Since 2013, CFA Society Boston's Sustainable Investing Initiative has been highlighted each year with our Sustainable Investing seminar. This annual seminar has become a leading venue for exposure to innovation and best practices in this rapidly growing area of investment management.
Sustainable Investing is accelerating at a pace few would have anticipated when our first seminar made its debut in 2013. The language, tools, and practices of sustainable investing are increasingly being applied throughout traditional investment environments. At the same time, a large and increasing variety of sustainable investment-focused offerings and products have become available to investors.
Designed to help mainstream professionals navigate the explosion of approaches and increased client demand, this yearly event is designed to bring together thought leaders, practitioners, and asset owners to provide practical advice and share experience-based examples and insights. We present large themes and connect those themes to professional practice – like Bob Litterman’s in-depth presentation of climate change as a risk management challenge and a panel on incorporating climate change into portfolio management and construction. We selectively include emerging areas of practice – from green bonds to fiduciary duty. And most importantly, our attendees participate in a conversation including both asset owners and expert practitioners.
The event’s success – as reflected in the overwhelmingly positive feedback and growth to over 150 attendees – has enabled us to attract an array of outstanding speakers and a diverse audience. It has extended our reach into the large potential audience of over 5,700 CFA Society Boston members and the wider regional investment community.
Mainstreaming Sustainable Investing is our goal and our overarching theme, in addition to being the event’s tagline. Mainstream investment professionals are our target audience, and we have been successful at attracting a wide range of attendees. The attendees serve a range of clients from high net worth individuals and family offices through large institutional investors. They work for small firms and global asset managers.
Even with the growth we’ve experienced, the organization and structure of the annual Sustainable Investing seminar consciously maintains the feel of a smaller forum that encourages conversation between speakers and attendees. At the same time, the diversity of the participants has been frequently cited as providing unique learning and networking opportunities.