Trinity Responsible Investment Society
What is TRIS about and what does TRIS do?
TRIS is a group of students and fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge which encourages both the college along with other institutions to use their endowments for good, through responsible investment and divestment.
We do so by
a) Fostering an open, constructive dialogue about Trinity College’s investments.
b) Providing evidence-based reports and research summaries in order to help key decision makers, like the college council, explore Responsible Investment options.
In doing so, we aim to take into account and discuss factors which are relevant to decision makers, for example
a) The financial implications (which could mean, benefits) of responsible investment options.
b) Discuss how effectively a particular RI measure, e.g. fossil fuel divestment, would affect positive change in the world, [by trying to understand where a RI measure fits into the ‘power map’ of the global economy.
We believe that Trinity is just a small part of a wider ecosystem of investors. While our advocacy work focuses mainly on Trinity College, we aim to write all research reports and strategy documents in ways such that they can universally be used.
Current and former active TRIS members engage in diverse disciplines ranging across the whole spectrum: investment law, economics, statistics and literature physics, bringing a wide range of perspectives to the topic.
[We are also aware of our limited capacities as college members who usually engage in other professions, but we also think that there is a considerable knowledge out there which we can and should leverage.
Our Core Principles
As members of Trinity, we have an opportunity and responsibility, being in a position of privilege and from a college with considerable wealth, to use our energies to affect change for the global good.
We believe that in order for any institution to act responsibly, its actions need to to be transparent and value-based. TRIS aims to be as transparent as possible in its internal decision making as well as with regards to sharing knowledge. Trinity, as a charity, should align its investment decisions with strong ethical principles and it should disclose how key investment decisions fulfill these standards. Moreover, Trinity can only be a role model for comparable institutions if it is transparent about its responsible investment decisions.
We believe that responsible investment decisions have to be evidence-based; hence education is at the core of what we do. We educate ourselves as well as others through bringing in subject experts to speak about the topic, reading the academic literature, as well as organising events such as the responsible investment discussion forum in 2019.
Reports About TRIS Activities
These are reports about activities we have been involved in, including Annual General Meeting (AGM) participation by TRIS members.
Responsible Investment News
This is where you can find out about the latest news about responsible investment. These include summaries of relevant articles and other relevant resources.
Watch this space for future events!
Responsible Investment Discussion Forum: Lent Term 2020 - exact date TBD
Freshers’ Squash (Friday 11 October 2019)
Film Screening: Demain (Wednesday 6 November 2019)
Demain offers concrete examples of various grass-roots solutions to the environmental and social challenges of the twenty-first century: agriculture, energy, economy, education and governance.
Speaker Event 1: Dr Ellen Quigley (Wednesday 17 October 2018)
At this event, Dr Ellen Quigley, adviser to the University of Cambridge CFO, introduced responsible investment to TRIS members, and led a discussion about Trinity’s potential responsible investment options. Ellen completed her PhD in economics education in Cambridge, where she helped to found the Positive Investment movement, now active in Oxford, Imperial, Edinburgh and UCL. She is an investment professional with wide experience in the management of institutional assets and university endowments. She took part in the ethical investment review of the University of Cambridge which led to significant changes to the University's investment policy, and were the first such changes of any university in the UK. Most recently, she was the Senior Program Manager of the Investment Leaders group at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL).
Speaker Event 2: Jennifer Walmsley from Arkadiko Partners (Wednesday 31 October 2018)
Arkadiko Partners is a London-based consultancy that works with investors to improve the quality of their stakeholder relationships, thereby strengthening their business models. Jennifer has extensive experience in stakeholder engagement and ethical investment and shared that experience with TRIS in its second speaker event of the year.
Speaker Event 3: ‘Positive investment and its role in developing countries’ (Wednesday 14 November 2018)
A joint event run by the Trinity Postdoctoral Society, the Embassy of Argentina in the UK and NI and Cambridge Hub, this event shed light on how the global financial system works and how institutional investors -- such as university endowments and pension funds -- can contribute to a more socially equitable and environmentally sustainable form of investment. Speakers included Dr Ellen Quigley, co-Founder of Positive Investment Cambridge and Positive Investment Five UK Universities; Maria Laura Tinelli, Director and Founder of Acrux Partners Ltd; and Michele Giddens, Co-Founder & Partner of Bridges Fund Management
Shareholder engagement training event with ShareAction (Friday 26 April 2019)
This event was intended to prepare TRIS members to represent Trinity at the annual general meetings of major fossil fuel and arms companies last spring.
Annual General Meeting (Sunday 9 June 2019)
Trinity Responsible Investment Society Launch (Sunday 29 April 2018)
Annual General Meeting and Election (Tuesday 12 June 2018)
If you are a Trinity student you are eligible to apply for a position on the committee. We are currently looking for an events officer.
If you are interested in this role or getting involved otherwise, please email Sven Wang at:
TRIS is actively involved with composing reports about divestment and other responsible investment areas. If you feel like you could contribute please get in touch! We are also looking to collaborate with other responsible investment societies.