SIPA and TIIP Partner to Advance Field of System-level Investing
The Investment Integration Project (TIIP) and the Sustainable Investing Research Initiative (SIRI) at Columbia SIPA have announced a strategic partnership to advance the field of system-level investing and foster greater cross-disciplinary scholarship in the field. The partnership hopes to advance education, research, and dialogue on system-level investing with an aim toward driving progress on combatting climate change, biodiversity loss, social inequality, and global poverty, as well as meeting the other UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The partnership aligns with Dean Keren Yarhi-Milo’s vision of the School to leverage relationships with the private-sector and practitioners to find solutions to a set of five global policy challenges. “The work of SIRI, especially around system-level investing, is so important and impactful and cuts across nearly all our Global Policy Challenges – not just climate and sustainability but also inclusive prosperity and macroeconomic growth, technology, and geopolitical stability,” said Yarhi-Milo. “And our partnership with TIIP is a great example of how we hope to leverage the expertise of scholars like Professor Flammer with the experience and know-how of the leading practitioners in the field. That is how we will drive change and create responsible stewards around sustainable investing going forward.”
The partnership will deepen the existing collaboration between SIRI and TIIP. In particular, Flammer and Burckart jointly developed and co-taught the first-ever course on system-level investing at SIPA, which is open to all Columbia graduate students. In addition, the partnership will help advance the field of system-level investing through rigorous academic research, consulting projects and internships for students, as well as convenings and other jointly organized events—such as the annual SIRI Sustainable Investing Career Fair and TIIP’s yearly state-of-the-industry investor conference—that bring together investors with scholars, students, and alumni to shape the field going forward.
TIIP Recruits 22 Leading Investors for First System-level Investing Cohort
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. 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 Global
- Community Capital Advisors
- Fidelity International
- Guy’s & St Thomas’ Foundation
- Intentional Endowments Network (IEN)
- 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 (UPP)
“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.”
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.
For more information or to learn how to participate in a cohort, please contact TIIP at [email protected].
New Functionality Added to Launchpad, one of the 3 components of SAIL
SAIL is a SaaS platform that provides practical tools, templates, guidance and deep research on systemic issues to help investors implement or refine system-level investment strategies with the goal of reducing costs, winning business, preserving long-term returns, and staying informed. SAIL is now open for subscribers so ask us about our summer promotion!
There are three components to SAIL, including the Launchpad strategic planning tool. Launchpad supports investors in launching or refining their system-level investing approaches. It equips investors with the knowledge and tools to prepare to adopt system-level investing, position themselves to influence change, and pursue any number of activities to bring that change to fruition.
Key features of Launchpad include:
Develop a System-level Investing Strategy
SAIL’s Launchpad offers a framework for investors to decide which facet(s) of systemic issues to focus on and which tactics and strategies to deploy. To do this, Launchpad outlines a 6-step process for investors to engage in system-level investing. It shows them how to integrate system-level investing into conventional activities like investment beliefs and policies, RFPs, targeted investment programs, shareholder engagement activities, manager selection and monitoring, and more.
Utilize Advanced Techniques
Launchpad also guides investors on how to leverage advanced techniques specifically designed to achieve influence at a system-level and that stress:
- Collaborative action
- Building shared knowledge bases
- Setting industry standards
- Calling attention to public policy debates about governmental rules and regulations
- Creating a rising tide of investment opportunities for all investors
Set Goals, Measure and Report on System-level Progress
The Set Goals and Evaluate Results section of Launchpad, for example, walk investors through measuring and reporting on how they, individually or collectively, are achieving system-level influence when they help to alter the paradigms (prevailing norms, standards, and structures) of environment, social, or financial systems. Generating system-level influence is as important as having an impact individually or aligning that impact with broader environmental or social goals; it is the foundation upon which investors can base consistent, system-wide influence over time and protect the ability of their funds to generate returns in the long term.
The Benchmark database, another component of SAIL, supports and streamlines the process of asset owners engaging managers on assessing their integration of system-level considerations–request info, set how much time managers can have to respond, and leverage TIIP-developed user guides to proactively address questions that may arise.
Want to subscribe or receive a live demonstration? Contact TIIP at [email protected]
TIIP + Friends About Town
- As part of Climate Week NYC, TIIP CEO William Burckart will be a featured panelist for Issues at the Intersection of Climate & Capital, presented by Gitterman Asset Management. Register here.
- On September 12th, William will also be a speaker at the 50th anniversary celebration for the Seventh Generation Interfaith Coalition for Responsible Investing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. More information about the event is available here.
- Jon Lukomnik, TIIP Advisory Council Member and co-author of the book “Moving Beyond Modern Portfolio Theory”, will be the Distinguished Speaker at the annual fall Public Session hosted by the Rutgers Center for Corporate Law and Governance. More information and attendance registration is available here.
- On September 25th, Monique Aiken, TIIP’s Managing Director, will be speaking in DC at the WELL Summit. WELL is a new building standard, like LEED, which guides the creation of and certifies spaces that advance human health and well-being.
- William will be speaking at PRI in Person 2023 – to be held in Tokyo, October 3-5, 2023 – at a session on “Responsible investors as system actors: What are the pathways for systemic impact?” The session will be moderated by Susheela Peres da Costa (Independent Consultant, The Stewardship Centre), and will include Emma Henningsson (Manager, Active Ownership, Seventh Swedish Pension Fund (AP7)), John Hoeppner (Head of US Stewardship and Sustainable Investments, Legal & General Investment Management America), Zak May (Executive Director – Strategy and Policy, IFM Investors), and Frederick Alexander (CEO, The Shareholder Commons).
- TIIP’s Managing Director, Monique Aiken will be speaking at Cambridge Associates 9th annual Impact Investing Forum taking place in Toronto, October 17-18, 2023. Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the best-selling novel, “The Ministry for the Future”, will be the other keynote speaker.
TIIP Is Hiring
The Investment Integration Project (TIIP) is seeking a highly motivated and results-driven Commission-Based Salesperson to join our dynamic team. As a salesperson, you will play a crucial role in driving the growth and success of our Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform by acquiring new subscribers. This contract position offers a commission-based compensation structure, providing the opportunity to earn income based on your sales performance. If you are passionate about technology, care about making the world a better place, thrive in a fast-paced environment, and excel at building relationships, this role is an ideal fit for you.
The target clients for this product are asset owners (pension funds, endowments, foundations, family offices, sovereign wealth funds, insurance/reinsurance firms, etc.) or asset managers (public equity, private equity, fixed income, venture capital, etc.) interested in enhancing their impact, sustainable or responsible investing policies, programs and products.
You can see additional information about the position here.
Please submit your resume or CV and a cover letter detailing your relevant sales experience to [email protected]. Candidates should share why they believe they are the right fit for this commission-based sales role in the cover-letter. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for further evaluation.