This course covers strategic and tactical asset allocation in investment portfolios as well as specific asset and manager selection. This course considers challenges that are unique to the various asset classes and geographies (domestic vs. developed international vs. emerging markets). The portfolio optimization framework employed considers the perspective of different types of investors that vary along such dimensions as social objectives, risk preference, liquidity preference/investment horizon, and tax status.
Relevant social impact management topics in this course include a discussion of portfolio optimization from the perspective of socially motivated investors. The course addresses specific challenges faced by foundations and university endowments; guest speakers include representatives from the Hewlett Foundation and the Stanford Management Company. In addition, a session on venture capital investing discusses social impact management through investment in green tech and biotech (e.g., Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’ Pandemic and Bio Defense Fund, the goal of which is “to accelerate innovations for worldwide pandemic preparedness and global health”).