Seven organisations will work alongside SKEMA to deliver this brand new Master of Science programme, focused on understanding a new vision of finance created by the dual ecological and digital shifts: Société Française d’Analystes Financiers (SFAF – the French Society of Financial Analysts), Banque publique d’investissement (BPI France – the French state-backed investment bank), Finance Innovation, Observatoire de la Responsabilité Sociétale des Entreprises (ORSE – Observatory on Corporate Social Responsibility), Paris Europlace, La Financière de l’Echiquier (an asset management company), and TagPay (a startup). The green economy component of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) will soon add its name to the list of partners.
A trailblazing programme to include European ESG certification and an in-depth study of fintech firms
From September 2021, thanks to this pioneering programme, students at SKEMA’s Grand Paris Campus will study the new environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria used to analyse the non-financial performance of businesses. Teaching will be backed by opportunities to gain European certifications such as CESGA (Certified ESG Analyst), delivered by SFAF with input from the EFFAS (European Federation of Financial Analysts Association). SKEMA is actively looking at other CSR/ESG certifications with other partners.
To boost transparency and traceability, digital tools will be used to support teaching in sustainable finance (data management tools, algorithms, measurement tools for non-financial indicators, AI, etc.).
The Fintech section of the programme will also place significant emphasis on the breakthrough innovations facilitated by the use of new blockchain technologies in finance, in particular by considering research work by Armin Schwienbacher. A professor of entrepreneurial finance and fintech, Armin is the author of several authoritative works on fintech companies. In 2018, he received the Best Entrepreneurship Research Award for his article titled “How banks interact with fintech startups” published in the Small Business Economics journal.
Fintech has already been linked with sustainability applications and usage cases. Financial innovations such as crowdfunding, robo-advisors, and blockchain bring an ever-expanding range of green investment opportunities to the general public and make the financial system more accessible and efficient. For example, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP 2016) identified 24 fintech solutions for sustainable development to be implemented at various levels.
SKEMA’s MSc Sustainable Finance & Fintech programme will be led by Dhafer Saïdane, professor of finance, in collaboration with the programme development committee comprising seven major financial institutions. Dhafer Saïdane also oversees the International Observatory of Sustainable Finance and SKEMA’s annual SAB Sustainable Finance Trophy (sabtrophy.com).
Patrice Houdayer, director of programmes, international affairs and student life for SKEMA, is delighted to see this new programme launched. “SKEMA has made sustainable finance and corporate social responsibility a major focus of its educational mission and SKY25 strategic plan.By working with these seven prominent financial institutions, we want to make our students fully conscious of the changes afoot in finance. We’re relying on them, as the finance professionals of tomorrow, to take these changes and make them a reality in businesses in the future,” he said.