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Sustainable Investment Professional students graduate

JMSB program that promotes responsible investing certifies its first group of graduates
November 13, 2012
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By Yuri Mytko

The first cohort of graduates from Concordia’s Sustainable Investment Professional Certification (SIPC) program received their certificates at a ceremony held at the John Molson School of Business (JMSB) on November 6.

Offered through the David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise (DOCSE) in cooperation with Finance and Sustainability Initiative Montreal, the SIPC provides basic sustainability training to investment professionals through an online curriculum.

caption(Back row) Peter O'Brien, advisor DOCSE, Stephen Kibsey, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Paul Shrivastava, director DOCSE, pose with (in the front row) the graduating students. | Photo by Concordia University

Sustainable investing is an approach that takes into account the long-term environmental and social impact of owning a particular security. According to the World Economic Forum, the shift toward this type of investing represents a significant change within the asset management industry.

The event proceedings were opened by Paul Shrivastava, director of DOCSE, who noted that the program reinforces the notion that JMSB is a leader in sustainability-related thinking. “This extends beyond business education. We are approached by legal firms, accounting firms, mining corporations, who want to learn what DOCSE’s perspectives are on important issues in social responsibility,” he said.

Prior to the presentation of the graduates, Shrivastava moderated a panel discussion on sustainable investing. The panelists were Stephen Kibsey, Vice-President of Equity Risk Management at the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec; Janis Riven, a member of the SIPC faculty and adjunct professor at JMSB; Rosalie Vendette, Socially Responsible Investment Senior Advisor at Desjardins Groupe; and Craig Ryan, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at the Business Development Bank of Canada.

“The panel discussion was enlightening and very timely,” said Andrew Ross, a program coordinator at DOCSE. “The topics discussed were about current issues in the industry and hearing from these leading experts was inspiring.”

Following the discussion, the 18 graduates took to the stage to receive their certificates. The class of 2012 is a diverse group of individuals from a variety of career backgrounds. Among them were consultants, directors, financial planners, executives and a city councillor. The online nature of the program has allowed individuals from all over North America, and some from overseas, to participate.

“It was so nice to see the final outcome of the work that went into creating, coordinating, and maintaining the SIPC course,” said Ross. “These new SIPC graduates now have a solid foundation of sustainability tools under their belt and are well equipped to go forward into this newly emerging field.”

“JMSB is a supporter of sustainable investment and is proud to be the first business school to offer a professional designation of this kind, specifically geared toward investment professionals,” said JMSB Dean, Steve Harvey. “We are thrilled with the interest the program has generated thus far and are confident that enrolment will continue to grow.”

Currently, almost 80 people are registered in the program. That number is expected to increase because the program recently secured CFA (chartered financial analyst) Institute approved-provider program status. This means that members of the CFA Institute, who have an obligation to take courses to develop their professional expertise, will be granted credit for having completed the SIPC.

Related links:

•    Sustainable Investment Professional Certificate
•    David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise
•    John Molson School of Business
•    Finance and Sustainability Initiative Montreal
•    CFA Institute



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