Exploring Sustainable Index Investing in the MSc in Corporate Finance & Banking - Alumni Insights
Meet Charlotte Groenen, a 2022 Graduate from Maastricht University with a Double Degree with EDHEC Business School in Corporate Finance & Banking. She had the pleasure of returning to EDHEC’s Nice campus to teach students about sustainable investing during the Alumni Insights session – a series of events where Alumni from the MSc in Corporate Finance & Banking address a special topic with the students of the programme.
What topics did you address in the MSc in Corporate Finance & Banking classroom?
I introduced students to the asset management industry, focusing specifically on index investing with a specialisation in sustainable indexing. I discussed with the students how these components all fit together - asset management, index investing and sustainability index – exploring the different areas. Additionally, I presented several sustainability metrics used to assess issuers within index construction. Utilising sustainability metrics in index construction aids investors in selecting companies that are well-positioned for sustainable risk.
Can you share the feedback you got from the MSc in Corporate Finance & Banking students at the end of the course
Students saw their expectation that sustainable criteria are relevant to product construction confirmed. However, they were surprised by the breadth of sustainability-related metrics available! After the session, they posed many questions demonstrating a strong increased understanding of the topic.
After attending your lecture, what do you hope students will take away from your course?
I hope that students from the MSc in Corporate Finance & Banking will keep in mind that there are multiple ways to incorporating sustainable criteria to their investment portfolio.
Also, I hope that in their future roles, in addition to looking at financial risks, they will also recognise the impact of sustainable risks on a company as in the end, both aspects are relevant for investors.
Is this your first job?
Yes, this is my first job. After having completed two internships at BackRock, I decided to continue my professional career there as I really enjoyed the company’s culture and the people that I met.
Can you share some insights about your role a product strategist for sustainable indexing?
We work in a diverse range of activities, including assisting clients in navigating our products. We also continuously monitor the market and engage with clients to identify customer demand and trends. My work involves a combination of skills including presentations, analysis and project management. Each day brings unique challenges, as the market changes and develops. Currently, my team covers approximately 110 sustainable funds ranging from Exchange Traded Funds to Index Mutual Funds.
Which skills did you get at EDHEC Business School?
During my studies in the MSc in Corporate Finance & Banking, in addition to acquiring all the essential skills to allow me to succeed in my career, I developed a lot of teamwork and social skills. In addition, through the multiple case studies, I acquired multiple hard skills. Being surrounded by fellow students, all with a keen interest in Finance, provided multiple opportunities for engaging in peer learning.
What are some great memories from when you attended EDHEC?
As I arrived on the Nice campus during the Covid pandemic, many places were closed. However, I gradually witnessed life returning to the campus, and I had the opportunity to enjoy the reopening of the restaurants in France after the lock down on the first day, seeing life return to the streets in Nice. It was also the chance for me to finally connect with my fellow peers whom I had initially met online.
Tips you would share with students in the MSc in Corporate Finance & Banking.
I would suggest students to open their eyes and see all the students around them. Engage in making connections as they will last for a lifetime.