The courses offered by the impact investment consultancy aim to provide institutional investors with the tools to tackle the challenges they face in integrating impact investing into their portfolios.
Phenix Capital Group is to hold a series of executive educational courses focusing on the needs of institutional investors based in the Benelux region as part of a newly-launched Impact Investing Academy.
The courses are intended to provide “deep-dive” sessions covering the latest developments in impact investing, curated by Phenix experts and supported by academic institutions and industry specialists. The courses will provide concrete practical tools for institutional investors and feature relevant case studies.
Amsterdam-based consultancy Phenix said the academy was designed for decision-makers at Benelux-based institutional organisations interested in expanding their knowledge and learning the best practices to integrate impact investing into their portfolio. It will cover challenges faced across the spectrum of impact sector professionals from beginners to experienced investors.
Carol Tarr, the programme director and IMM lead at Phenix, told Impact Investor that the courses were taught by fellow practitioners who lived the same experiences daily.
“We know where the gaps are in what’s on offer and where we struggled along the way ourselves on our path to learning the ins and outs of impact investing,” she said. “Although we go through the history, context and theory, it is really meant to demystify a lot of the lexicon and create a safe space to ask questions and explore how different approaches might work for your organization.”
The courses are also intended to provide institutional investors and asset owners with the tools they need to process the increasing amount of impact-related information they must sift through and extract what they need to make investment decisions that fit their mandate.
The first course will focus on impact investing foundations, which, according to Phenix, aims to provide investors with “a roadmap for discovery, a clear understanding of how to invest with their values, and how to achieve financial and societal goals”.
Among other themes, the course will cover understanding the importance of a theory of change (ToC) in relation to a strong impact investment thesis, how to build your own ToC, evaluating a potential investees’ ToC for investment decision-making, how to develop a “financial-first” impact investing method to actively seek positive change while achieving financial returns, and how to identify which UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) best reflect an organisation’s values and mission.
Enrolment for this course has already opened, while the first module will be hosted at the Edge building in Amsterdam on Wednesday 27 September 2023.
A second course will help investors to move from theory to implementation of impact measurements, tools and frameworks. A third course will cover impact investing innovation.
A certificate of completion will be awarded to participants to show they applied their knowledge within the course workshop. CFA Institute members will be able to claim ‘Professional Learning’ credits earned from external sources.
Tarr said it was important to hold a physical course for investors rather than do it online, not only so attendees receive hands on education, but also to allow them to connect with like-minded peers.
She said that, while the first course cycle is taking place in the Netherlands and likely to primarily attract participants from the Benelux region, anyone could join if they wished, as the course would be given in English. She also said Phenix would explore hosting courses in other countries if there was strong enough interest.