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Stefan Schummer

+49 69 26 48 48 - 121

  • In-Class Frankfurt: early 2020
  • In-Class London: early 2020
  • Exam Frankfurt: early 2020
  • Project Assessment Frankfurt: early 2020

Fee: € 7.000 plus VAT

CSIF - Certificate in Sustainable Investing and Finance

Efficient markets, equilibrium prices, and rational agents! Really? What modern finance really is about.

This programme aims to introduce sustainable investment professionals and intermediaries from the responsible investment space into modern finance and investment practice. The program provides sustainable investment proponents with deeply needed technical and conceptual knowledge of financial markets, and modern methods of financial decision-making such as financial data science, in order to support them in building economically and environmentally meaningful products e.g., green bonds, SRI funds etc.

Conventional finance theory, as has been taught and applied over decades, has proven too stylized and too unrealistic in its base assumptions to capture the essence of sustainable finance. Instead of endorsing conventional finance, this program is based on truly state-of-the-art finance theory e.g., behavioral finance, evidence-based finance, and financial data science as the key enablers to unlock the potential of sustainability for good investment decisions and ethical finance practice.

Successful participants will significantly enhance their abilities and employability in three distinct ways:

  • Removing roadblocks to mainstreaming RI: understanding how the ‘tools of the trade‘ of conventional finance constrain building the sustainable finance paradigm and how to cope with them;
  • Practicing truly modern and flawless finance: learning to apply state-of-the-art finance methods and investment thinking such as AI, quantitative approaches, and financial data science;
  • Learning to behave strategically towards mainstream finance: identifying inroads for sustainable products and investment techniques into the domain of orthodox and conventional investment management

After passing the exam successful candidates are granted the title

Certified Sustainable Investing and Finance Professional


Module 1 – Financial Economics

  • Introduction
  • Portfolio Theory
  • Fundamentals of Valuation
  • Lessons from Behavioral Finance

Module 2 – Equities

  • Equity Valuation
  • Corporate events
  • Investment styles
  • Corporate Governance

Module 3 – Financial Data Science

  • Equity vs. Bond Markets
  • Evidence-based Investment Analysis – fad or fashion?
  • The Elephant in the Room – a Primer in Financial Data Science
  • Comparison of ESG Aspects of Equity and Bond Markets

Module 4 – Bonds

  • Characteristics of Bonds – Credit Risk
  • Financial Data Science of Bond Markets
  • Assessment of Bonds
  • Post investment decisions
  • Sovereign and regional bonds
  • Green bonds and green infrastructure

Course of Action

The programme consists of 3 in-class blocks.

The first placed at the beginning of the programme, the second before the exam. In between the workshops, candidates study in self-paced mode, supported by webinars.

Acquired knowledge will be subject to a two hour exam.

All students passing the exam will then start a project work.
The result of the project work will be presented in a two-day closing session.

The overall workload for the students sums up to approximately 120 hours during the six month study period. On average, this means 5 hours per week during the programme.

Scientific Directors & Lecturers

Professor Dr Andreas Hoepner

Professor of Operational Risk, Banking & Finance at the Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and the Lochlann Quinn School of Business of University College Dublin (UCD)

He is currently also heading the ‘Practical Tools’ research group of the Mistra Financial Systems (MFS) research consortium. Dr Hoepner serves as board member of the Financial Data Science Association and sits on independent assessment committees for the Investment & Pensions Europe (IPE) Awards, the Investment Innovation Benchmark (IIB), and the RI Awards. He sits on advisory boards for Bank J. Safra Sarasin, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the Deep Data Delivery Standards, the Future World Fund, Kempen and Invesco. Andreas received his PhD from St Andrews in June 2010, where he was on faculty 2009 to 2013 and built up the Centre for Responsible Banking and Finance as its Deputy Director. He is founding co-director of a social enterprise (Sociovestix Labs, a spin-off from the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence [DFKI]).

Prof Dr Hoepner’s financial data science research has made him sole inventor of the US patent investment performance measurement (No. US8751357 B1).

Professor Dr Alexander Bassen

Chair for Capital Markets & Management, Universität Hamburg, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences

Alexander Bassen is a full professor of capital markets and management at the University of Hamburg, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Science (Germany). He teaches courses in finance and investment, ESG and capital markets and reporting. Alex is a member of the German Council for Sustainable Development - advisory body of the German Federal Government, member of the UN PRI Academic Network Advisory Committee, Honorary Research Associate, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford, member of the Environment, Social & Governance Issues (CESG) of the European Association of Financial Analysts Societies (EFFAS) as well as member of several other advisory committees.

Target Group

  • SRI professionals
  • Professionals in Sustainable Finance
  • Green Bond specialists, originators
  • Intermediaries e.g., rating analysts
  • Representatives from NGOs and Sustainable Finance Initiatives

who seek to obtain in-depths expertise in finance.

Credit Points for DVFA Members

After successful completion of the CSIF programme DVFA members achieve 10 credit points as part of their self-assessment. Learn more about membership here

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