GBUS 8497: IMPACT INVESTING

This course will cover the rapidly-expanding world of impact investing, focusing on the fundamentals underlying investment strategies for funds (and, to a lesser extent, companies) seeking to both create profit and generate social or environmental impact.  Through a combination of in-class and project learning, students will explore what qualifies as an “impact investment,” gain exposure to the fundamentals of the impact investment process, and evaluate various financial structures that unify rather than balance impact and investing.  The class will cover a wide set of investment vehicles: public equity, private debt, and private equity/venture capital, public-private partnerships, microfinance institutions.

Academic course objectives:

·         Examine the growing spectrum of impact investing, across every investment and asset class, from venture capital to public equities to fixed income and REITs (below market to alpha generating).

·         Examine the changes taking place as the field evolves from niche to mainstream.

·         Evaluate if capital markets and investment instruments deliver both impact and generate market returns.

·         Understand how institutional investors respond and/or catalyze these strategies.

·         Create own impact investing instruments or financial structures in final projects.

Elements of the course grade:

·         Individual class participation (45%)

·         Project presentations (55%: 40% by the instructor and 15% peer to peer grading)