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

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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:



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





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