Wellington Global Impact Fund is one of our long-standing impact investments. I would like to highlight one of the fund’s individual holdings to showcase the manager’s due diligence process and investment philosophy.

YDUQS is an international equity position that facilitates access to quality post-secondary education for low- and middle-income Brazilians. Completion of a post-secondary degree can lead to increased earnings potential, while also enhancing broader economic growth. YDUQS targets United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #4, Quality Education. This goal seeks to ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational, and tertiary education, including university, by 2030.

Wellington’s qualitative assessment of the company states, “YDUQS management has executed effectively, increasing the company’s reach while offering higher-quality products without unduly raising costs for students.” Wellington’s quantitative analysis shows that 761,200 students are enrolled in YDUQS, and the company awarded 101,018 degrees in the calendar year 2019. The key performance indicators that Wellington aspires to track over time are the employment rate for YDUQS graduates as compared with peers and the increased career success compared with peers.

As we know, all investments are associated with varying degrees of risk. The primary risks associated with YDUQS are:

  • Exogenous Factors
    • Income or employment is determined by the job market
  • Goal Alignment
    • YDUQS does not make a sufficient effort to include diverse students
  • Negative Impact
    • Cost burden for students
    • Environmental impact of operating facilities

As a proactive and sustainably focused firm, Wellington prioritizes engagement with its portfolio companies and notes that YDUQS is very willing to engage with them. The primary focus of engagement at the present time is addressing the changing nature of distance learning.