Education is the cornerstone on which the fund has been established and has been running since its inception in 2012. The end goal for a majority of those in the Ghosal Investment Fund is to pursue a successful career in the financial services within a variety of sectors ranging from investment banking to consultancy. We make this possible using a strict recruitment process so that the fund accumulates the most talented and hardworking students that Lancaster has to offer. This process has resulted in Ghosal building a broad network with successful alumni who now work in the industry and can provide guidance to current members of Ghosal.
As well as having a focus on education, Ghosal also has performance goals. Using the MSCI ACWI, the quantitative team manages two portfolios: a passive and a strategic portfolio. Due to the fund’s unrestricted global equity allocation, the analysts get exposure to various names from different regions and sectors. The investment process combines the fundamental and qualitative analysis from the analysts with the optimisation algorithms from the quantitative team, with the ambition to beat the benchmark. With the integration of the ESG framework, there is scope for the Ghosal Fund to generate even greater returns. The outperformance of ESG assets is supported by the vast majority of academic literature on the subject with Friede et al. (2015) reviewing more than 2,000 empirical studies, concluding that 90% of those studies report a positive relationship between ESG and financial performance.
Finally, another long-term aim for the Lancaster University Ghosal Fund is to become self-sufficient with support from a wide variety of financial institutions and businesses. We believe that this will enhance the reputation of Lancaster University. Having a credible ESG framework will encourage external sponsorship and increase potential applications. Financial institutions are seeking to prioritise ESG within their business processes to improve their reputation; therefore, the opportunity of supporting a student-run investment fund that themselves are prioritising ESG within their investment rationale is certainly an attractive trait.