From its inception, the Haas Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Fund has lauded as both ambitious and groundbreaking. The first and largest student-led SRI fund within a leading business school, it offers Berkeley-Haas students real-world experience in how to deliver a strong financial return and have a positive social impact. Since 2008, the student principals have grown the initial investment of $1.1M to $2M+, a more than 50% return on investment over six years, and outperformed their environmental, social and governance (ESG) benchmarks.
Overview of the Haas SRI Fund
Reaching beyond a student training ground, the Haas SRI Fund seeks to contribute to the field of social investing by defining and exploring new ideas around unlocking hidden value based on companies’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices. As such, Fund Principals believe that the less conventional their thinking, the more innovative their approach, the less correlation with the activity of other established SRI funds, the greater the potential to achieve this goal.
At a high level the investment philosophy guiding the Fund and its Principles is to achieve a balance between financial and social/environmental performance:
The People Behind the Haas SRI Fund
Fund Principals are MBA and MFE students interested in finance and corporate responsibility. Through the Fund they have the opportunity to test the investment and corporate responsibility principles they learned in the classroom, and to experience the complexities, challenges, and rewards of the investing world. The biggest challenge? Unlike other mainstream funds, the Fund experiences about 50% turnover each year as students graduate. This has implications for knowledge management and investment philosophy as the Fund welcomes a fresh crop of students and perspectives.
The Haas SRI Fund was launched with generous gifts from Haas alumni Al Johnson, BS 1962 and MBA 1969, and his wife, Marguerite; Charlie Michaels, BS 1978, and his wife, Doris; and Larry Johnson, BS 1972, and his wife, Victoria. We are tremendously grateful for their leadership and continued support.
The Haas SRI Fund Annual Report highlights information about the evolving investment approach, performance, holdings and portfolio management.
"An important aspect of this fund is the freedom we have to explore different approaches to corporate social responsibility. We have made great strides toward exploring how social performance translates - or sometimes doesn't translate - into financial performance."