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Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge

Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge 2016 for Graduate Students around the World (All Expense paid to Hong Kong)

Application Deadline: February 24, 2016 at 12:00 PM (noon) CST

The Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge seeks to identify outstanding proposals offering novel investment strategies to meet some of the most pressing global challenges ahead.  As the world’s population approaches 9 billion people by the year 2050, the challenge of meeting human demand for scarce global resources will intensify.  Finance has a key role to play in meeting this challenge.

Moreover, an increasing number of institutional investors are seeking sustainable investment opportunities for their portfolios.  Specifically, these investors seek to identify investment strategies that can meet the financial needs of their organizations by investing in funds, investment vehicles, or direct investments that are consistent with the principles of sustainability and impact.  Teams are encouraged to think beyond venture capital fund vehicles and strategies.

The Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge seeks to identify the next generation of sustainable finance practitioners, connect emerging leaders with industry professionals, and foster even greater emphasis on sustainability at graduate schools around the world.

Teams of graduate students are invited to submit a two-page prospectus by February 24, 2016 at 12:00 PM (noon) CST that outlines an innovative financial vehicle that addresses a sustainability challenge and meets the requirements of an institutional investor.


  • Graduate students from around the world are invited to participate in the Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge.
  • Teams are limited to a maximum of four members, all of whom must be enrolled in a graduate program at the time of the prospectus submission, and the team cannot include more than one member who is pursuing an Executive MBA.
  • A team may include members from different graduate schools.  All ideas must be the original ideas of the team members.
  • Each team is required to submit a two-page prospectus outlining their proposal.
  • From the submitted prospectuses, ten teams will be selected to present at the finals competition.


Entry Submission Requirements

  • Two-page prospectuses must be submitted by February 24, 2016 at 12:00 PM (noon) CST. The prospectus should outline a unique sustainable investment strategy.
  • The selection committee is familiar with the broad area of sustainable investing, so avoid overemphasizing general observations about this section of the market.


  • Ten finalist teams will be announced by March 11, 2016.
  • These teams will be flown to Hong Kong, will be provided with two nights of lodging, and will present their proposal at the finals competition in April.

Finals Competition

  • The ten teams selected from the previous round will convene on April 15, 2016 at Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong for a day-long competition.
  • Each team will have 10 minutes to present its pitch to a panel of judges and will be expected to answer 10 minutes of questions from the selection panel.  Presentation suggestions are provided below.
  • The selection panel will be composed of experienced institutional investors and officers of foundation funds and endowments, as well as other professionals in the field. The same selection criteria will be used in the first and second rounds of competition.

Finals Presentation

For the finals competition, prepare a presentation for the selection committee that lays out your investment strategy and identifies the environmental and/or social impact that your investment vehicle will address. Presentations should:

  • Clearly explain how the financial vehicle will achieve the desired social and/or environmental impact defined in the proposal.
  • Communicate the details of the investment vehicle including potential market size, strategy for managing risk, target investor, and why the proposed is a fit with their portfolio, financial viability, potential returns, and investment timeframe.

You may include individual team member names in your presentation but please do not include any identifying school information. You may also include a list of organizations/individuals you have consulted.

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