Haas Socially Responsible Investment Fund (HSRIF) Update
The Haas Socially Responsible Investment Fund (HSRIF) is the world’s first and largest student-led SRI fund within a leading business school. HSRIF offers our Berkeley-Haas MBA students real-world experience in delivering both strong financial returns and positive social impact.
A couple weeks back at the beginning during the first class of the semester, I had the opportunity to get together with some of our new HSRIF Student Principals, a few of our HSRIF Advisory Committee Members, and our new HSRIF instructor. I am excited about the opportunities ahead this year to take HSRIF to the next level. A number of other schools are beginning to get into this space of SRI – or now more often referred to as ESG (environmental, social and governance) investing. We warmly welcome this as we intend to play a leadership role at Berkeley-Haas to mainstream ESG investing within more traditional approaches.
HSRIF represents one piece of a greater collection activities and legacies at Berkeley-Haas related to Sustainable Investing & Finance. At the Center for Responsible Business, we have developed a small suite of CRB focus areas. Sustainable Investing & Finance is the first of these focus areas.
I recently wrote a letter to the HSRIF Advisory Committee & HSRIF Student Principals to offer an update regarding HSRIF. I wanted to share this letter with you in an effort to further raise awareness and interest in HSRIF and our work to further the leadership role Berkeley-Haas plays in the nascent field of Sustainable Investing & Finance. — Robert
Are you studying at Berkeley-Haas? Interested in learning more about joining the Haas Socially Responsible Investment Fund?Come to the Information Session on Monday, October 3, 2016 from 12:30 PM-2:00 PM.
Subject: Haas Socially Responsible Investment Fund (HSRIF) Update
August 15, 2016
Dear Members of the HSRIF Advisory Committee & HSRIF Student Principals:
As you are well aware, Haas Socially Responsible Investment Fund (HSRIF) is a crown jewel of Haas. And as I just wrote in the “2015-16 CRB Year in Brief: Letter from the Executive Director,” Sustainable Investing & Finance is a focus area for the CRB with HSRIF at the center of it all. So I wanted to offer a couple of updates and some thoughts on the year ahead with HSRIF.
We are excited to welcome Dan Hanson to Berkeley-Haas as our new HSRIF instructor after an exhaustive search this past spring. We could not be more pleased to have Dan onboard and look forward to leveraging his expertise and energies to help further HSRIF while putting students at the center of it all. I have attached a more complete bio of Dan. While Dan is based in New York, he has committed himself to be in Berkeley on a regular basis.
Scott Pinkus, who was key person in our HSRIF instructor search team, is our newest member of the HSRIF Advisory Committee. Scott is also a member of the CRB Sr. Advisory Board and a central figure throughout the history of the Berkeley-Haas Masters of Financial Engineering (MFE) program. We look to leverage Scott to help strengthen our links between HSRIF and the CRB while exploring where there may be potentially promising ways to leverage the MFE program for HSRIF.
Nadja Guenster also recently joined the HSRIF Advisory Committee. Of course Nadja needs no introduction as she has been the longstanding instructor of HSRIF. We are all so grateful for Nadja’s commitment to HSRIF and the Student Principals over the years and are so pleased to welcome her to the HSRIF Advisory Committee.
As we look ahead to this upcoming year, we will work to further connect HSRIF with the many activities across Berkeley-Haas and beyond associated with the Sustainable Investing & Finance Initiative. For example, we will work to further connect the HSRIF Student Principals with the Moskowitz SRI Research Prize and the recently established Berkeley Sustainable Business & Investment Forum. We will also work to leverage relevant activities from the Human Rights & Business Initiative coordinated by the CRB that include emerging efforts to assess materiality of human rights issues and providing investor quality information regarding human rights performances of companies. Additionally, we will plan more sustainable investing and finance related content for the CRB’s Peterson Speaker Series and will set our sights on investing and financial institutions to join the ranks of CRB corporate partners as we intend to also help connect our students with great professional opportunities.
This upcoming year, we will also work to firm up governance policies for HSRIF. This will include establishing more explicit statements of roles and responsibilities. We will likely tap on a subset of you kind people for assistance.
From an academic standpoint, this upcoming year marks the second year we will follow the updated sequence of prerequisite courses (Asset Management à Socially Responsible Investing à HSRIF) that was wisely designed by our finance faculty, in particular Adair Morse and Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, in collaboration with Laura Tyson. We feel this sequence will increasingly benefit the students by ensuring a common level of skills and rigor expected from all HSRIF Principals. We will continue to encourage engagement between course instructors to best ensure a constructive building of knowledge base for the students.
I am deeply encouraged with the year ahead. I am grateful for my good CRB colleague Seren Pendleton-Knoll for her continued support and leadership with all things related to HSRIF. I also personally look forward to more closely engaging with HSRIF and you this upcoming year.
We have something very special with HSRIF thanks to all of your efforts – and we are committed to do our part to help build upon it. Please never hesitate to be in touch.
Robert Strand, Ph.D.
Executive Director & Lecturer
Berkeley-Haas Center for Responsible Business
Dan Hanson, CFA, is a Partner and Co-Chair of the Investment Strategy Committee with Jarislowsky Fraser Global Investment Management, a privately held $30B AUM firm. As portfolio manager he heads U.S. equities, co-manages global portfolios, and leads the firm’s ESG initiatives. Mr. Hanson has more than 20 years of experience in US and global equities, and credit and mortgage securities.
Previously, Mr. Hanson spent 10 years at BlackRock, as Managing Director, Portfolio Manager, and head of fundamental research for $23B AUM. Mr. Hanson was the architect and sole manager of the top decile BlackRock Socially Responsible Equity portfolio. Mr. Hanson served as a voting member of the North American Proxy Committee, responsible for stewardship on $900B AUM.