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Continued Conversations About Socially Responsible Investing

Tue, 19 Nov 2013 16:05:00 CST  — by: Clesi Bennett, C'13, Sustainability Post-Baccalaureate Fellow

kinardLast week, Sewanee continued dialogue about socially responsible investing as the Investment Club and the Coalition for Responsible Investments brought Joseph Kinard to speak on campus.

The conversation with Kinard drew more than thirty students, faculty, and staff members from an array of backgrounds, from economics to environmental studies to ethics. 

Kinard, former CEO of Kinnard Group and current board member of the Presbyterian Pension fund and CEO and founder of Local Energy Supply Corporation, broke down what it means to bring ethics to the investment world, discussing the impact of negative and positive screens on portfolio returns. He also discussed the trend towards socially responsible investing in terms of personal financial management and large scale institutional investments, like the University endowment.

Kinnard presented to the New York Stock exchange in September, using the outstanding returns of the Presbyterian Fund to demonstrate the viability of industry screens for those interested in both outstanding profits and in maintaining a corporate or individual ethic. He provided students with example portfolios. The talk was conversational and helped students interested in both finance and sustainability gain a better understanding of the process, and allowed students the opportunity to ask questions and engage with the issue on a personal level.

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