Agents of Impact | April 16, 2021

Students of impact

Dennis Price
ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

ImpactAlpha, Apr. 16 – Women make up eight of nine graduate students on the winning teams at last week’s Turner MIINT competition and Kellogg-Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge (they are: UCLA’s Christy Tsui, Emily Dinino, Katie Quilligan, Lucy Maybank and Morgan Owens, and, pictured above, Oxford’s Noah Law, Dawn Musil, Emilé Radyté and Annabella Wainer).

The demographic disruption is a sign of how the new generation of impact investing talent is changing the face of finance.

Students also are crowding impact investing courses and impact investing clubs and launching student-led funds and even collaborating across campuses to apply their biz-school education to “the impact we want to make on the world,” says Dinino, a student at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. “Not only extracurricular, but making it part of our careers.”

Outperforming on impact as well as financial returns requires a new profile. The ability to influence a diverse set of stakeholders, not just shareholders, is how new leaders are finding success.

“It’s not just about the what of impact investing and the how of impact investing, but it’s also about the who of impact investing and what the field will look like over the next generation,” says Bridges Fund Management’s Brian Trelstad, a co-founder of the MIINT.

“This generation of MBA students is going to come into their next roles wanting to bring their values with them,” says Kellogg School of Management’s Megan Kashner, who coordinates the Sustainable Investing Challenge, as well as the Impact and Sustainable Finance Faculty Consortium. Venture firms, corporations and consulting firms, Kashner says, need to be prepared for the wave of purpose-driven talent. Students “are optimistic, a little impatient, and ready.”