Spring 2019 Newsletter

IEN.pngIn this Earth Day issue of our newsletter, we continue our deep-dive series on how asset owners and managers are seeking and measuring impact in specific asset classes with an exclusive Q&A article on public market fixed-income ESG strategies.

We also share several updates from the network, including a spotlight on Middlebury College, the release of our 2018 Impact Report, a recap of the 2019 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit, the progress being driven by our working groups, and key resources like the Gender Lens Investing Primer for College and University Endowments.

As always, please be in touch with any questions, news or ideas for IEN.

Warm regards,

The IEN Team

Feature School: Middlebury College

Middlebury College is a private liberal arts college, based in Vermont and known for its global reach and focus. In late January 2019, Middlebury announced an ambitious, whole-institution approach to combating climate change that includes sustainable, fossil fuel-free investing.

Middlebury’s new Energy2028 plan builds on a history of thinking holistically about sustainability. In 2007, then-President Ron Liebowitz signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, and the campus achieved carbon neutrality within ten years - a story shared in this video. The college has won numerous awards for its integrated approach to sustainability, including campus operations and curriculum. The new integrated plan also includes ambitious targets for using the college endowment’s investment strategy to fight climate change.

Read the full school spotlight here.

 

Q&A Article: Making An Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Impact through Public Fixed-Income

Equities have largely been the darling asset class when it comes to public ESG dollars. Of the nearly 1,900 ESG funds tracked by Bloomberg, about 62% invest in public equities versus 15% that focus on public fixed-income assets, according to reports in late 2018. This greater focus on equities supports the notion that the potential investment opportunities and value add within fixed-income ESG investments have yet to be fully tapped.

Given the benefits in investing in public FI with an ESG lens, Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) approached industry experts to gain insight on opportunities and trends within the sector and how managers and asset owners measure the impact of their investments. Read the full Q&A article here.

The specialists included:

Erik Gross, Treasurer, University of New Hampshire Foundation, $387 million in AUM Mary Gregory, Sustainable Investing Specialist, Brown Advisory, $71.6 billion in client assets

Sarah Wilson, Senior Director, Responsible Investing, Nuveen, a TIAA company, $977 billion in AUM

 

Tim Coffin, Senior Vice President, Breckinridge Capital Advisors, $37 billion in AUM

 

 

Additional Updates from the Network 

New IEN Members

We are pleased to welcome Ecotrust Forest Management, WAVE Equity Partners, North Carolina State University, Russell Goldstein, Agnes Scott College, HBCU Green Fund, University of the Virgin Islands, Colgate University, Université de Sherbrooke, and the Dallas County Community College District to the Network!  

To learn more about the leadership opportunities and benefits of IEN membership, click here.

 

Executive Committee

For 2019, the IEN Executive Committee welcomed three new members: Tamara Larsen, Executive Director, Perella Weinberg Partners; Ken Locklin, Managing Director, Impax Asset Management; and Jeff Mindlin, Vice President of Investments, ASU Enterprise Partners. They join an active group of Executive Committee and Steering Committee members guiding the network’s priorities and programs.

 

IEN Welcomes Our Inaugural SIILK Network Fellow

We are pleased to announce the selection of the 2019 Intentional Endowments Network SIILK Network Fellow, Alicia Sidik. Alicia is a current student at UC Berkeley studying Society and Environment with a concentration in Justice and Sustainability. Her interest in sustainable investing began when she worked as an advocate with the Renters' Rights Coalition of Silicon Valley, where she saw how private equity investments by pension funds and endowments can be used to fund affordable and workforce housing. This past fall, Alicia worked as a Community Wealth Building Research Intern at the Democracy Collaborative, working within their Higher Education's Anchor Mission Initiative. Alicia is particularly interested in leveraging place-based investments to help address resource gaps and shift investment capital toward addressing economic and environmental disparities in the local Berkeley community. Read Alicia’s full bio here, and join us in giving her a warm welcome!

 

IEN Members Gather at Peer Learning Events Around the Country

 

Webinars

In the past few months, IEN has hosted the following webinars. Follow the links to view recordings of each:

 

Online Peer Networking

This month, we launched our first “Community Conversation,” a new way of supporting network-building and peer learning by phone and video conference. Stay tuned for upcoming community conversations, and please share ideas for educational topics with our Membership Manager Erina McWilliam-Lopez at erina@intentionalendowments.org.

 

SIILK (Sustainable & Impact Investing Learning and Knowledge) Network

In the past few months, the SIILK Network has:

  • Co-hosted the Student Conference on Corporate Responsibility, an event that convened over 50 undergraduate and graduate students and faculty involved in running student-managed funds across the country, with the goal of broadening students' understanding of both sustainable finance and shareholder engagement.
  • Launched a new Mentorship Program, a program designed to connect current students with experts from the sustainable investing industry, with the ultimate goal of creating a more diverse pipeline of finance professionals with a solid grasp on sustainable investing.
  • Launched a new website to house a growing resource library and information on the various ways to engage with the SIILK Network.
  • Selected our inaugural fellow, Alicia Sidik, through a Fellowship Program which aims to support education and professional development for exceptional students through an internship with IEN, academic project work, mentorship, training, and support.

If you are interested in connecting with stakeholders to share best practices and advance the development of sustainably invested student-managed funds and sustainable finance curriculum, please reach out to Nicole at nicole@intentionalendowments.org.

 

Working Groups

IEN Working Groups meet regularly to advance key strategies in support of the network's goals. Below is a brief update of what current Working Groups have accomplished.

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group: The DEI Working Group led a workshop at the recent Higher Ed Climate Leadership Summit and has focused this quarter on supporting the HBCU Impact Investment Summit. If you are interested in participating in this group, please reach out to Kaede at kaede@intentionalendowments.org.
  • Gender Lens Investing Working Group: The Gender Lens Investing Working Group released its Primer for College and University Endowments on International Women’s Day in March. If you are passionate about increasing the number of higher education endowments investing with a gender lens, please reach out to Nicole at nicole@intentionalendowments.org for more information, and to join our next call.
  • Fiduciary Duty & Policy:  After publishing several resources on fiduciary duty and policy which are in regular use by our members, this working group has turned its attention to board formation and training with a behavioral governance focus.  If you are interested in participating in this group, please reach out to Alice at alice@intentionalendowments.org.
  • Shareholder Engagement:  In an ongoing effort to make engagement efforts more accessible to endowments, IEN shares public statements or letters in support of various initiatives or policies related to sustainability, ESG issues, and other materials investment considerations on the Sign-On Opportunities page of our website, as opportunities for endowments to add their names and offer support, at their own discretion.  Additionally, an email list has been created to share investor sign-on opportunities with working group members and other interested asset owners. If you are interested in participating in this group or joining the list to receive sign-on opportunities, please reach out to Alice at alice@intentionalendowments.org.
  • Trustee Peer Group: Most recently, this group designed and presented a session for Trustees at The Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit, which took place Feb. 10-12, 2019 in Tempe, AZ. If you are interested in participating in this group, please reach out to Tony at tony@intentionalendowments.org.

Upcoming Events

IEN Events:

 

Other Events:

To view more upcoming events, click here.

Featured Resources

Below are some recent resources from the Intentional Endowments Network and other organizations. To see more reports, articles, videos and other resources by topic, visit the resource page on our website.

Resources from IEN:

 

Other Resources:

In the News

Below is a sampling of recent news articles we've posted in our Weekly News Round-Up, ranging in topics from Sustainable, Impact and ESG Investing, Climate Risk, Science & Regulation, Sustainability in Higher Education, Divestment, Clean Energy, and more. To receive news updates directly in your inbox, manage your mailing preferences here.

IEN in the News:

Other News:

If you have an original piece you would like to submit for an upcoming newsletter, or for more information about the Intentional Endowments Network and how you can support this work, please contact Hannah Bowen at hannah@intentionalendowments.org.

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