FINA 386 Theory of Sustainable Finance (3.0 credits)
ENGL106 Professional Finance English (3.0 credits)
21 additional credits (7 courses) at the 600-level chosen from the following:
21st century investors and corporations face a broadening array of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) risks and opportunities. Climate change, water scarcity, community conflicts, resource depletion, supply chain breakdowns, worker well-being and economic inequality pose increasingly material challenges with sustainable investing becoming an imperative for successful corporations and investors to understand, adopt, leverage and manage for.
This course will couple theory with the practice of Sustainable Investing. We will examine current ESG investment and corporate strategy, industry and other trends, future scenarios, players in the field, and frameworks and integrate theory with practical investment performance analysis, metrics, and studies of data, screens, asset classes and diversification.
The course maximizes student interaction with industry leaders and is taught through a mix of case studies, analyst reports, and lectures. Previous iterations of this class allowed students at Yale, Brown, Concordia, Maryland and Columbia University to build their understanding of sustainable investing and at Brown, put this directly into practice, including analyzing and recommending strategies and fund managers for partnership with the new Brown University Sustainable Investment Fund option for donors to the Brown Endowment, as well as developing stock pitches for possible direct investment as concentrated positions.
Increasingly financial outperformance across asset class requires an understanding of how fund managers are already finding alpha using a combination of expertise and sustainability considerations.
In response to rising environmental challenges including those which affect the quality of air, water and food, key questions and imperatives continue to emerge, such as:
This course will review such solutions and encourage students to find their own solutions to unsolved environmental and societal challenges. Turning challenges into opportunities through innovation is the only way to drive future success. Case studies will be reviewed and senior speakers across categories of sustainable innovation success.
Global corporations are deploying a variety of specific techniques and strategies to addressing unsolved environmental and societal challenges, including industrial symbiosis, the value driver model, multi-stakeholder dialogues and much more.
Specific case studies to be reviewed and discussed, and senior speakers will be featured across categories of sustainable strategy that has been deployed for business success.
Students will learn about how to best measure, report, analyze and strategize across all categories of risk and opportunity within ESG (environmental, social and governance) considerations.
China has become the global leader in issuing green bonds, while standards proliferate, and rapid growth is being experienced, alongside opportunities for investors.
Other creative forms of finance continue to also emerge such as conservation and forest finance, among many other categories of private equity and debt, and project finance, especially those which finance renewable energy and water technology.
Specific case studies to be reviewed, analyzed and discussed, senior speakers will be featured.
Opportunities for new forms of finance to also be considered as a class, among other evolving trends that include the use of satellites and machine learning as well as priority setting frameworks.
Impact investing is a growing field unto its own, estimated most recently at $110B dollars and growing. Measuring impact outcomes for this field has been a challenge, this class will review current approaches, and give students specific exposure to techniques, while developing frameworks and considering best practice.
Social Impact Bonds, Social Entrepreneurship including all forms of Social Enterprise and its relation to the future of venture capital, Conscious Capitalism, B Corporation and Benefit Corps to also be reviewed.
Pilot capstone projects to be customized at the specific student level.
This class specifically gives students experience as fund managers, consultants and corporations who seek to better communicate with their stakeholders and grow their businesses.
Fund managers seek additional assets and clients, corporations strive to best report and position their strategies to manage to varying stakeholder demands, and consultants likewise are increasingly called upon by investors to provide solutions mindful of sustainability considerations.
Financial return expectations, asset allocation modeling and strategy prioritization will also be a focus, as will brand development and protection.
Exercises will include best practice methods of bringing corporates and investors together for the benefit of positive ongoing dialogues and solutions.