Spring 2009 MBA Course

B9301-001: Finance & Sustainability

R - A Term, 02:15PM to 05:30PM

Location: URI 307

Instructor: Bruce Usher

Corequisite(s): B6302

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The primary objective of financial professionals is to provide a valuable service — whether it is investment banking, capital markets, commercial banking, or asset management — that earns a profit for the practitioner. Fortunately, the same financial services that generate a profit can simultaneously be used to create sustainable value for society. In recent years, for-profit financial services have been used to improve the environment, reduce poverty, advance developing countries, improve corporate governance, and develop social entrepreneurs. The core financial skills that are necessary to create a sustainable world are identical to the financial skills required to earn a profit in more traditional financial services, but the application of those skills is a new and challenging opportunity. This course will explore the theories and the practical applications which financial professionals can leverage to simultaneously earn a profit and have a positive impact on society. The specific areas we will examine are: Capital Markets (to address environmental issues), Commercial Banking (to reduce poverty), Project Finance (to reduce poverty and create infrastructure development), and Investment Management (to improve corporate governance in public companies and to finance socially responsible entrepreneurs).


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Bruce Usher

Elizabeth B. Strickler '86 and Mark T. Gallogly '86 Faculty Director of the Social Enterprise Program, Co-DirectorBruce Usher is The Elizabeth B. Strickler '86 and Mark T. Gallogly '86 Faculty Director of the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School in New York City, where he teaches MBA students on the intersection of finance, social and environmental issues. Professor Usher is a recipient of the Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence. From 2002 to 2009, Usher was CEO of EcoSecurities Group plc, during which...

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