Bard Mba: Can You Elaborate For Folks Who Arent As Familiar With The Field On The Difference Between Positive And Negative Approaches To Sustainable Investing
Absolutely. Its actually described in the first chapter of the new book, which weve called The Seven Tribes of Sustainable Investing. One of the so-called tribes is a values-first approach, which is very much rooted in religious mandates, such as a desire to divest from South Africa during the age of apartheid, or, going back, concerns about weaponry or even alcohol and tobacco. The origin of the field is deeply rooted in not owning companies that dont meet your personal values. And that continues to be a large portion of this field.
Our preference is for a more positive approach, which we describe as value-first. Actually theres a much better financial performance from that perspective thats been experienced by various fund managers were happy to talk about. This is another of the seven tribes we discuss in the book.
The great thing about the value angle is that it has the potential to encourage the dynamic that financial considerations need to be primary if were going to tackle the problems we face, as well as the sustainability solutions that we require. If we can get both of those engines going in parallel, we end up with a positive dynamic that will allow systems to fix our problems, and its more beneficial economically as well.
Demystifying Esg Investing: Esg Vs Impact Investing
Sophie Purdom is the co-author of Sustainable Investing: Revolutions in Theory in Practice and led the foundation of the Brown University Sustainable Investment Fund, the first ESG fund at a leading university endowment.
Alongside these efforts, she developed and taught a course on sustainable investing. Her book argues pathways for the continued evolution of sustainable investing, with a focus on profit, solutions, and effective partnership across stakeholders.
Sophie consulted at Bain & Company where she focused on private equity diligence. As a Brown alumna, she serves on the Advisory Council for the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society and is a Henry David Thoreau Scholar.
Sophie started a venture capital-backed agricultural technology business that replaces chemical fertilizer with a microbial solution. She has been admitted to Harvard Business School but is deferring in favor of pursuing more entrepreneurial opportunities.
Sophie Purdom – Advisor, Kula Bio
Kelly Ramirez – CEO, Social Enterprise Greenhouse
Ben Yeoh, CFA – Senior Portfolio Manager, Global Healthcare, RBC Global Asset Management
Karl Hofmann is the President and CEO of PSI , a non-profit global health organization based in Washington, D.C. PSI operates in over 50 countries worldwide, with programs in sexual and reproductive health, malaria, water and sanitation, HIV, and non-communicable diseases.
Karl Hofmann – CEO, Population Services International
Bard Mba: Youre The Co
Going back to 2007, when we were working on our first book, Sustainable Investing: the Art of Long-Term Performanceit was perfectly timed for the financial crisis. The field that had grown up over the previous four-plus decades came out of more negative approaches, and Nick Robins and I thought that it was important to try to steer the field in a more positive direction. The book was a bit of a line in the sand as to how the field was starting to try to reshape itself.
Fast forward a few years, and we thought, Lets now do a book on what investors are actually doing in the space. That was Evolutions in Sustainable Investing, which came out in late 2011. It looked at fifteen fund managers, had contributions from thought leaders such as Paul Hawken, and regional perspectives. Its a nice compendium for those interested in seeing what was happening in the space, and we continue to use it in our teaching.
Fast forward another five years and we have our new book, Sustainable Investing: Revolutions in Theory and Practice. Its very much intended to be a look at what investing needs to be going forward to solve the problems that we all face.
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Bard Mba: How Can Sustainability And Impact Investing Begin To Drive Lots Of Dollars Into The Space After All Folks Can Actually Do It At Least As Well As The Market If Not Better By Finding Companies That Are Doing Well On Both The Sustainability Side And The Finance Side
Exactly. From our point of view, one of the barriers that remains towards scale when it comes to impact or sustainable investing is that there is a fairly deep-rooted perception that you leave returns on the table when you take sustainability into account in your investment choices.
Thats partly true, actually, because if you do look at the first wave of socially responsible investing and the larger billion-plus dollar funds that grew up out of that first paradigm, those funds actually have struggled to perform well. A lot of that has to do with negative screening. Its not by and large a good investment strategy.
Fortunately, the positive approach has performed much better. Weve been writing about that in our books all along, and its only becoming clearer that there is a financial argument. There is at least the chance of added performance by taking these things into account.
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Esg Data: Quantifying Esg Performance
Connie currently works as a Research Associate at Preqin, a leading data provider for the alternative assets industry. In her role, she speaks with private equity, private debt and venture capital fund managers in order to gather data and identify the latest trends that shape the alternatives industry. Connie holds an undergraduate degree in Economics from Northeastern University. While in college, she served as the President of NUImpact, Northeastern’s student-led impact investing initiative. She is also the Marketing Chair of the ESG network Building a Sustainable Investment Community .
Connie E – Research Associate, Preqin
Prior to joining Arabesque in 2017, Mr. Young was Chief Executive Officer at Eclat Impact in 2016 and Chief Executive Officer and a Partner at Mariner Investment group from 2000-2015. He joined Mariner directly from Goldman Sachs, where he retired as a Partner, after a 20 year career in Fixed Income in New York, Tokyo, and London. He serves as Board Chair of GWAVE, a wave based renewable energy company. He is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Buckingham Browne & Nichols, a coeducational day school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Social Finance, Inc., a Boston-based nonprofit organisation dedicated to mobilising investment capital to drive social change.
Brace Young – Partner, Arabesque
Matt Moscardi – CEO, Freefloat Media and Former Executive Director, MSCI
Bard Mba: Theres A Lot Of Excitement Around This Idea Of Moving Money Into The Solution Space And Away From The Problem Space But How Much Opportunity Is There Out There
Somewhere between a hundred billion and a trillion dollars of capital commitments have been made by large institutions such as Morgan Stanley and their peers, as well as large pension funds such as the New York State Common Retirement Fund, and Europe, especially, and the Chinese government. So, theres enormous capital starting to emerge looking for these solutions.
Yes, we need more capital to be deployed. One of the chapters of the book is on the value of everything, which is $450 trillion in tradeable assets, or potentially tradeable assets, which is an important perspective. Half of thats institutionally managed, and we need a larger percentage to be going after solutions than is currently going after them.
But theres also a series of other opportunities we need to tackle. One is increasing the issuance of instruments across asset classes that seek these solutions, green bonds being one of a number of such increased opportunities that we require. Investors can struggle, indeed, to find these opportunities, and the opportunities that are out there are really kind of all over the map.
Those who are driving sustainability change can be inside a company, or at a government level, or trying to establish policy, setting incentives, doing insurance data. Theres really a big system of opportunities that are emerging. Which is arguably exciting, because that will create jobs, and if we get it right well solve problems, and create more opportunities.
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Sustainable Investing: Revolutions In Theory And Practice
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Bard Mba: How Much Quant Finance Do You Really Have To Master To Be Able To Operate Effectively In This Space Is It The Kind Of Thing Where You Need To Have A Deep
Theres space for people of different skill sets. Most people have a sort of ESG issue of preference. One person might want to help solve the challenge of indentured slavery or sexual trafficking. Another might be more interested in renewable energy. Another might be interested in getting a position at a large corporation to try to help drive change from the inside, or as a consultant, or with a bank. Theres a wide range of paths. So, quantitative skills can be helpful. Depending on the situation, theyre certainly something that a lot of folks will look for even from think tanks, and not just startups but also hedge funds.
Quite frankly, had you asked me the question two years ago I would have said, Well actually it might be a bit challenging to get a job. Theres a lot of interest, but there arent a lot of openings. But I really think thats changed in a very short period of time, and were seeing a rise in social entrepreneurship opportunities left and right.
The field is starting to head in a better and better direction. Its going to take demand for more sustainable investing from the average person who sees that its in their own best financial interest, but this field should only grow as that perception continues to change.
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Other Recently Published Books
Sustainable Innovation and Impact
Following the Brexit and Trump election cycles, consistent, long-term policy solutions to environmental and other societal challenges are becoming increasingly difficult to achieve. Stepping into this breach is a clear opportunity for innovation by public and privately held companies, as well as the increasingly significant role of investment and consumption.
Sustainable Innovation and Impact provides a roadmap of the many critical pathways of positive change emerging to achieve modern day societal success, including rapidly evolving corporate and investment innovation and impact strategy considerations. Exploring innovation around the future of energy, electricity and related technologies, as well as transportation and buildings efficiency, Krosinsky and Cort consider ideas framed around the circular economy, operational and supply chain strategies and the global economy.
Drawing together a diverse range of contributors and case studies, this book will be of great relevance to students, scholars and professionals with an interest in innovation, economics and sustainability more broadly.
Sustainable Investing: Revolutions in Theory and Practice
Sustainable Investing represents an essential overview of sustainable investment practices that will be a valuable resource for students and scholars of sustainable banking and finance, as well as professionals and policymakers with an interest in this fast-moving field.
Global Supply Chain Management In The Esg World
Kerry Kennedy is the president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. She is the author of New York Times best-seller, Being Catholic Now , Speak Truth to Power and Robert F. Kennedy Ripples of Hope .
For more than thirty years, Ms. Kennedy has devoted herself to the pursuit of equal justice, the promotion and protection of basic rights, and the preservation of the rule of law. She has worked on a range of issues, including childrens rights, child labor, disappearances, indigenous land rights, judicial independence, freedom of expression, ethnic violence, impunity, and the environment. She has concentrated specifically on womens rights, exposing injustices and educating audiences about womens issues, particularly honor killings, sexual slavery, domestic violence, workplace discrimination, sexual assault, abuse of prisoners, and more. She has led hundreds of human rights delegations.
At a time of diminished idealism and growing cynicism about public service, her life and lectures are testaments to the commitment to the basic values of human rights.
She appears regularly on ABC, NBC, MSNBC, CBS, CNN and PBS as well as on networks in countries around the world, and her commentaries and articles have been published in The Boston Globe, Corriere della Sera The Chicago Sun-Times, the New York Daily News, LUnita, The Los Angeles Times, The Miami Herald, Marie Claire, The New York Times, Newsday, El Pais, and the Yale Journal of International Law, among others.
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Its difficult to overstate the lack of consistency in ESG data.
While ESG performance continues to gather momentum and play a critical role in the investment decision-making process, has a flashy acronym morphed into a marketing strapline as opposed to a foundation for robust analysis?
The proliferation of ESG rating providers has armed investors with ability to analyse more data than ever before when assessing how their investments are contributing to a more sustainable future.
Yet, despite an explosion in the number of firms contributing to the ESG reporting ecosystem, there are growing concerns that the way in which ratings and rankings are determined may be contributing to greenwashing and rewarding opaqueness.
Why do some companies have such good ratings compared to others when no discernible difference exists? Who is to blame? The companies that falsely label themselves as green or the ESG asset managers who fail to filter out greenwashed funds?
For sponsorship enquiries, please contactBenjamin Bracken – Benjamin.Bracken@ns-mediagroup.com
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Jason Mitchell is Co-Head of Responsible Investment at Man Group and co-chairs Man Groups Stewardship and Active Ownership Committee. He has held this position since July 2018.