Finance The Future Fellowship Program
The FTF Fellowship develops and supports finance and investment professionals working to drive significant amounts of capital to pragmatic climate solutions. This Fellowship aims to engage the next generation of investors and analysts in a high-level research project focused on in-depth market analysis and model portfolio development for investment approaches that can allocate billions, and even trillions, of dollars towards halting and reversing climate change.
Fellows work with Finance the Future’s research team, and an academic supervisor at a top-tier University, to develop realistic and solution-specific models, investment reports, and market analysis that illustrate the financial and economic opportunities for the most promising and impactful climate solutions deployed at scale. The Fellowship also presents a platform for participants to become spokespeople and leaders in the climate finance movement.
We are seeking a small number of high-caliber fellows from key universities, representing diverse perspectives from across academia, finance, and economics to participate in the first Fellowship cohort. Fellows receive benefit through performing in-depth research assignments, developing market reports, engaging climate investment organizations, participating in educational trainings, and having access to the global Finance the Future network.
Applications accepted until December 20, 2017.
Timeline & Focus Areas
The overarching goal is to eliminate barriers between existing “market shaping” networks and create more efficiencies in deploying capital towards climate solutions. Finance the Future works to do this in three interconnected ways:
1) Ecosystem mapping and gap analysis to understand the current and future investment landscape, where capital is currently flowing, and where there is opportunity to create new investment markets.
2) Constructing a blended and open-source model portfolio capable of allocating billions, and hopefully trillions, of dollars of investments to climate solutions.
3) Community building and events amongst climate finance practitioners and other ecosystem players to ensure climate finance practitioners are coordinated as best as possible.
The work of the FTF Fellows provides substantial benefit to the climate finance sector through detailed insight into:
Climate finance capital flows across sector, type of capital, and projects/organizations
Financial performance, carbon reduction effectiveness, and broader economic benefits of climate investments
Portfolio construction and investment opportunities across the philanthropic to market-rate return spectrum
Reducing performance risk from climate investments and developing innovative investment strategies
Fellows will conduct research on investment in specific climate solutions within these verticals, as outlined in Project Drawdown:
Land Use & Biosequestration
Waste Stream & Material Reduction
This Fellowship for graduate students offers the ideal opportunity for those who are interested in researching issues related to the intersection between climate change and finance. The ideal candidate for this fellowship is someone with excellent financial research, modeling and/or data visualization skills alongside a some background in climate change issues that emphasizes systems thinking approaches. Background in ESG screening tools and approaches is a significant plus.
The first round of fellows will convene in the winter session of 2018 with a kickoff weekend in New York City. Applications for the fellowship become available November 2017, and candidates will be selected by mid-January 2018 by a team of expert panelists from FTF and a top-tier academic faculty sponsor. The second round of the fellowship runs spring of 2018 and will include a larger cohort of fellows.
The first cohort focuses on Ecosystem Mapping and Gap Analysis for existing financial products that aim to mitigate or adapt to climate change. This will be performed through the lense of two main client types: family offices and pension funds. Investment products will be categorized according to different ESG screening objectives, as well as additional criteria that are requested from the client base. A literature review will be performed in conjunction with this approach.
Based on the work performed in the first phase of the fellowship project, a second cohort of fellows will be selected to continue the research. The second cohort focuses on beginning construction of blended, open-source model portfolios capable of allocating billions, and hopefully trillions, of dollars of investments to climate solutions. Fellows will construct these portfolios under three different timeline and risk/return scenarios.
Graduate fellows spend their first semester performing market analysis and research and writing up their findings under the supervision of an academic faculty member and FTF staff member. At the beginning of the process, they will be required to present one workshop/roundtable to specific client types to get their feedback and use these clients as an ongoing resource over time. At the end of the second semester, fellows are required to present a second workshop/roundtable discussions to outline, report on, and summarize their research findings to specific client types to begin the model portfolio process. A paper of publishable quality is the expected result.
FTF works with a myriad of partners that span academic, investment, policy, and intermediary institutions. Our convening power and extensive network in the climate finance sector bring to bear a wide array of prominent players to engage in the FTF Fellowship.