Impact Investing in Family Offices

Advise family offices to invest for social and environmental impact 


Investing for social and environmental impact is gaining wider acceptance within the institutional investment community. Many, and perhaps most, pension funds and endowments have sizeable holdings in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) related investments and integrate ESG strategies into their portfolios. Dozens of mutual funds and even exchange traded funds (ETFs) carry a “sustainable” moniker selecting investments on the basis of ESG characteristics in addition to traditional risk-return criteria.

Building on a companion course (FINC-GB.3348) that surveys the principles and techniques of impact investing, this course offers students an opportunity to develop their knowledge of impact investing using a complementary approach. This course combines the experience of a semester-long consulting engagement focused on a live impact investing opportunity or challenge facing a family office with classroom lectures, case discussions and expert guest speakers from the impact investing field.

This course assembles a small number of family or multi-family offices, each one supporting a project designed around a theme or objective specific to the family office’s needs. The project serves as a focal point for students to deepen their knowledge of impact investing and develop an awareness of the issues facing institutions that engage in ESG related investments.