From the very start of Frankfurt School ESG & Impact Investing course1 early March 2023, I discovered a school attracting professionals from diverse countries, ranging from Europe, Asia and Africa, and from various sectors (commercial banking, development finance, energy, education, etc.). The welcome words from Karl H. Dichter, Callum Lee and our renowned teachers were engaging. They provided us with a helpful overview of the program. After the introductory unit, we will dive into the history and theory of ESG & impact investing, go through case studies and then learn how to implement a quality approach in ESG & impact investing. At this stage, we will be ready to go through an assignment in small international groups. In the final two units, we will learn about financial instruments and ESG & impact data disclosures. This trip into ESG & impact investing concludes with a final exam early September to sanction our achievements.
Over the next 6 months, I will share with you insights and thoughts about this training and I am happy to start with sharing a couple of observations with my fresh eyes of new Frankfurt School student.
Looking forward to sharing further insights on these topics in the coming months!
1 Frankfurt School of Finance and Management Certificate in ESG&Impact investing is a six month online course designed for professionals and executives working in private asset management and institutional investors, international development and donor organizations who want their investments to achieve positive impact and/or offer ESG compliant options to their clients.
2 As progressively articulated by CERISE + Social Performance Task Force over the past 20 years. “First, do no harm. But don’t stop there” – https://cerise-sptf.org/mission-vision/
3 “Regulations such as SFDR, the Taxonomy for sustainable activities and the Benchmark Regulation all refer to it with different nuances.” https://www.bloomberg.com/professional/blog/what-does-it-mean-to-do-no-significant-harm/
4 Severino, J-M. (2022) “Lost in impact: une nouvelle cartographie pour les aventuriers du sens”, Ferdi WP302, March.
5 To be fair, raters have started to tackle such criticism: Rate the Raters 2020 Report (sustainability.com)
6 Berg, Fabisik, and Sautner, 2020, Rewriting History II: The (Un)Predictable Past of ESG Ratings.
7 Hoepner et al.. 2020, ESG Shareholder Engagement and Downside Risk
8 Impact Investing by Barber, Morse and Yasuda, 2020.
Author: Edouard Sers, head of risk, impact and compliance at the Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation. Edouard, as an InFiNe.lu scholar, is sharing his experience and insights of the Certified Expert in ESG and Impact Investing executive programme he is attending at the Frankfurt School.
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Picture 1 © Pallab Seth