By Peter Bittner, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism ’17

 

“We are thrilled to have Dan Hanson join the faculty of Berkeley-Haas as instructor for the Haas Socially Responsible Investment Fund [HSRIF],” said Dr. Robert Strand, Executive Director of the Center for Responsible Business.

Mr. Hanson is a Partner and Co-Chair of the Investment Strategy Committee with Jarislowsky Fraser Global Investment Management, a privately held $30B AUM firm. He brings more than 20 years of experience in US and global equities, and credit and mortgage securities to the HSRIF.

“Laura Tyson and I serve on the SASB board of directors together, so when she reached out about the possibility of being involved at Haas, it made a lot of sense to me,” said Mr. Hanson, who earned his MBA in analytical finance and accounting from the University of Chicago.

“I’ll never forget the impression that my professors made on me as a grad student, and I view it as a privilege to be able to give back in this way,” said Mr. Hanson. “An offer from Haas is like getting a call to play for the Yankees.”

 

The Haas Socially Responsible Investment Fund is one of the first student-led investment funds of its kind, and has attracted national attention.

“The Haas defining principle ‘Beyond Yourself’ really resonates with the mission of the HSRIF,” said Mr. Hanson.

“It’s key mission is to generate positive returns while having an impact. Each group of students have their own views on what making an impact means, but bringing Dan on – who has been managing big pools of capital and has this deep practitioner perspective—will be tremendously beneficial,” said Nick Shea, a 2014 Berkeley-Haas alumnus and former principle of the HSRIF.

“Dan has quickly demonstrated his desire to help further the leadership position of Berkeley-Haas in the nascent field of sustainable investing and finance,” said Dr. Strand.
Mr. Hanson has robust professional experience incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations in investing with the likes of industry giants like BlackRock and others.

Mr. Hanson is already further connecting HSRIF and its students with the many other related activities that include the Moskowitz Prize for Socially Responsible Investing Research and the newly formed Berkeley Sustainable Business & Investment Forum.

“I’m impressed by how Haas integrates professional faculty,” said Mr. Hanson, who has made time to teach at Berkeley-Haas while continuining his day job at Jarislowsky Fraser Global Investment Management in New York.

“Dan will be able to say I’ve tested this issue that you’re talking about in the real world,” said Mr. Shea, who now works as Investment Director at Cambridge Associates.

 

“What attracted me to Haas was the students,” said Mr. Hanson. “The passion and commitment was second to none.”

Since 2008, the student principals at HSRIF have more than doubled the initial investment to +$2M, learning through experience about SRI and ESG investment strategies and practices. Keen to emulate Berkeley-Haas, other top business schools have followed the example of the Center for Responsible Business’ HSRIF including Wharton, Columbia, and Harvard.

“It’s a learning lab, a student-led experience where we not only had to put capital to work in strong investments but to figure out as a group how to make an impact,” said Mr. Shea. “Dan is a superb addition to the Fund.”

“I’ve been integrating ESG principles in institutional portfolios for over a decade and can observe that Haas is in a unique spot ahead of the pack in this area,” said Mr. Hanson. It’s a place where theory meets real-world application and where everyone benefits from the experience, said Mr. Hanson.

 

The Center for Responsible Business was established in 2003 with the support of several prominent socially responsible leaders. In 2013, the CRB became part of the Institute for Business & Social Impact led by Professor Laura Tyson. The CRB is a self-funded center that depends upon the support of our corporate partners, and individual donors.

 

“We’re way ahead, and we’re going to stay ahead,” said Mr. Hanson.

More information can be found here about the Haas Socially Responsible Investment Fund, including application details for first year graduate students.