Total Impact Portfolio Challenge


Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the Challenge for? +

We believe that being fluent in impact is a competitive edge even for students who are not looking to have a career dedicated to impact investing. This Challenge will provide hands-on training in important aspects of impact investing, understanding investor profiles, security selection, impact alignment and reporting for all aspiring investment professionals.

Is past experience in finance a prerequisite? +

A degree or background in finance is not a necessary requirement. However, an understanding and interest in the modalities of how capital can be better aligned to social impact is crucial. The Challenge is designed to marry the rigor of investment management to high, positive impact. Philanthropic and development institutions are increasingly partnering with the "mainstream", private capital markets to find innovative, sustainable financial solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. This Challenge is for constituents of both worlds.

Who can participate in the Total Impact Portfolio Challenge? +

For the 2019/2020 school year, the challenge is open to teams of graduate students currently enrolled in US universities.

A team can have minimum 3 and maximum 5 members, all of whom must be enrolled in a full-time graduate program at the time of the submission. The team members can be from different school years across graduate schools of the same university. We encourage students to form teams drawn from different graduate programs to ensure a balanced mix of expertise and skill sets. and Participants cannot include Ph.D. students or students enrolled in executive programs.

What is the structure of the Total Impact Portfolio Challenge? +

Teams will be provided with two institutional investor profiles - a private foundation and a single family office. Both investors want to transition to a "Total Impact" model where they are able to integrate impact - runs the gamut from negative screening to ESG to targeted impact - across asset classes of their strategic portfolio allocation.

Each investor profile includes the investor’s financial and social impact goals, target asset allocation, risk profile, and liquidity needs. Participants will get to choose one investor profile and are then required to identify specific securities, funds, and investments to construct a portfolio that meets their investor's goals.

Finalists will present their work at the Total Impact Philadelphia in April 2020.

How will teams be evaluated? +

Teams must demonstrate how well they have understood their client's financial and social goals. Teams will be evaluated on their execution capabilities across asset classes and across targeted impact areas, and on their ability to capture and communicate the projected financial and social outcomes.

Please note that we understand that 100% impact is aspirational and not all asset class or sub-class offer accessible, investable opportunities. The Challenge is designed to encourage students to transit portfolios to a greater degree of impact intentionality. We want to motivate students to be broader in their approach and definition of impact.

We want students to be creative in choosing different frameworks to report the social and environmental impact of their portfolios.

Who judges the Total Impact Portfolio Challenge? +

Members of the Wharton Social Impact Initiative (WSII) and the Good Capital Group (GCP) teams will be joined by industry leaders in evaluating the portfolios submitted by the teams.

How and when will I be notified of acceptance to participate in the Challenge? +

Applicants will be sent an email notifying them of their acceptance decision by October 15.

How many finalists will be chosen? +

4 finalist teams will be chosen to present their portfolio recommendations at Total Impact Philadelphia 2020.

Beyond what my school can offer, what resources will be provided +

TIPC participants will be uploaded to Canvas, an online Learning Management System. Canvas will provide students with the following resources, among others:

Informational webinars, research reports, portfolio management tools, school resource guides, Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) access, and more.


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