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Resilient Waters Fund Wins the 2024 Kellogg-Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge

NEW YORK , April 22 /Businesswire/ - The Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing and Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University today announced that the Resilient Waters Fund team was named the winner of the 14th annual Kellogg-Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge. The global competition inspires graduate students to address critical social and environmental issues through innovative financial vehicles. The winning team was one of 12 finalists selected from a competitive field, which included 84 teams comprised of 290 students from 44 countries.

The graduate students from the University of Utah's David Eccles School of Business were awarded the top prize of $10,000 for their proposal to help protect the Great Salt Lake, a keystone ecosystem and economic engine at significant risk of drying up in the next five years. The Resilient Waters Fund would catalyze federal, state and investment funds through a creative land trust mechanism to spur irrigation efficiency, responsible cropping and water savings. The winning team consisted of Cody Clifford, Hunter Conrad, Michael Hall and Alex Parlogean.

“Through the Sustainable Investing Challenge, students develop financial solutions to real-world issues, providing them with invaluable experience and insights into sustainable finance,” says Jessica Alsford, Morgan Stanley’s Chief Sustainability Officer and CEO of the Institute for Sustainable Investing. “As the demand for sustainability talent grows across industries, we’re excited to help cultivate a pipeline of emerging leaders committed to driving the transition to a more sustainable future.”

The finalists pitched a wide variety of ideas, addressing social and environmental issues including decentralized microgrid development in the US, wealth transfer in Mexico's manufacturing sector, the sustainability transition of Indonesia’s shrimp industry and grazing land restoration in Kenya.

The second- and third-place prizes of $5,000 and $2,500 were awarded to the Caatinga Bank team from the University of Navarra’s IESE Business School and the Renewable Back Security team from Columbia Business School, respectively.

The Caatinga Bank proposal aims to provide farmers in the Caatinga region of Brazil with working capital loans in the form of seeds, resources, technical knowledge and cash. The team consisted of Gabriela Ferreira Galera, Luana Gomes Nogueira, Carolina Pascotto and Danielle van Drunen. The Renewable Back Security team, including Ignacio Aguirre, Nadim Dabbous, Dion Koreman and Diego Rehder, developed a solution to reduce the cost of capital necessary for emerging and developing economies (EMDEs) to scale up renewable energy adoption in southern and central Africa and the US.

“Every year, these teams of graduate students demonstrate incredible creativity and drive with their solutions to global problems,” says Dave Chen, Professor of Finance at Kellogg Management School, CEO of Equilibrium Capital and the founder of the Sustainable Investing Challenge. “This year’s winner and runners-up are no different, and we are excited to support them in helping make their ideas a reality.”

The three prize-winning teams were selected by a panel of sustainable finance experts and senior practitioners across the industry to advance to the final round, pitching to judges at Morgan Stanley in New York on Friday, April 19. More information on this year’s teams and their projects can be found here.

About Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing a wide range of investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services. With offices in 42 countries, the Firm’s employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals. For further information about Morgan Stanley, please visit www.morganstanley.com.

About The Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing

The Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing (The Institute) builds scalable finance solutions that seek to deliver competitive financial returns while driving positive environmental and social impact. The Institute creates innovative financial products, thoughtful insights and capacity building programs that help maximize capital to create a more sustainable future. For more information about the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing, visit www.morganstanley.com/sustainableinvesting.

About Kellogg School of Management

The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University develops brave leaders who inspire growth in people, organizations and markets. Based just outside of Chicago, the school is a global leader in management education, renowned for its distinctive thought leadership and pioneering approach to learning. Kellogg offers an innovative portfolio of programs: four Full-Time MBA programs including leading one-year program and joint degree programs with the engineering, law and medical schools; a Part-Time MBA Program; the premier Executive MBA global network; and extensive non-degree Executive Education programs. To learn more about Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, please visit http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu.

Disclosures:

This material was published in April 2024 and has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not a solicitation of any offer to buy or sell any security or other financial instrument or to participate in any trading strategy. This material was not prepared by the Morgan Stanley Research Department and is not a Research Report as defined under FINRA regulations. This material does not provide individually tailored investment advice. It has been prepared without regard to the individual financial circumstances and objectives of persons who receive it. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC (collectively, "Morgan Stanley"), Members SIPC, recommend that recipients should determine, in consultation with their own investment, legal, tax, regulatory and accounting advisors, the economic risks and merits, as well as the legal, tax, regulatory and accounting characteristics and consequences, of the transaction or strategy referenced in any materials. The appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor's individual circumstances and objectives.

Past performance is not a guarantee or indicative of future performance.

This material contains forward-looking statements and there can be no guarantee that they will come to pass. Information contained herein is based on data from multiple sources and Morgan Stanley makes no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of data from sources outside of Morgan Stanley. References to third parties contained herein should not be considered a solicitation on behalf of or an endorsement of those entities by Morgan Stanley.

Certain portfolios may include investment holdings deemed Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) investments. For reference, environmental ("E") factors can include, but are not limited to, climate change, pollution, waste, and how an issuer protects and/or conserves natural resources. Social ("S") factors can include, but not are not limited to, how an issuer manages its relationships with individuals, such as its employees, shareholders, and customers as well as its community. Governance ("G") factors can include, but are not limited to, how an issuer operates, such as its leadership composition, pay and incentive structures, internal controls, and the rights of equity and debt holders.

You should carefully review an investment product's prospectus or other offering documents, disclosures and/or marketing material to learn more about how it incorporates ESG factors into its investment strategy.

ESG investments may also be referred to as sustainable investments, impact aware investments, socially responsible investments or diversity, equity, and inclusion (“DEI”) investments. It is important to understand there are inconsistent ESG definitions and criteria within the industry, as well as multiple ESG ratings providers that provide ESG ratings of the same subject companies and/or securities that vary among the providers. This is due to a current lack of consistent global reporting and auditing standards as well as differences in definitions, methodologies, processes, data sources and subjectivity among ESG rating providers when determining a rating. Certain issuers of investments including, but not limited to, separately managed accounts (SMAs), mutual funds and exchange traded-funds (ETFs) may have differing and inconsistent views concerning ESG criteria where the ESG claims made in offering documents or other literature may overstate ESG impact. Further, socially responsible norms vary by region, and an issuer’s ESG practices or Morgan Stanley’s assessment of an issuer’s ESG practices can change over time.

Portfolios that include investment holdings deemed ESG investments or that employ ESG screening criteria as part of an overall strategy may experience performance that is lower or higher than a portfolio not employing such practices. Portfolios with ESG restrictions and strategies as well as ESG investments may not be able to take advantage of the same opportunities or market trends as portfolios where ESG criteria is not applied. There is no assurance that an ESG investing strategy or techniques employed will be successful. Past performance is not a guarantee or a dependable measure of future results. For risks related to a specific fund, please refer to the fund's prospectus or summary prospectus.

Investment managers can have different approaches to ESG and can offer strategies that differ from the strategies offered by other investment managers with respect to the same theme or topic. Additionally, when evaluating investments, an investment manager is dependent upon information and data that may be incomplete, inaccurate or unavailable, which could cause the manager to incorrectly assess an investment’s ESG characteristics or performance. Such data or information may be obtained through voluntary or third-party reporting. Morgan Stanley does not verify that such information and data is accurate and makes no representation or warranty as to its accuracy, timeliness, or completeness when evaluating an issuer. This can cause Morgan Stanley to incorrectly assess an issuer’s business practices with respect to its ESG practices. As a result, it is difficult to compare ESG investment products.

The appropriateness of a particular ESG investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives. Principal value and return of an investment will fluctuate with changes in market conditions.

Diversification does not guarantee a profit or protect against loss in a declining financial market. Any securities mentioned are provided for informational purposes only and should not be deemed as a recommendation to buy or sell. Securities discussed in this report may not be appropriate for all investors. It should not be assumed that the securities transactions or holdings discussed were or will be profitable. Morgan Stanley recommends that investors independently evaluate particular investments and strategies, and encourages investors to seek the advice of a Financial Advisor. The appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives.

Morgan Stanley makes every effort to use reliable, comprehensive information, but we make no guarantee that it is accurate or complete. We have no obligation to tell you when opinions or information in this report change.

Historical data shown represents past performance and does not guarantee comparable future results.

Investing in the markets entails the risk of market volatility. The value of all types of investments, including stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”), closed-end funds, and unit investment trusts, may increase or decrease over varying time periods.

An investment in an exchange-traded fund involves risks similar to those of investing in a broadly based portfolio of equity securities traded on exchange in the relevant securities market, such as market fluctuations caused by such factors as economic and political developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in stock prices. The investment return and principal value of ETF investments will fluctuate, so that an investor’s ETF shares, if or when sold, may be worth more or less than the original cost.

Because of their narrow focus, sector investments tend to be more volatile than investments that diversify across many sectors and companies.

Equity securities may fluctuate in response to news on companies, industries, market conditions and general economic environment. Companies paying dividends can reduce or stop pay-outs at any time.

Growth investing does not guarantee a profit or eliminate risk. The stocks of these companies can have relatively high valuations. Because of these high valuations, an investment in a growth stock can be more risky than an investment in a company with more modest growth expectations.

Bonds are subject to interest rate risk. When interest rates rise, bond prices fall; generally, the longer a bond’s maturity, the more sensitive it is to this risk. Bonds may also be subject to call risk, which is the risk that the issuer will redeem the debt at its option, fully or partially, before the scheduled maturity date. The market value of debt instruments may fluctuate, and proceeds from sales prior to maturity may be more or less than the amount originally invested or the maturity value due to changes in market conditions or changes in the credit quality of the issuer. Debt instruments issued by U.S. corporate and municipal issuers that provide a return in the form of fixed periodic payments and eventual return of principal at maturity. Fixed income investments are advantageous in a time of low inflation, but do not protect investors in a time of rising inflation. Interest income on government securities is subject to federal income taxes, but exempt from taxes at the state and local level.

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STORY TAGS: United States, North America, Sustainability, Environment, Finance, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), Banking, Professional Services, University, Education, Award, Contest, New York,

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