Nicole Torrico published University of California, Berkeley Students Win First-of-Its-Kind Corporate Engagement Competition in Blog 2020-07-15 10:44:47 -0400
Over the past academic year, student teams from across the U.S. participated in a first-of-its-kind student investment competition hosted by the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN). A panel of judges selected the team from the University of California, Berkeley as the inaugural winners of the SIILK Corporate Engagement Competition, for preparing the strongest investment recommendation and shareholder engagement strategy to improve company performance (and investment returns) through better environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices.
“The competition gave us an opportunity to think about strategies for engaging with management and practice crafting a shareholder resolution,” said Katharine Hawthorne, a member of the winning team. “Highlights of the competition included learning how the other teams integrated financial and ESG considerations and seeing the different approaches to shareholder engagement for driving corporate sustainability.”
The pilot year of this competition put 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. IEN invited students to not only produce an investment recommendation in a publicly traded company, but also to include in their recommendation a shareholder engagement strategy for improving the company’s business performance and impact on society. Teams from four universities - Arizona State University, Bryant University, Yale University, and the winning team from the University of California, Berkeley - participated in the competition as a real-world introduction to sustainable investing.
“We launched this competition to bring more awareness to the immense opportunity to create impact through shareholder engagement in public equity investments. The scale and influence of such a mainstream asset class makes it tremendously important for students interested in entering the investment field to be able to spot opportunities to actively engage as shareholders,” said Nicole Torrico, a Program Manager at the Intentional Endowments Network. “By growing this skill set, students now and in their future careers will be able to achieve positive impact at scale while improving the financial performance of their investments.”
Each student team worked throughout the year to write an investment recommendation that included an investment thesis, financial model and valuation, quantitative ESG research and analysis, market and sector analysis with comparison to industry peers, risk identification, and a proposed shareholder engagement strategy to address an identified risk area.
While each team’s written recommendation was impressive, the judges noted that identifying a company with financial growth potential that is well positioned for ESG opportunity, not just risk management -- and focusing on SASB as a framework for ESG analysis -- made the University of California, Berkeley’s investment recommendation stand out as exceptional. Additionally, focusing on a company that is smaller in size and at the beginning of its ESG journey provides an opportunity for more significant and impactful shareholder influence. IEN released a video announcing the winning team here.
“I was very glad to participate in the inaugural competition, and was blown away by the shareholder engagement recommendations in particular,” said Gabe Rissman, co-founder and president of YourStake.org, and one of the competition judges. “ The student teams presented engagement theses that will create positive societal impact and enhance shareholder value. Corporate management should listen closely.”
Shareholder engagement has become a greater area of focus for IEN. In addition to hosting this competition, over the past year, IEN re-launched a shareholder engagement working group and collaborated with Warren Wilson College on an engagement strategy that resulted in the co-filing of 3 shareholder resolutions by the college. “Increasingly, college and universities are interested in dialogue, engagement, and proxy voting as a means of effecting more forward thinking company strategy around the climate and inequality challenges we face,” said Alice DonnaSelva, Managing Director of the Intentional Endowments Network.
This competition is part of the ongoing programming efforts of IEN’s SIILK Network, a peer learning network of students, faculty, and staff involved with student-managed investment funds and finance curriculum focused on sustainable, ESG, and impact investing. SIILK members connect to scale the uptake of sustainable investing education at colleges and universities across the country, build strong bridges between endowment investing and student-managed funds, and grow the talent pipeline, with an emphasis on bringing more women and people of color into the industry.
TIFF Investment Management is a leading asset management firm dedicated to delivering comprehensive outsourced CIO (OCIO) and private equity investment solutions to primarily endowments, foundations, and other charitable organizations. Our primary objective is to enhance investment returns for our members while also optimizing their costs and reducing their administrative burden.
For over 30 years, TIFF has strived to be the nonprofit community’s most trusted investment partner. We specialize in providing investment solutions that help our members fulfill their mission and achieve their financial goals. We offer two primary solutions for our members – comprehensive advisory solutions, and more specialized asset class specific solutions. As of June 30, 2022, TIFF manages approximately $8 billion, including committed capital, on behalf of our members.
Nicole Torrico published Weekly News Round-Up: June 22nd, 2018 in Weekly News Round-Ups 2018-06-26 15:22:15 -0400
Weekly News Round-Up: June 22nd, 2018
Below please find this week's news round-up.
Have a great weekend,
The Intentional Endowments Network
- The 40 ICT companies were assessed across the benchmark's seven themes, which were developed to capture the key areas where companies need to take action to eradicate forced labor from their supply chains: commitment; traceability and risk assessment; purchasing practices; recruitment; worker voice; monitoring; and remedy. There are a total of 23 indicators across the seven themes. For each theme, a company can score a total of 100 points.
Underwater: Rising Seas, Chronic Floods, and the Implications for US Coastal Real Estate l Union of Concerned Scientists
- This analysis looks at what's at risk for US coastal real estate from sea level rise—and the challenges and choices we face now and in the decades to come.
New Energy Outlook 2018 l Bloomberg New Energy Finance
- Focused on the electricity system, BNEF's New Energy Outlook (NEO) is an annual long-term economic analysis of the world’s power sector out to 2050. NEO combines the expertise of over 65 market and technology specialists in 12 countries to provide a unique view of how the market will evolve.
Sustainable Investing at Endowments & Foundations
- Managers of the £1.5tn invested in Britain’s workplace pension schemes are to be given new powers to dump shares in oil, gas and coal companies in favor of long-term investment in green and “social impact” opportunities. Government proposals published on Monday are designed to give pension fund trustees more confidence to divest from environmentally damaging fossil fuels and put their cash in green alternatives if it meets their members’ wishes.
Sustainable, Responsible, Impact & ESG Investing
Bloomberg Brief l Sustainable Finance
- This week's Bloomberg Brief highlights how batteries will attract $548 billion in investment by 2050, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said; Climate change is already hitting housing prices; Procter & Gamble pledged to hire more female directors for its commercials; Institutional investors are working to implement socially responsible strategies across their portfolios says Morgan Stanley's Rui DeFiguerdo.
84% of Investors Apply or Are Considering, ESG – Morgan Stanley l Pensions & Investments
- Eighty-four percent of asset owners globally are pursuing or considering ESG investing, said a survey released Monday by the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing and Morgan Stanley Investment Management. Among the 70% of owners who already are incorporating environmental, social and governance factors into their investment decisions, 60% began doing so in the past four years and 37% within the past two years.
68% of Institutional Investors Say Responsible Investing is Important – Aon Survey l Pensions & Investments
- Sixty-eight percent of institutional investors globally consider responsible investing important to their organization to some degree, said an Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting survey released Tuesday. A belief that incorporating ESG factors resulted in better investment decisions was cited as the most popular reason for ESG integration (39% of investors), followed by a desire to impact global issues (26%).
- This article highlights a new foundation focused on using a blockchain protocol to track and measure impact investing has been created by Dr. Shaun Conway, a medical doctor and former adviser to the World Health Organisation.
- In this Q&A article, Matt Patsky, CEO of Trillium Asset Management, discusses sustainable and impact investing—or investing with measurable social and environmental outcomes in addition to competitive financial returns—as well as recent Department of Labor guidance that said “fiduciaries of ERISA-covered plans must avoid too readily treating ESG issues as being economically relevant to any particular investment choice.”
Allianz GI Vice-Chair Calls for a Common Language Around Impact Investing l Insurance Asset Risk
- In this article, Elizabeth Corley, Allianz Global Investors (GI) vice-chair and former CEO, discusses how to combat the inertia, confusion, and skepticism around impact investing, stakeholders looking for financial returns and those interested in non-financial returns have to find a common language.