Recognizing his passion and expertise in sustainability and impact investing, USC President Carol L. Folt has invited Blayke Tatman BS/MSF ’21 to be an inaugural member of the University’s Advisory Committee on Investment Responsibility (ACIR).
Tatman, who graduates this month with a 4.0 GPA, will serve a two-year term as one of two alumni representatives and be a voting member on a committee of eight members.
“The opportunity to serve on this committee fills me with excitement for the future of the university’s endowment,” Tatman said. “As a double Trojan focused on using my education to advance a more sustainable and equitable world, it is an honor to contribute to shaping how USC’s perpetual capital impacts society.”
The ACIR is part of a broader effort to make sustainability a priority across the University. In February, the USC Board of Trustees adopted a fossil-free investment strategy, motivated by DivestSC, a coalition of students, alumni, faculty and staff that seeks to reduce USC’s ties to the fossil fuel industry, co-founded by a fellow Marshall graduate, Tianna Shaw-Wakeman (Psych)’20, MSSE ’20.
The ACIR will serve as a liaison between the USC community and the Investment Committee of the USC Board of Trustees. Comprised of representatives from across the Trojan community, and with the support of Chief Investment Officer Amy Diamond, the ACIR will review Environmental, Social and Governance-related (ESG) concerns raised by the Investment Committee, the Investment Office or the USC community, and can make recommendations to the Investment Committee.
“Beyond equipping me with the business and finance acumen necessary to effect change, Marshall has given me access to fulfilling opportunities to grow and apply my abilities in impact investing,”—Blayke Tatman, BS/MSF '21
When President Folt asked for nominations of students who “understand and are passionate about sustainable investments and possess investment knowledge,” Professor of Clinical Finance and Business Economics Julia Plotts immediately knew who to nominate.
“Blayke is the perfect candidate to take on a leadership role in the ACIR,” said Plotts, who is also academic director of the MSF program. “He is our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) expert in the MSF program.
“While he was in my financial analysis and valuation course last spring, he demonstrated his commitment to ESG by always asking challenging questions in our case discussions about the decisions companies and investors make and the potential positive and negative ESG side effects of these decisions.”
During the MSF program, Tatman competed on a team of Marshall graduate students and won second place in the finals of the Total Impact Portfolio Challenge. He completed two internships in impact investing, gaining professional experience in ESG and impact analysis alongside prudent financial analysis.
“Beyond equipping me with the business and finance acumen necessary to effect change, Marshall has given me access to fulfilling opportunities to grow and apply my abilities in impact investing,” he said. “At Marshall, I recognized the key role that finance plays in either enabling or inhibiting positive change. I felt motivated to develop my financial skills so I could help allocate capital in ways that produce profit and move the needle on critical problems.”
Tatman plans to pursue a career in sustainable finance and impact investing, aiming to help drive measurable progress toward social and environmental goals.