Over the past few years, sustainability has become a core concern for investors and corporate managers and ESG factors play a key role to attract capital needed from investors to reach operational targets and comply with regulatory changes.
“ESG factors have become increasingly important for the entire financial industry and are rapidly becoming an integral part of the investment process. They provide a broader understanding of companies and of the impact of their activities on key stakeholders beyond shareholders: employees, the local communities and the environment. This is key to nudge corporations towards sustainable and socially responsible operations. Students looking for a career in finance need knowledge about how ESG issues affect financial management and how financial constraints can limit or support corporate action towards sustainability, “says Associate Dean of the programme Professor Bruno Gerard at the Department of Finance at BI Norwegian Business School.
The new master’s programme starts in the fall of 2021, and will give students a broad understanding of the challenges, trends, and geopolitical aspects of social and environmental responsibility, climate change and global sustainable development. Combined with core courses in financial theories, corporate finance and governance, students will gain a deep understanding of conflict of interests, and of the ethical issues arising from balancing the interests of investors, employees, other stakeholders and society.
The course will also go beyond the usual analysis of listed firms with dispersed ownership and use examples of private firms, including family firms.
“By studying sustainable finance students will be able to meet the increasing need for expertise in both finance and sustainability. There is high demand from all sectors of the economy for managerial talent with both strong management and financial skills, and a deep understanding of sustainability and social responsibility issues,” says Gerard.
Upon completing the program, students will be able to analyse, assess and balance ESG and sustainability risks and impact against traditional financial risk and returns in the context of corporate and investment management.