There is a growing economic value to sustainable investing: it has grown by over 22 percent in the last two years to $3.74 trillion in total managed assets, according to Forbes. Morgan Stanley is a company known for investing. The firm that helps four million clients manage $1.8 trillion of assets will now be known for sustainable investing. Earlier this month, Morgan Stanley Chairman and CEO James Gorman launched the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing at Columbia Business School. The purpose of the Institute is to build on the work the company is already doing and expand opportunities for sustainable investing. The Institute will partner with community groups such as Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and NCB Capital Impact.
The Institute will focus on three areas: financial products and solutions that enable clients to do sustainable investing with risk-adjusted financial returns, groundbreaking thought leadership, and strategic partnerships with the public, private and non-profit sectors. The first major commitment of the Institute is setting a goal of $10 billion in total client assets through Morgan Stanleyâ€™s Investing with Impact Platform in the next five years. Other commitments include creating new products, establishing an annual Sustainable Investing Fellowship program at Columbia Business School, and investing $1 billion in sustainable communities to provide rapid access to capital to preserve and enhance housing units that need to be rehabilitated.
â€œMorgan Stanley is in a unique position to harness the capital markets to help address the most pressing challenges facing society today, connecting governments, investors and businesses with the capital to execute at scale,â€ Gorman said. â€œOur philosophy is clear â€“ the most effective solutions to sustainability challenges are those that can be brought to scale. Â Our clients are increasingly turning their attention to what it takes to secure the lasting and safe supplies of food, energy, water and shelter necessary for sustainable prosperity.â€
Partnership with the Columbia Business School Â
The Institute will partner with the Columbia Business School to sponsor an annual Sustainable Investing Fellowship Program that will allow a select group of graduate students to conduct research in sustainable investing. The graduate students selected will conduct supervised research with Columbia Business School faculty members, and do an internship at Morgan Stanley.
Columbia Business School is glad to partner with the Institute as the school has â€œlong considered Morgan Stanley a valued partner, and we are grateful for their ongoing support,â€ said Glenn Hubbard, dean of Columbia Business School. Hubbard added that the Sustainable Investing Fellowship â€œwill provide our students with an extraordinary opportunity to see how sustainable investing theories learned in the classroom can be applied to real-world challenges.â€
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