The Fuqua Sustainable Impact Student Investment Fund
The Fuqua Sustainable Impact Student Investment Fund (FSISIF) is a student-run fund seeking to responsibly invest in long-hold public equities that further issues of integrity, equity, environmental stewardship, social awareness, ethics, and good governance. Its mission is to prepare students at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business to effectively use investing to protect the environment and advance a more just world. The Fund achieves this mission by: 1) giving students the opportunity to actively invest funds in public equities through an ESG lens; 2) educating students about capital allocation and impact management and measurement; and 3) serving as a ground for experimentation in cutting edge ESG, sustainable, and impact investing strategies.
As of November 2022, the total AUM was ~$300K, held in a mixture of stocks and ETFs.
History: Fuqua’s Sustainable Impact Student Investment Fund traces its origins to the philanthropic generosity of a local businessman who, in 1952, provided Duke University’s Department of Economics and Business Administration with a corpus of funds with which current students could augment their coursework in Finance through its investment in a portfolio of publicly traded stocks. In 1970 oversight and students’ annual engagement with the fund transitioned to the Graduate School of Business Administration, later to become The Fuqua School of Business.
Student Management: Each year CASE i3 manages the selection of two second-year student Fund Managers. The Fund Managers recruit and select a team of first- and second-year students in the fall to the Fund Team. Students who are interested in joining the Fund Team should attend the annual CASE i3 Information Session in the Fall 1 term to find out more about the application process.
The Fund Team conducts equity research, analyzes Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors, and presents investment pitches to the student-led investment committee. Students on the Fund Team receive course credit through Fuqua’s Experiential Learning program.
Oversight: Student involvement in the fund is overseen by the Fund Oversight Committee, made up of faculty and staff from CASE i3 and Fuqua’s Office of Experiential Learning. The Fund Team also has opportunity to leverage the expertise of external investment professionals, many of them Duke alumni. . Additionally, the administrative team of DUMAC, Duke University’s endowment manager, supports the Fund Team’s transaction requests throughout the academic year.
Student Fund Managers in 2022/2023 are:
Informal Advisors: A small group of industry practitioners serve as informal advisors to the two second year MBA student Fund Managers and 10-15 first year MBA Associates who earn course credit by monitoring current holdings and proposing additional investments each academic year.
Current Fund Advisors:
- Sarah Edwards, Investment Director, Sustainable and Impact Investing, Cambridge Associates, Fuqua MBA & Nicholas MES ’16.
- John Buley, Professor of Finance, Duke, former Managing Director, J.P. Morgan.
- Kelly Ko, CFA, Faculty – California State University, Fullerton, Retired Partner & PM, Lombardia Capital Partners, Fuqua MBA ’86.
- Megan Walsh Thompson, Investment Officer, Ford Foundation, Fuqua MBA ’11
- Kevin Walenta, CFA, Portfolio Manager, Fidelity Environmental and Alt Energy Fund, Fuqua MBA ’08.
Fund Advisor Responsibilities:
- Provide feedback on student-led financial and impact assessments.
- Advise the Fund team during group meetings focused on the performance of the fund and strategic initiatives.
- Offer industry expertise and governance best practices.