Summer 2019 Newsletter

In our Summer edition of the IEN newsletter, we recap a busy season as campuses closed the 2018-2019 academic year with exciting progress toward aligning investments with institutional mission. We spent time together in Philadelphia, PA, New Haven, CT, Durham, NC, and Boston, MA to explore the new Intentionally Designed Endowment Roadmap built from members’ experiences.

With a new academic year at hand, the network is gearing up for a meeting in Berkeley to tackle the question “What does community impact mean for our investments?” and making plans to gather in Atlanta in February for the 2020 Higher Ed Climate Leadership Summit!

We’re also pleased to launch two new initiatives: a multimedia series celebrating intentional endowment leaders, starting with this story of the University of New Hampshire’s sustainable investing journey, and a project on Integrating ESG into Retirement Plans. Our work with student-managed investment funds through the SIILK Network also continues to grow in exciting ways and was recently highlighted in the Financial Times.

Warm regards,

The IEN Team

2020 Higher Ed Climate Leadership Summit - Registration Launched and Keynotes Announced

Register now for the premier gathering of higher education leaders driving responses to the climate crisis - with early bird rates available now for all participants! Join us to work with other leaders on solutions to the climate crisis, including the first two keynote speakers just announced: Gina McCarthy, former EPA Administrator, Director of the Center for Climate Health and the Global Environment,  and Professor, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; and Varshini Prakash, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Sunrise.

Help us develop the agenda by submitting a session proposal. Mark your calendar to attend the Intentionally Designed Endowment Forum on February 25th, a 5-hour dedicated track of sessions on aligning investments with sustainability goals. Contact us to learn more about high-visibility partnership opportunities at the Summit!

Q&A Article: Wielding Alternative Debt Towards a Resilient Future

Opportunities within private debt impact investment strategies continue to attract greenbacks. For example, the Global Impact Investing Network’s 2019 Annual Impact Survey indicated that private debt and private equity investors expected to increase the amount of capital they invest in 2019 (versus last year) by 36% and 22% respectively. The survey’s 266 respondents collectively represented more than $239 billion of investment dollars, of which $35 billion was allocated to impact investments in 2018. Further, last year, over a third of the impact capital was poured into private debt strategies; in comparison, public debt and private equity respectively accounted for about 16% and 14% of the capital invested respectively.

Given the interest in private debt impact strategies, the Intentional Endowments Network approached industry specialists on their perspective on the current climate of the private debt market and where environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors fit in this landscape.

Read the full Q&A article here.

The experts included:

Nicole Downer, Managing Partner, MV Credit Partners, Affiliate of Natixis with $5.3 billion in AUM

Helene Barikmo, Member of the Deal Team, MV Credit Partners, Affiliate of Natixis with $5.3 billion in AUM

Ken Kunhardt, Director of Investor Relations, New Hampshire Community Loan Fund


Additional Updates from the Network 

New IEN Members

We are pleased to welcome Calvert Research and Management, Heifer Foundation, William Boardman, Bethune-Cookman University, AGF, Mobius Capital Partners, Dana Investment Advisors, Spouting Rock Asset Management, and AiiM Partners to the Network!  

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


IEN Thanks Summer Interns

This summer the team supporting IEN members to advance the field of sustainable investing included our 2019 SIILK Fellow Alicia Sidik, who scaled up to full-time work for the summer, as well as summer interns Megan Ahern, Inah Choe, and Haleigh Copley-Cunningham. Thank you all, from the whole network!


IEN Members Gather at Peer Learning Events Around the Country



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

And register now for our next webinar on September 4th, exploring the new Operating Principles for Impact Investing with the IFC’s Chief Thought Leadership Officer.

Online Peer Networking

In our second Community Online Conversation, IEN members discussed the OCIO endowment management model in a session facilitated by Ball State University Foundation’s Chief Investment Officer Tom Heck. The conversation brought out insights on developing effective partnerships between providers and client institutions, challenges with impact measurement, as well as evaluation criteria for hiring investment consultants with deep expertise in mission-aligned investing. Stay tuned for upcoming community conversations, and please share ideas for educational topics with our Membership Manager Erina McWilliam-Lopez at [email protected].


SIILK (Sustainable & Impact Investing Learning and Knowledge) Network

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 [email protected].


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: If you are interested in participating in this group, please reach out to Kaede at [email protected].
  • Gender Lens Investing Working Group: If you are passionate about increasing the number of higher education endowments investing with a gender lens, please reach out to Nicole at [email protected] for more information, and to join our next call.
  • Fiduciary Duty & Policy: The Fiduciary Duty & Policy group, after contributing many resources to the Network both individually and jointly, is turning its focus to developing the field of trustees and helping to build their skills to be an effective fiduciary in the 21st century. If you are interested in participating in this group, please reach out to Alice at [email protected].
  • Shareholder Engagement: 2019 has been a record-breaking year for shareholder engagement as institutional investors are finding the case for being actively engaged with the companies they own increasingly compelling in the light of climate change, social inequality and political ineffectiveness. Colleges and universities are beginning to find ways around their two biggest challenges to being active shareholders: (1) limited time and people resources devoted to investing the endowment and (2) investment through commingled funds. Our Shareholder Engagement Working Group will be gathering by phone in September to help colleges and universities meet these challenges.  Please reach out to Alice at [email protected] if you are interested in participating in this group.
  • Trustee Peer Group: The trustee peer group has been sharing insights on the governance and implementation processes for sustainable investing by endowments, and connecting with peers on other Boards that are undertaking these processes. The group has been supporting efforts to connect with AGB’s new president about supporting their members on these topics. It has also been helping with the design of the 2020 Summit. If you are a trustee and interested in participating in this group, please reach out to Georges at [email protected].

Partnership Opportunities

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 [email protected].

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