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2018/2019  KAN-CCMVV1736U  Impact Investing - The Effectiveness of Institutional Investors in purpose-driven finance

English Title
Impact Investing - The Effectiveness of Institutional Investors in purpose-driven finance

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Kai Hockerts - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Finance
  • Accounting
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 20-02-2018

Relevant links

Learning objectives
Critically evaluate what impact investing means, whether it serves its purpose well, how it is changing.
  • Explain the different interpretations of impact investing and be able to discuss their implications.
  • Analyse case examples of impact investing funds
  • Assess to what degree impact investing achieves it stated goals.
  • Evaluate the overall effectiveness of impact investing as a tool for generating financial and social returns.
Impact Investing - The Effectiveness of Institutional Investors in purpose-driven finance:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Essay
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure



  • Part 1: Introduction to institutional investing, its purpose and why it matters for the economy, society and the environment
  • Part 2: Elements of investment
  1. the integration of longer-term factors into investment decision making; and
  2. stewardship;
  • Part 3: Understanding investment purpose and impact - measuring impact and its link to wealth-creation
  • Part 4: What does it mean to be an investor? Measures, metrics, and accountability



The aim of the course is to critically evaluate what impact investing means, whether it serves its purpose well, how it is changing. In particular the course will discuss the influence of institutional investors as change agents in purpose-driven finance. The elective will also discuss how the students themselves can become impact investors themselves. 


The course will critically review the quality of investment management as a profession. It analyzes both current issues and the general external context within which the industry operates. It will strengthen participants’ understanding of their own responsibilities and opportunities as investors and how these relate to the economy, society and the environment. Moreover, it will help them to develop their understanding of institutional investment, as well as their judgment and ability to reflect on their own values in the investment choices they make. It will encourage openness and courage both in supporting and questioning convention.


Description of the teaching methods
Course format and teaching methods:
- The course will be broken down either into 6 sessions of 5-6 hours.
- Each session will contain lectures, guest speakers, and group work
- Suggested independent study hours: to be confirmed

The following teaching methods will be used:
- Lectures
- Class debate/discussion
- Practical assignment, i.e. an idea for a sustainable investing fund / product
Feedback during the teaching period
In class as well via meetings that have to be set up on appointment.
Student workload
Class participation 33 hours
Readings 123 hours
Grou Work 56 hours
Expected literature

- Davis, Stephen, Jon Lukomnik, and David Pitt-Watson. What They Do with Your Money: How the Financial System Fails Us and how to Fix it. Yale University Press, 2016.

- Sunstein, Cass, and Richard Thaler. "Nudge." The politics of libertarian paternalism. New Haven (2008).

- Bugg-Levine, Antony, and Jed Emerson. "Impact investing: Transforming how we make money while making a difference." Innovations 6.3 (2011): 9-18.

- Galema, Rients, Auke Plantinga, and Bert Scholtens. "The stocks at stake: Return and risk in socially responsible investment." Journal of Banking & Finance 32.12 (2008): 2646-2654.

- The Purpose of Asset Management, Lukomnik, Hawley

- Graham, Benjamin. The intelligent investor: A book of practical counsel. Prabhat Prakashan, 1965.

- Re-defining the social utility of financial services, Edward J. Waitzer and Douglas Sarro 

- The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money Chapter 12: The State of Long‐Term Expectation, Keynes



Last updated on 20-02-2018