Investors more and more often expect companies and their management boards to act in accordance with ESG, i.e. responsible investing with a greater emphasis on non-financial factors, including, in particular, environmental, social and governance. Following this trend, CFA Society Poland and the QuantFin Foundation are organizing, for the first time, a competition for students from the CEE region promoting the importance of ESG data in making investment decisions.
The first edition of the AI in ESG Investing competition has just launched - on January 19, the official inauguration of the new initiative by CFA Society Poland and the QuantFin Foundation took place, during which the main competition rules were presented. Until the end of May, teams of students from the CEE region will be working on solving the competition task, which consists of creating an ESG index based on financial, non-financial, and alternative data and then assessing the effectiveness of using ESG criteria in the investment process.
“We are pleased to cooperate with the QuantFin Foundation on a new project, which can certainly be considered an educational undertaking,” explains prof. Krzysztof Jajuga, President of CFA Society Poland. “Participants will not only expand their knowledge in the area of ESG, which is slowly becoming the dominant trend in the investment industry, but also verify their skills of using artificial intelligence in investing.”
The competition will be conducted in two phases. In the first phase, the participants' task will be to develop the variables related to the ESG criteria and describe them in the form of a report. In the second phase, they will create quantitative models based on previously selected variables and assess the returns of an investment portfolio constructed using the ESG criteria.
“Taking environmental, social, and responsible management factors into account in running a business has never been more important than it is now. Setting ESG goals, assessing the incentives and financial consequences of being a leader in the area of ESG is in the focus of attention of representatives of today's financial world. In this context, the combination of quantitative methods with responsible finance is very relevant. The format of the competition assumes presenting ideas for using non-financial and alternative data in building ESG indices and assessing their usefulness in the investment process,” reflects Wojciech Zdunkiewicz, President of the Management Board at the QuantFin Foundation.
“The competition is open to all under- and graduate students of economics, finance, and mathematics interested in ESG. Being aware of the high level of difficulty and the fact that this is the first competition of this kind in CEE, we decided to prepare a report for participants presenting the ways and ideas for creating models based on ESG data,” comments Arkadiusz Melon, Project Manager at the QuantFin Foundation.
“The important element of the competition is establishing valuable relationships between students of financial and non-financial majors, therefore enabling experience and knowledge exchange, which is a great benefit for future industry leaders,” adds Dimitri Bulakh, Project Manager w Fundacji at the QuantFin Foundation.
In May, the best six teams will present the results of their work to the competition jury. The winners will receive a financial award of up to EUR 4,000 and an internship offer in leading financial institutions.
“ESG-related activities; i.e. the activities which factor in social, environmental and managerial aspects, have been a very important element of development of ING Bank Śląski for many years now. Already for some time we have been observing as they have been attracting more and more attention of investors and credit rating agencies, which further confirms the direction of our business. However, the market is still looking for the methods of effective assessment of organizations on account of the ESG-compliance of their activities. We hope that the competition will bring us closer to a better assessment of the effectiveness of ESG activities in the investing process. In addition, we are happy to use artificial intelligence (AI) in a different environment than before. We are fascinated by this form of innovation and we support its development at our bank. This is why, we are eagerly waiting for the results of the competition,” explains Joanna Dymna-Oszek, Director of the Management Board Bureau, ING Bank Śląski.
The recruitment lasts until March 4, 2021. Teams may apply for participation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information on the website: www.esgcompetition.com
Organizers: CFA Society Poland, QuantFin Foundation
Strategic Partner: ING Bank Śląski
Partners: Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego, The Warsaw Stock Exchange, EY, NN Investment Partners
18 STYCZEŃ 2021 | PONIEDZIAŁEK
More women on boards needed