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 - Your Second Nature & IEN Teams
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Friday, February 26 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Active Ownership in the Endowment: Warren Wilson College

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Warren Wilson College (WWC) has focused on intentionally applying environmental sustainability and social equity lenses to the management of its endowment for over 5 years. In 2019, WWC became active owners of their portfolio companies. Active ownership is an effective tool in the long term value creation of the companies colleges own. Come hear from the investment Committee Chair, a recent alum of the school, and the people in the active shareowner community who supported them as they co-filed resolutions at BlackRock, Alphabet and Amazon and voted proxies to support their institutional mission.

Some key takeaways from this session:
  • Active ownership is an under-utilized practice among university endowments though it can both align company practice with university mission and enhance the value of the companies owned.
  • All but the most well endowed institutions have limited people and time resources and often don't have the expertise required to enter into dialogue with the companies they own, engage in collective action with other investors or vote proxies.
  • Warren Wilson College overcame these resource hurdles by creating a responsible investing policy that gave birth to an ESG Advisory committee that included investment committee members and trustees and provided the specificity needed to direct engagement efforts. They then collaborated with experienced shareholder advocacy organizations to assist with co-filing resolutions and proxy voting.

avatar for Alice DonnaSelva

Alice DonnaSelva

Managing Director, Intentional Endowments Network

avatar for Anthony Rust

Anthony Rust

Chair of the Investment Committee, Warren Wilson College
avatar for Ben Linthicum

Ben Linthicum

Sustainability & ESG Analyst, HXE Partners
avatar for Timothy Smith

Timothy Smith

Director of ESG Shareowner Engagement, Boston Trust Walden
avatar for Chris Miller

Chris Miller

Associate Vice President, Institutional Shareholder Services

Friday February 26, 2021 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST