The Center for Sustainable Business (CSB) is seeking a skilled, committed individual to provide high level research and writing support on the role of private equity in sustainability working with the Director of CSB, Professor Tensie Whelan.
The call for a move to stakeholder capitalism and sustainable investing comes at a time when private equity, whose goals generally are focused almost exclusively on shareholder return, has become an owner of many companies nationally. PE owns hospitals, newspapers, schools, real estate, manufacturers, consumer brands, and retail, among other sectors. While there are an increasing number of PE firms focused on ESG and long-term value creation, many PE firms look to boost short-term returns through financial engineering (increase debt, get tax subsidies, and reduce head count, R&D and other “discretionary” expenses), often destroying jobs, communities and even the company itself after it becomes overleveraged yet under- capitalized. If the U.S. is to rebuild its economy, take care of key stakeholders such as workers and communities, and transform to stakeholder capitalism, we need a roadmap for how PE can play a constructive role. J.B. Heron Foundation has funded a one-year research project (with the opportunity to be extended to 2 years) to undertake an analysis of PE’s negative role, explore positive examples of PE firms with a stakeholder approach, and provide a set of principles for sustainable PE. The Associate Research Scholar will closely with Professor Tensie Whelan, a globally recognized expert in corporate sustainability, to research the issue as well as help write a report and associated papers as well as engage with investors regarding the development of a set of PE sustainability principles.
The Associate Research Scholar will support Professor Whelan with:
A literature review and synthesis of academic and grey literature on the negative impact of PE on firm stakeholders, viability, and outcomes.
A review and deep dive into 2-3 ESG firms with positive outcomes for workers, communities and the firms.
A set of principles for investors, policy-makers, workers and communities to use in influencing the goals of PE owners to be more focused on sharing value rather than extracting value from stakeholders.
Communications on the overall findings such as a white paper, social media outreach, articles in business management journals, conference speaking engagements.
Who We Are
The NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business (CSB) envisions a better world through better business. CSB was founded on the principle that sustainable business is good business, and is proving the value of sustainability for business management and performance at a time when people and the planet need it most. Through education, research, and engagement, CSB prepares individuals and organizations with the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to embed social and environmental sustainability into core business strategy. In doing so, businesses reduce risk; create competitive advantage; develop innovative services, products, and processes; while improving financial performance and creating value for society. For more information, visit CSB’s website: https://www.stern.nyu.edu/sustainability
Master’s degree or higher
Minimum of 2 years’ relevant experience in the field of private equity
Capable of fast, effective, focused research and synthesis for strategic application
Skilled with PPT, Google programs, Excel, and standard office software.
Commitment and interest in sustainability
Excellent organizational, interpersonal, and verbal and written communications skills.
Ability to work independently and adapt quickly to changing scenarios with limited supervision.
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