Cohort is Using the Latest Tools, Research and Best Practices for Considering How to Manage Systemic Social and Environmental Risks and Invest in Related Solutions
New York, August 22, 2023 – Today The Investment Integration Project (TIIP) announced its inaugural SAIL (Systems Aware Investing Launchpad) cohort, made up of 22 asset owners and institutional investors. Over the course of the six-month program, members of the cohort will learn the fundamentals of system-level investing, including: why investors should care, what it means to manage systemic risks and rewards, why it is imperative to do so now, and how to integrate this new way of thinking into current investing policies and practices.
Previously, investors could find ways to insulate their portfolios from certain global events. But even seemingly ‘local’ events today can immediately affect portfolios. The largest investors are recognizing this trend and considering the interconnection between environmental and social systems under stress and long-term performance. They are pioneering policies and practices that are additive to conventional investment scrutiny at the security and portfolio levels, helping them to confront global systemic challenges like climate change and income inequality–in the process, they are charting the next critical shift in the evolution of finance, which we call system-level investing.
“As our global challenges become more acute and extreme, it is clear we need bigger and bolder action to shore up the social and environmental systems on which we all rely,” said William Burckart, TIIP’s CEO. “This cohort is made up of investment practitioners from across the globe who will become the vanguard of system-level practices. Through their leadership, we will help to fortify the health of these systems, supporting long-term performance and driving industry transformation in the process.”
“Wespath is thrilled to join this cohort of leading sustainable investors, which will help us evolve and support our vision for a sustainable economy that empowers the financial goals of our beneficiaries and investors,” said Jake Barnett, Managing Director of Sustainable Investment Strategies for Wespath Benefits and Investments. “We know transitioning to a sustainable economy will require that all investors adopt greater system-level thinking and strategy. Collaborations like this cohort are crucial for this effort.”
The cohort meets monthly to unpack shared and unique challenges and opportunities, and brainstorm breakthroughs needed around six key elements of system-level investing: deciding on which systemic risks to focus, setting goals, allocating assets, applying investment tools, utilizing advanced techniques, and evaluating results.
Select participating organizations include:
- AlTi Tiedemann
- Community Capital Advisors
- Fidelity International
- Guy’s and St. Thomas Foundation
- Intentional Endowments Network
- Majority Action
- Northlight Foundation
- NYC Board of Education Retirement System
- NY State Insurance Fund
- Office of the NYC Comptroller
- Pensioenfonds Hoogovens
- SecondMuse Capital
- Silverleaf Partners
- Trinity Church Wall Street
- UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)
- University Pension Plan
The SAIL cohort program emerged from an industry needs assessment that TIIP published in 2022. The research examined industry demand for system-level investing and determined the roadblocks—including capacity constraints, regulatory uncertainty, deeply ingrained industry culture, and a general need for more information—that are impeding widespread embrace of the approach. The resulting SAIL investor cohort program summarizes and provides access to the applied frameworks and deep research on systemic issues that TIIP has developed to illustrate the process of system-level investing, how it relates to conventional and sustainable investment, and why it can usher in a new way of thinking about investment.
For more information or to learn how to participate in a cohort, please contact TIIP at [email protected].
“With a coordinated backlash directed at impact investing and ESG, we risk faltering in our commitments and exacerbating the social, environmental and economic problems we face,” said Bhakti Mirchandani is Managing Director, Responsible Investing at Trinity Church Wall Street. “System-level investing helps us navigate through these attacks and illustrates how social and environmental systems are material to our investment returns.”
Participants of the cohort were recruited with support from the following investor associations: ICCR (Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility), Intentional Endowments Network (IEN), and the UN Principles for Responsible Investment’s (PRI) collaboration engagement platform.
“Institutional investors need to move capital differently to protect long-term returns and advance better systemic social outcomes,” said Bert Feuss, Senior Advisor at Community Capital Advisors. “Despite rights and other protections being under attack, the actions taken by this cohort will be a way to move towards progress.”
The Investment Integration Project (TIIP)
TIIP’s mission is to help investors understand how healthy social, environmental, and financial systems can benefit their portfolios. TIIP provides consulting services, applied research, and a turnkey solution (SAIL) that supports investors’ pursuit of system-level investing, an advanced approach to sustainable and impact investing that focuses on managing systemic risks and investing in solutions to systemic problems. For more information, visit https://www.tiiproject.com.