February 16, 2016

How Universities Can Help Scale Social Finance: BNY Mellon Live@ MIT & Penn State University

Anna Kearney speaks about social finance at Penn State University

Anna Kearney speaks about social finance at Penn State University

As part of an ongoing effort to grow awareness of social finance on university campuses, Anna Kearney, director of social finance at BNY Mellon, recently spoke about the company’s social finance initiative at MIT and Penn State University.

The talk at MIT, which was part of the ongoing MIT Sloan Sustainability Lunch Series, sparked conversations with attendees about the role colleges and universities can play in scaling social finance.

During follow-up discussions, Kearney reflected and remarked, “We know that social finance is an integral part of the future of finance, and we’re seeing tremendous interest from students and academics, but it is not yet a part of core finance classes. Right now, there’s limited research on social finance that would allow professors to change the curriculum. If we want to empower the next generation of leaders—at MIT Sloan and schools around the world—to bring social finance into the mainstream, the financial services industry and academic institutions need to collaborate to fill the knowledge and data gap.”

During her conversation with Penn State’s Net Impact group and Finance Society, Kearney focused on sharing personal insights from pursuing a progressive career path: “One of my mentors in graduate school shared the motto, ‘What got you here, won’t get you there.’ It was intended as a leadership development guidepost, but that really stuck with me with a wider meaning.”

She went on to say, “Today, we have the opportunity to enable significant positive change through our social finance work and that requires flexibility to stay on top of the industry and see what’s coming next.”

In addition to visiting MIT and Penn State, BNY Mellon has also met with young leaders at the Wharton School of Business to empower them to leverage their knowledge of marketing, economics and finance to solve the world’s challenges. BNY Mellon also currently supports impact-focused programs for undergrads and MBAs at the University of Pittsburgh.