IEN's Student Corporate Engagement Competition puts 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.
This year, student teams from Arizona State University, Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business, University of California Haas School of Business, and University of Chicago participated in the Competition.
Each team worked from February to April to produce both a written investment recommendation in a publicly-traded company listed on any major exchange, and a proposed shareholder engagement strategy that aligned with IEN’s Social Equity and Climate Goals.
Our panel of judges selected the winning team based on presentation, provided evidence, scale of embedded ESG analysis, and the creativity and efficacy of the shareholder engagement strategy to both improve company financial performance and have a meaningful positive social or environmental impact.
After careful consideration, we are pleased to share that this year's Student Corporate Engagement Competition winner is Arizona State University (ASU)!
The ASU Team proposed an investment in BlackRock, Inc., chosen for its financial reliability, strong ESG performance with material topics, competitiveness as an industry leader, commitment to racial justice, and opportunity to reduce its risks. According to the team, when discussing their proposed shareholder engagement strategy, “As the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock is well-positioned to advance racial equity by investing in initiatives that strengthen minorities' ability to accumulate wealth. By improving diversity internally and in its invested companies, BlackRock can realize additional financial returns directly and indirectly through improvement in diversity and inclusion.” To multiply leverage to move BlackRock, the team proposed building a coalition of universities whose endowments either also employ BlackRock as an OCIO/fund manager or can invest in BlackRock as a shareholder.
“What makes our strategy unique is the real aspect of collaboration and strength in numbers,” said Shakki Bhat, a member of the ASU team who received his BA in Business and Global Politics this spring.
Each team should be immensely proud of the fantastic deliverables they produced -- we offer a huge congratulations to all participants!
Learn more about the Competition here. We are currently recruiting student teams, partners, and sponsors to participate in the Competition during the 2021-2022 academic year. Please fill out this form to indicate interest in participation.
And thank you to the Supporting Sponsor of this year’s Competition, Federated Hermes, for their generous partnership in supporting the next generation of sustainable investing professionals.