Traditionally, investment banking is seen as altruistic — but two UNC students hope to make an impact on that image with a new club.
Impact investing focuses on companies seeking a profit, as well as a social return. Junior Antonio Petrazzuolo, an economics and applied math major, came up with the idea to start the Impact Investing Club while interning for UBS Wealth Management, a Swiss banking company. He worked closely with a team geared toward socially- and environmentally-conscious companies and realized the need to raise awareness of impactful investing.
The club is a learning opportunity for its members about this branch of investing, Petrazzuolo said. Every member is given $100,000 of simulated money, and they are taught how to identify what companies are seeking a social return through comparative analysis.
“They’re able to invest in companies based off a certain criteria set,” Petrazzuolo said. “It basically shows them — within the industry — how companies perform among their competitors in terms of sustainability.”
As the club’s founder and president, Petrazzuolo oversees which simulated investments are both financially and socially sound. He said the club is more about exposure to the idea of impact investing than it is about teaching members the exact details of the practice.