MBA Students Create Sustainable Investment Portfolios in New Competition

3/8/2011 10:03:00 AM

Kellogg School of Management and the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management launch International Impact Investing Challenge

Impact investing is a growing field in the financial sector, with new investors focusing on business growth opportunities from products and services that address social and environmental issues. To help MBA students – tomorrow’s investment professionals – hone their skills in this emerging field, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University have launched The 2011 International Impact Investing Challenge.

 The competition will challenge MBA students to achieve economic returns by identifying and executing investment strategies that support progress on global impact issues. Teams from a dozen top MBA programs are participating in the Challenge, competing for more than $40,000 in awards in a final event at J.P. Morgan in New York City on April 8, 2011.


“This competition is exciting and unique because it challenges MBAs to think about how we employ capital so that competitive investment returns flow from the value created by solving our biggest problems – poverty, climate change, ecosystem degradation – with innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Mark Milstein, director of Johnson’s Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise, and senior lecturer of management and organizations.


The 12 student teams will pitch their investment ideas to a panel of experienced investors and senior officers who currently manage family foundations, pension funds and university endowments.


“The goal of the competition is to fuel interest for impact investing as an investment strategy that’s attractive to mainstream investors, while underscoring environmental and social impact,” said Jamie Jones, associate director of the Social Enterprise at Kellogg (SEEK) program at the Kellogg School.


The International Impact Investing Challenge is sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, J.P. Morgan, the McCall Foundation, Equilibrium Capital Group, the Calvert Foundation, Impact Assets, and the Milken Institute.


“Supporting the Challenge is just one example of J.P. Morgan’s strategic approach to impact investing,” said Christina Leijonhufvud, head of J.P. Morgan’s Social Finance business, which commits to investments that generate social, environmental and financial returns. “We recognize that there is a crucial role for large-scale financial institutions to play in bringing financial services, capital, research and skills to this growing segment of the global economy.”

“This Challenge is part of a broader commitment for building this sector and creating new opportunities in capital markets,” said Dave Chen, managing principal at Equilibrium Capital Group. “MBA students bring remarkable energy, insight and innovation to this field, and it’s our hope that involvement in an event like this will help students find ways to create the next generation of impact investing.”


Information about International Impact Investing Challenge, Judging Event:

When:       Friday, April 8, 2011


Where:     J.P. Morgan

                  383 Madison Avenue

New York, NY 10017


Program:  8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.: Semi-final Presentations

2:00 p.m. – 6:30p.m.: Final Presentations and Award Reception


                   Schools:    Anderson School of Management, University of California Los Angeles

Booth School of Business, University of Chicago

Columbia Business School, Columbia University

Fuqua School of Business, Duke University

Harvard Business School, Harvard University

Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University

Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

Said Business School, University of Oxford

Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford University

Stern School of Business, New York University

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania


More Info:To obtain a press pass to the event or to schedule an interview with coordinators, sponsors, or student teams, contact Shannon Dortch at Johnson at Cornell University.