Warren Wilson College's journey to create an ethical and responsible endowment portfolio continues to get national recognition, most recently with a mention in Forbes.
The endowment fund has gained a national reputation as a leader in climate change, diversity, equity and inclusion and ESG investing. The article specifically commends Warren Wilson College for its efforts to invest in asset managers owned and led by women and minorities.
The conversation about changes to Warren Wilson's endowment began several years ago, and was initiated by students. That conversation led to a Responsible Investment Policy that guided a journey to create an ethical and responsible portfolio that was carbon free, incorporated environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria across asset classes, and specifically sought out investment managers of color and women-owned investment firms.
More recently, the school took its proactive endowment fund management approach to the other side of the portfolio and became an active shareholder that utilizes engagement strategies – proxy voting and shareholder resolutions – to engage with companies it has a stake in and to seek better alignment between management and shareholder.
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