Intern Profile: Annie Zhang

Altiorem welcomes you to the next post within a regular series where we profile the inspiring and generous people who are making Altiorem possible.

We are excited to introduce our intern profile on the amazing Annie Zhang.

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I am currently a penultimate year student studying a Combined Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Laws (majoring in Finance) at the University of Technology Sydney. I am very curious by nature and have a variety of interests including painting realist portraits and studio Ghibli landscapes in gouache, music and exercising. I recently had the privilege of interning with Altiorem.

What attracted you to Altiorem?

The topic of sustainable finance interested me because I had written a report which compared the ESG levels of two insurance companies (AMP and QBE) during university and wanted to learn more about the subject. My university curriculum barely touched on the subject even though I saw it as a growing trend which many large organisations have begun to consider.

Sustainable finance is important because investment choices have great potential in remedying ESG issues, but what I find really interesting about it is how investing in sustainable finance can also be a smart business choice.

How have you found the experience? How was it relevant to your studies?

I have found the experience very interesting and rewarding as every piece of work I have completed has been valued and is important for the start-up, from writing taxonomy definitions for classifying research to publishing article summaries.

When I began this internship, the main goal I had in mind was to investigate the relationship between sustainable financing and investment return. I can confidently say that having read ESG 2.0: Measuring and Managing investor risks beyond the enterprise level (by The Predistribution Initiative), I have gained a deeper and more nuanced understanding of this relationship. Simply put, what I have learned is that ESG is focused on reaching sustainable environmental and social solutions based on controlling systemic and systematic risks. In this way, sustainable investing can be inferred to have a positive relationship with return. I would not have been able to learn this sort of information in my usual finance courses.

What is the most interesting piece of research you have come across?

The most interesting piece of research I found was An Industry Infected, because it gave me a fresh perspective on the destructive effects of poor health and safety standards in the animal agriculture industry which has been a cause for the current COVID-19 pandemic.

With the current pandemic likely having originated from the animal protein industry, the article warns investors to factor in this potentially destructive risk when choosing the companies they invest in. The article also notes how vulnerable the animal protein industry is to supply chain shocks as COVID-19 forced the mass culling of animals due to low consumer demand. The fact that I have noted this article indicates that sustainable finance is broad, and you can definitely find a topic you are interested when volunteering as an Intern or Contributor.

What would you say to other people thinking about contributing to Altiorem?

As an intern, you will have a great deal of flexibility to pursue topics of research which you are interested. This will help you gain unique skills and knowledge if you are looking for a role in finance or even law as it helps you gain the “commercial awareness” companies often look for.

The Altiorem team are always happy to help you out whenever you need help along your research journey. If you are interested, I highly recommend for you to become a Contributor as signing up is fast and simple and you will immediately have the opportunity to participate.

Altiorem is always looking for sustainability enthusiasts like Annie. If you would like to help build Altiorem please contact us here.

Become a member today! Head over to Altiorem and stay up to date with sustainable finance research.



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