Panel + Q&A (*Maximum 4 Panelists)

Teaching the Next Generation of Impact Investors through NYU’s Student-Run Impact Investment Fund

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The impact investing sector is growing rapidly, building demand for multi-disciplinary talent able to cope with the complexity of managing both financial and social returns. There has been a corresponding increase in the supply of students, attracted by the social mission, focusing on impact investing and hoping to develop the education, skills, and experience to build a career in the field. At NYU alone, our research showed that among MBA students, 96% were interested in VC and impact investing, 22% had a background in VC or impact investing, and every week 3 prospective students asked admissions about impact investing. In response to sizable NYU student interest in impact investing, NYU launched one of the only multi-disciplinary student-run funds in the country, leveraging three institutions: the Wagner School of Public Service, the Stern School of Business, and the School of Law.

The NYU Impact Investment Fund (NIIF) is a student-led impact investing evergreen fund that aims to generate both financial and social returns. The fund is an experiential learning class offered to a diverse group of students across three NYU graduate schools, and includes deal sourcing, due diligence, financial structuring, investment pitching, transaction execution, social impact measurement, and investment portfolio management.

In this panel, we will demonstrate how the one-of-its-kind fund model flows through the entire lifecycle of an investment. We look through the lens of the faculty that bridge the gap between three Deans, and minimize NYU liability through a DAF structure. We discover the challenges that come with sourcing over six weeks in the fall semester, and the responsibility of wearing a fiduciary hat as a student-manager. We hear from an Investment Committee member, prominent in the impact investing space, who decide on the fund’s investments. Finally, through the perspective of the inaugural investee, we learn about the experience raising seed capital from students, and the unique challenges and opportunities inherent in student-led funds.

Confirmed Panelists

Scott Taitel

Scott Taitel is Clinical Professor of Public Service and Director of Social Impact, Innovation & Investment at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Policy.  He received the Professor of the Year Award at Wagner’s 2017 convocation. He teaches numerous courses including Managing Financial and Social Returns of Social Enterprises, Social Impact Investment, Corporate Finance & Public Policy, and Financial Management for Global Nonprofit Organizations and leads an interdisciplinary practicum of NYU Wagner and NYU Stern Business students in the development of a student-operated Impact Investment Fund.

Professor Taitel has also created the Social Innovation & Investment Initiative at Wagner which serves as a central hub and incubator in the field of social finance bringing together policymakers, philanthropists, finance professionals, nonprofits and foundations to collaboratively strengthen the growing field.  The Initiative has received funding from the Ford Foundation, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

As former Chief Operating Officer for the Clinton Foundation’s Enterprise Partnership, Professor Taitel was responsible for establishing impact investment funds and the oversight of a portfolio of social enterprises as well as economic development, health and nutrition projects throughout the developing world. Prior to joining the Clinton Foundation, Professor Taitel was a managing partner of an international venture capital firm and held numerous senior executive roles in both private and public multinational technology companies.  His earlier career was as an economic development planner with both urban government and community action agencies. Professor Taitel has a Bachelor’s degree in Policy Studies from Syracuse University and an MBA from Northeastern University where he taught as an adjunct faculty member.


Simone Shaheen, NIIF President

Simone Shaheen is Student Advisory Board President and a recent graduate of the Wagner School of Public Service, focusing on Social Impact, Innovation, and Investment. She currently works in ESG Management at MSCI, having 4 years of experience working in Kenya and Uganda in microfinance and business development. In this role she was responsible for managing institutional partnerships and supporting the first-ever Development Impact Bond in Africa. Prior to her field experience, she was a professional equestrian showjumper, managing global operations for a private company. In the summer of 2019, she interned at a hedge fund focused on African investments.

Unconfirmed Panelists

Casey Clark

Casey Clark, CFA is the Head ESG Investments at Rockefeller Capi­tal Management. He leads the firm’s ESG research and engagement efforts, managing a team of dedicated ESG analysts that support investment analysis across equity and fixed income strategies. Prior to joining Rockefeller, Casey worked as Managing Director and Director of Sustainable and Impact Investing at Glenmede, where he helped launch and build Glenmede’s sustainable and impact investing business. He also served as a macroeconomic Research Analyst for Glenmede’s Investment Strategy team responsible for formulating the asset allocation for over $25 billion in client assets. He is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, earned his MBA from Stern and retains the Charter Financial Analyst® designation.

Monique Aiken

As Vice President, Programs, Monique ensures that Mission Investors Exchange develops and delivers best-in-class in-person and virtual programming that leverages the innovation, experience, and talent within and beyond its vibrant network.  Prior to joining Mission Investors Exchange, Monique was a Director at Tideline where her energies centered on client and project management as well as business development. Before that, she served as Project Manager at the Clinton Foundation for No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project, a women’s empowerment initiative led by Secretary Clinton, and Business Development Manager for the Clinton Global Initiative.

Monique began her career in Finance, where she was a Vice President in the Commodity Derivatives Sales group at Deutsche Bank, managing client relationships with Oil and Gas (E&P), Utility, and Consumer Products companies in both the United States and Latin America. Earlier in her career, she also worked for Citigroup in both the United States and European Debt Capital Markets groups, and as an Analyst at Bank of America in the Credit Products group.  Monique holds a BSc in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business.

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