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2021/2022  KAN-CCMVV1901U  Impacts of Investment: The Effectiveness of Institutional Investors in Purpose-Driven Finance

English Title
Impacts of Investment: 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
Max. participants 60
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Colin Melvin
    Kai Hockerts - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Philosophy and ethics
  • Finance
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 03-02-2021

Relevant links

Learning objectives
Critically evaluate the impacts of investment, whether it serves its purpose well, and how it is changing.
  • Evaluate the different types of institutional investor
  • Assess to what degree institutional investors fulfil their purposes
  • Evaluate various alternative perspectives of investment and the extent to which they facilitate personal choices
  • Assess the extent to which case studies of impact investment funds suggest that they achieve their stated missions
  • Evaluate means of measuring the social and environmental impacts of investment and consider how these are changing
Impacts of Investment: 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-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach


  • Part 1: Introduction to investment, its purpose and why it matters for the economy, society and the environment
  • Part 2: Elements of investment
  1. the integration of longer-term (environmental, social and governance) factors into investment decision making; and
  2. stewardship;
  • Part 3: Understanding the purpose and impact of investment - measuring this and its link to wealth-creation
  • Part 4: Achieving impacts through investment. Values, metrics, and accountability



The aim of the course is critically to evaluate the impacts of investment, whether it serves its purpose well and how it is changing, assessing the influence of institutional investors as change agents in purpose-driven finance. The elective will also discuss how the students themselves can become impactful investors. 


The course will critically review traditional economic assumptions and the qualities of investment management as a profession, analysing 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 confidence both in supporting and questioning convention.

Description of the teaching methods
Course format and teaching methods:
- The course will be taught in 13 three-hour sessions.
- Sessions 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
“Students can get oral feedback on your groups video productions in the Office hours. Feedback is given partly based on evaluation criteria similar to those you are assessed by in the final exam-presentation. It is your own responsibility to book time for this type of feedback with your teacher”.
Student workload
Class participation 33 hours
Readings 123 hours
Group 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.

- “Impact Investing Market Map” (UNPRI publication) 20 August 2018

- GIIN Website – case studies. https:/​/​thegiin.org/​case-studies/​

- Haldane, H. “Tails of the Unexpected”, conference paper, 8 June, 2012

- Peter Singer, How are we to live? Opus, 1997, Chapter 1, The Ultimate Choice

- 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.

- Philippon, T. Has the US Finance Industry Become Less Efficient? On the Theory and Measurement of Financial Intermediation, 2015, American Economic Review, 105(4)

- Lukomnik, J; Hawley, J. The Purpose of Asset Management (Pension Insurance Corporation)

- 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 

- Niall Ferguson, The ascent of money: a financial history of the world (Penguin Press, 2008), Ch 4, pp190-199.

- Sinek, S. (2009). Start with why: How great leaders inspire everyone to take action. New York, N.Y.: Portfolio. Parts 1 and 2

- Moody, Michael, Laura Littlepage, and Naveed Paydar. "Measuring social return on investment: Lessons from organizational implementation of SROI in the Netherlands and the United States." Nonprofit Management and Leadership 26.1 (2015): 19-37.

- Yates, Brian T., and Mita Marra. "Social Return On Investment (SROI): Problems, solutions… and is SROI a good investment?." Evaluation and program planning 64 (2017): 136-144.

- Mook, Laurie, et al. "Turning social return on investment on its head: the stakeholder impact statement." Nonprofit Management and Leadership 26.2 (2015): 229-246.

- Höchstädter, Anna Katharina, and Barbara Scheck. "What’s in a name: An analysis of impact investing understandings by academics and practitioners." Journal of Business Ethics 132.2 (2015): 449-475.

- Company purpose and profit need not be in conflict if we ‘grow the pie’; Edmans, A.; Economic Affairs 2020;40:287-294.

- Wiedmann, T., Lenzen, M., Keyser L. T., & Steinberger J. K.; Scientists’ warning on affluence; Nature Communications (2020)11:3107.

- Dimson, E., Karakas, O. and Li, X. (2015). Active Ownership. The Review of Financial Studies, 28(12), 3225-3268, analysis of corporate social responsibility engagements with US public companies from 1999-2009.

- Hoepner et al, 2018: ESG Shareholder Engagement and Downside Risk, University College Dublin (2018).

- What Stakeholder Capitalism Can Learn From Milton Friedman, Alex Edmans, https:/​/​promarket.org/​2020/​09/​10/​what-stakeholder-capitalism-can-learn-from-milton-friedman/​.

Last updated on 03-02-2021