Tuesday, July 25, 2017

In June, the UNH Foundation's Investment and Finance committee established a Committee on Investor Responsiblity.

Sustainability is a core value at the University of New Hampshire and it underpins our academics, research and practice. As part of UNH’s ongoing institution-wide commitment to sustainability, the UNH Committee on Investor Responsibility (CIR) shall be formed to help support the foundation in sustainable, socially responsible investment practices and policies.

Operating Principles

  • The UNH Endowment Fund is capital of the University of New Hampshire Foundation (UNHF) created by donors, invested and managed for the benefit of the University of New Hampshire, and providing funding to support the academic, research and public service missions of the university. 
  • The primary investment objective of the endowment is to achieve the highest long-term return-on-investment assets that are compatible with the university’s risk tolerance and time horizons and consistent with prudent investment practices.
  • “Sustainable investment” practices are consistent with that objective in that they entail consideration of short- and long-term risks of environmental and social harm — which can present financial risk for investors.
  • By acting in an advisory role to the Investment & Finance Committee (I&F), the CIR can increase the I&F’s capacity for making informed and prudent decisions regarding the management of the endowment. As the role of the CIR is informational, all decision-making authority will continue to rest with the I&F and UNHF Board of Directors.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Committee

  • Research opportunities relevant to the sustainable investment of the foundation’s endowment monies — including opportunities that may arise for increased shareholder engagement or proxy voting, as well as specific investment strategies or opportunities.
  • Consider proposals from the UNH community (e.g. students, staff, faculty, alumni, etc.) relevant to sustainable investment of endowment monies.
  • Make recommendations to the I&F.
  • Help educate and inform the broader UNH community about sustainable investment practices in general and about UNH’s sustainable investment practices in particular.

Committee Composition and Operations

  • The CIR will comprise 10-12 members, including representatives of alumni, faculty, students, staff, the I&F and the investment industry. The ideal member will have a demonstrated interest in the area of responsible investing and a dedication to the advancing the missions of the foundation and UNH.
  • The committee shall meet quarterly or as called by chair.
  • The initial work of the committee (beginning summer 2017) will be to set goals and identify priority actions or research for the committee’s work during AY17-18 (i.e., to create an AY17-18 work plan.) Thereafter the committee’s priority goals/issues will be revisited and updated annually. 

Membership – July 2017

Julie Gorte – Pax World Mutual Funds (Chair)
Ned Dane ’88 – Oppenheimer Funds (I&F representative)
Alison Pyott ’92 – Veris Wealth Partners (Alumna)
Austin Perea '14 – The Boston Consulting Group (Alumnus)
Alexys Gilcreast ’18 – Atkins Investment Club (Student)
Kelsey Lozier ’19 – DivestUNH (Student)
Fiona Wilson – Paul College and Center for Social Innovation & Enterprise (Faculty)
Cameron Wake – EOS/Sustainability Institute (Faculty)
Steve Trzaskoma – COLA and former Sustainability Institute Fellow (Faculty)
Jennifer Andrews ’02, G’08 – Project Director, Sustainability Institute (Staff)
Erik Gross G’97 – Treasurer, UNH Foundation and AVP, Finance for Advancement (Staff)