Saïd Business School students to invest $5M in the bond market to deliver positive social impact

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Oxford students to invest $5M in socially responsible bonds

A team of students from Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford will invest up to $5,000,000 in the bond market focusing exclusively on projects that tackle challenging social issues and deliver meaningful, positive social impact. The new ‘Saïd Business School Impact Bond Fund’, which has been funded by Zions Bank, will give students behind-the-scenes access to the management of investments in projects related to education, progressive finance, healthcare, housing, infrastructure and the environment.

‘The aim of the Fund is twofold,’ said John Hoffmire, Director of the Impact Bond Fund at Saïd Business School. ‘As a learning experience it will it give students a unique opportunity to gain real-life skills in investing at an early stage of their financial careers. Students will have to carefully research the market and demonstrate sound financial and ethical judgement in seeking out suitable bonds for investment. The different securities receiving investment will enable the sponsors to have to continue to create jobs and unlock the enormous potential in the social sector to improve people’s lives.’

The 15 students managing the Fund are drawn from the School’s MSc in Financial Economics programme and the Oxford MBA programme. Working in small teams each will conduct research into potential securities for investment looking for possible projects and organisations that can demonstrate a specific social outcome. The groups will make their recommendations to the rest of the team who will democratically vote on the bonds to buy. The investments are to be made short-term and sold after 8 weeks with any profits returned to Zions Bank. At the end of the holding period, the fund members intend to critically evaluate their performance and identify room for improvement providing a platform for the fund’s long-term success.

‘Our team has assumed full directorship of the Fund and will jointly approve its investment decisions,’ said Omar Zulaica, a student on the MSc in Financial Economics. ‘We aim to generate returns by investing in securities that will directly improve societal welfare over the long run.’ David Subel, another MSc student continued: ‘Our strategy is aimed at demonstrating that investment returns and social considerations can, indeed, be complementary. We also hope to advocate for the role of social responsibility in the marketplace and encourage others to pursue similar efforts in the future.’

For more information or to speak with John Hoffmire, Omar Zulaica or David Subel please contact the press office:

Clare Fisher, Head of Public Relations, Saïd Business School
Mobile: +44 (0)7912 771090; Tel: +44 (0) 1865 288968
Email: clare(dot)fisher(at)sbs(dot)ox(dot)ac(dot)uk

Josie Powell, Press Officer
Mobile +44 (0)7711 387215; Tel: +44 (0) 1865 288403
Email: josie(dot)powell(at)sbs(dot)ox(dot)ac(dot)uk or pressoffice(at)sbs(dot)ox(dot)ac(dot)uk

Notes to editors

About Saïd Business School

Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford blends the best of new and old. We are a vibrant and innovative business school, but yet deeply embedded in an 800 year old world-class university. We create programmes and ideas that have global impact. We educate people for successful business careers, and as a community seek to tackle world-scale problems. We deliver cutting-edge programmes and ground-breaking research that transform individuals, organisations, business practice, and society. We seek to be a world-class business school community, embedded in a world-class University, tackling world-scale problems.

In the Financial Times European Business School ranking (Dec 2013) Saïd is ranked 12th. It is ranked 14th worldwide in the FT’s combined ranking of Executive Education programmes (May 2014) and 23rd in the world in the FT ranking of MBA programmes (Jan 2014). The MBA is ranked 5th in Businessweek’s full time MBA ranking outside the USA (Nov 2012) and is ranked 5th among the top non-US Business Schools by Forbes magazine (Sep 2013). The Executive MBA is ranked 23rd worldwide in the FT’s ranking of EMBAs (Oct 2013). The Oxford MSc in Financial Economics is ranked 6th in the world in the FT ranking of Masters in Finance programmes (Jun 2013). In the UK university league tables it is ranked first of all UK universities for undergraduate business and management in The Guardian (Jun 2013) and has ranked first in nine of the last ten years in The Times (Sept 2013). For more information, see


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Clare Fisher
University of Oxford
+44 1865288879
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Josie Powell
University of Oxford
1865 288403
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