Join the next generation of finance professionals
Now that sustainability has landed on the radars of financial institutions, corporations, and regulators, they are in need of experts in both finance and sustainability. As part of this new generation of finance practitioners, you will be competitive on the labor market. You will be qualified to work in all the same companies as finance graduates, but with a competitive edge thanks to your enhanced knowledge of sustainability.
Who wants sustainable finance?
Investment managers are trying to understand how environmental, social, and corporate governance factors influence their ability to make profitable investment decisions in different asset classes. They also seek to understand how financial product development can be improved by considering prospective clients' interest in environmental and social issues in addition to their preference for financial return. Examples: UBS, BlackRock, Robeco, ING Investment Management, Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
Pension funds and their asset managers
Numerous pension funds are involved with environmental, social and corporate governance issues in asset management, selection of external investment managers, and in fullfilling the role of active owner. As signatory of the Principles for Responsible Investing, they seek finance professionals who are better able to identify ESG factors that are material for their investments in terms of risk and return, and which affect their shareholder activism policy. Examples of pension funds and their asset managers: APG, PGGM, Norges Bank Investment Management, Arabesque Asset Management.
Banks are increasingly integrating environmental and social risk factors into lending decisions and risk managament. More than 80 large banks have signed the Equator Principles, a framework for assessing environmental and social credit risk involving project finance. Banks are are confronted with reputational risks and client demands involving the social impact of their businesss operations. Some banks are even facing regulatory contraints regarding their lending practices in certain controversial business areas. Examples: Deutsche Bank, ABN AMRO, ING Bank, Rabobank, Triodos, Credit Agricole.
Regulators are interested in rules and principles that help make the capital market and wider business community function in a way that benefits both society and the economy in the long run.
Financial and business consultants
Business consultants are facing questions from multinational companies about how to integrate sustainability in corporate and business strategy, materiality analysis, management control systems, marketing and product development, and annual corporate reports.
Financial consultants are facing several ongoing questions: which ESG issues have material impact on key value-drivers such as cost of capital, return on assets, and stock market returns? How does ESG affect the performance of investment portfolios in various asset classes? Examples: PWC, KPMG, Mercer, EY, BCG.
Multinational corporations now recognize that solving the right sustainability challenges is essential to their competitive advantage and long-term financial performance. They seek ways to integrate social and environmental factors in strategy analysis (Creating Shared Value), accounting and (integrated) reporting, compensation schemes, capital budgetting, and daily management activities. Examples of multinational companies: Akzo Nobel, DSM, Intel , Nestle, Novo Nordisk, Unilever.
Real Estate Sector
The real estate sector has both a large impact on the economy and a sizeable environmental footprint. Real estate portfolio managers profit from the energy efficiency of buildings in terms of value, rents, and occupancy rates. Real estate investment companies themselves are being benchmarked by institutional asset managers and benchmarking services such as GRESB.
Sustainability rating agencies
Both companies and investors consult external rating agencies in assessing environmental, social, and coprorate governance risks and opportunities. These rating agencies benefit from people who possess the ability to communicate in finance terms the materiality of ESG issues to their clients. Examples of sustainability (ESG) rating agencies: Thomson Reuters, GMI, MSCI, RobecoSAM, Sustainalytics, Trucost, Vigeo.
Future career preparation
Vacancies: see our tweets
Msc. IB/Sustainable Finance provides you with all major finance and business concepts as well as the latest empirical findings that help you to understand the materiality of ESG factors at corporate and investment level.
MSc. IB/Sustainable Finance prepares you for careers such as financial analyst, financial manager, investment portfolio manager, risk manager, or sustainability expert at a rating agency.
IB/Sustainable Finance does NOT prepare you for a small nice finance segment
Our recent work with practitioners
During my time at the European Centre for Corporate Engagement, I have advised pension funds and asset mana-gers about their shareholder activism policies involving environmental and social performance at companies...
— Michael Viehs, Hermes Investment Management
I collaborate with several banks in order to study their clients' demand for sustai-nable financial products with specific return and risk features...
— Dr. Paul Smeets, Maastricht University