd is Senior Director, Research and Policy Analysis for the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO). At NACUBO, Ken manages the annual NACUBO-TIAA Study of Endowments, the NACUBO Tuition Discounting Study, and other research reports on higher education finance, enrollment, and student financial aid issues. He came to NACUBO in 2008 from the Council of Graduate Schools, where he was director of research and policy analysis.

    In addition to his work at NACUBO, Ken also serves on the board of trustees for the Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, IL, and the board of advisors for the Frank J. Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, University of Virginia. Ken is also a member of the investment committee of the Unitarian Universalist Common Endowment Fund (UUCEF), and is a member of the board of directors for the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).


    Ken has a master’s degree in public affairs from the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, and a bachelor’s degree in English and political science from Tufts University, Medford, MA.

     

     


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