For Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala and NYUAD, ‘impact investing’ can be taught

Dubai: A course on teaching the finer principles of ESG – environmental social governance – investing? In Abu Dhabi, you can do just that and, according to a senior academic, it isn’t as far-fetched as it seems.

“Today, ESG-linked investment more an art than a science,” said Bernardo Bortolotti, Visiting Professor of Economics at NYUAD (New York University Abu Dhabi). “But also, economics, finance and accounting were neither considered exact sciences in the past. Yet, overtime, they gained a scientific reputation, thanks to theoretical contributions, hypotheses testing, and model validation.

“ESG-linked investments are still in the early stage, and they need academic rigor and scientific discipline. This is exactly the ultimate objective: foster a disciplined, research-based approach to ESG investment, with a strong focus on impact measurement and management.”

NYUAD has just teamed up with Abu Dhabi wealth fund Mubadala Investment Co. and Al Maskari Holding to launch an aptly-named Transition Investment Lab, of which a course on ESG is a part. “For the time being, TIL is a research center, but as soon as the field consolidates, I am sure it will become integral part of the curricula of all major international business schools,” said Bortolotti.

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