Aligning with the UN Principles of Responsible Investment, students in the Sprott Student Investment Fund (SSIF) have included responsible investing as an objective in its operations, and are working on incorporating environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) considerations into the fund’s investment practices.

Dr. Howard Nemiroff

Howard Nemiroff, faculty advisor for the Sprott Student Investment Fund and associate dean of undergraduate studies at Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business.

Responsible investing involves evaluating a company’s environmental, social, and governance practices before making investment decisions. These evaluations can include factors such as whether a company is environmentally responsible or not, whether a company strives to make a positive social impact, and whether their operations can be considered unethical.

“Corporations always have an opportunity to help shape society,” said Howard Nemiroff, the faculty advisor for SSIF and associate dean of undergraduate studies at Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business. “They have a hand in shaping society and have a responsibility to speak up against actions that are non-environmentally appropriate, non-sustainable from a business growth perspective, governance issues, EDI issues – they have a responsibility to help ensure that we’re doing the right thing.”

“As investors we have an opportunity to force companies from a value perspective to see the opportunity for them to grow by pursuing ESG and EDI positive paths. And, from a valuing perspective we also have the opportunity to assign value to companies that are actually pursuing socially noble and socially appropriate causes.”

With the goal of having the process for ESG considerations adopted into the fund by this fall, students are currently working on developing a framework – after consultations with industry members – that they will use to evaluate companies when deciding whether to invest in them or not. This framework will incorporate governance, diversity, community engagement, and research and analysis – plus will also be used to evaluate SSIF’s own internal and external operations.

Ellena Damini

Ellena Damini, a third year Bachelor of Commerce student at the Sprott School of Business and a senior equity research analyst with SSIF, says that integrating responsible investing will help them build a bridge between investing and long-term sustainability.

They are also currently conducting a materiality assessment, which is the process of identifying, refining, and assessing a number of ESG issues that could affect a business and its stakeholders.

“This integration is about investing in progress,” said Ellena Damini, a third year Bachelor of Commerce student at Sprott who is spearheading the process. “It involves identifying companies and industries that are solving global challenges and are in solid positions to grow into the horizon. Taking it one step further, integrating responsible investing into our fund can mean investing in businesses that are demonstrating sustainable practices and good business, which aligns with Sprott’s strategic goals.”

“As well, as part of our investment philosophy, the Sprott Student Investment Fund’s equity portfolio seeks to ensure sustainability over the very long term. With a forward-looking approach, integrating responsible investing can best position us to meet that long term sustainability. Ultimately, we are contributing to building a bridge between investing and long-term sustainability both in terms of our portfolio and in the overarching world.”

About the Sprott Student Investment Fund

The Sprott Student Investment Fund (SSIF) is an actively managed equity portfolio, valued at over $1.5 million and run by a select group of Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of International Business students at the Sprott School of Business. Students are given the opportunity to learn investment strategies in a team environment. All members contribute to the analysis process, helping to assemble the ideal portfolio that will safely and wisely grow SSIF’s capital.

Thursday, April 22, 2021 in ,
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