Consultant: OCIO Landscape Assessment

Program Management Washington, DC, United States


Summary

WRI intends to award a consultant an 8 week fixed-price contract to do research on best practices with OCIO firms and provide analysis of the following six key topics: sustainability leadership and competencies for ESG integration, fees, performance of ESG portfolios, access to financial products, ESG analytics and reporting, and thought leadership.

This landscape assessment will provide insight into what is current in the market to ensure WRI stays well-placed with regards to its OCIO partnership. The assessment should be tailored to account for the size of WRI’s endowment and WRI’s strategic focus on ESG investing across all asset classes in its endowment portfolio

 Scope of Work

The consultant will conduct research on OCIO firms and services, providing a clear benchmark against which WRI can assess its current OCIO partnership arrangements.

The landscape assessment will cover:

  1. Overview of the OCIO market including key players and trends
  2. Deeper dive into OCIOs providing services to clients with a strong focus on sustainability. This deep dive will contextualize findings in terms of the range of client sizes and governance arrangements that the OCIO may specialize in.

           Findings will focus on:

  • Sustainability leadership and competencies for ESG integration, including
  • Firm Ethos and Philosophy: the firm’s demonstration of its commitment to ESG and sustainable practices in its business management and as core to the firm’s philosophy. This includes sustainable finance and climate-related commitments/policies, and active engagement in leading sustainable finance and climate action initiatives, e.g. Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials, Science Based Targets Initiative, Climate Action 100+, etc.
  • Process: the firm’s process for formally incorporated ESG factors into the portfolio construction and asset manager due diligence process, with the objective of enhancing risk-adjusted returns.
  • Team & Resources: the firm’s presence and quality of dedicated, knowledgeable staff and resources for integrating ESG into the investment process.
  • Engagement: record of active engagement with asset managers (and companies if the firm has an asset management arm) on ESG themes
  • Fees
  • Performance of ESG portfolios
  • Access to ESG/sustainable/climate-friendly financial products across asset classes
  • ESG analytics and reporting
  • Thought leadership on sustainable investing and climate change

The consultant will be expected to use a combination of secondary and primary research methods (desk research and interviews with key actors). The report should document secondary sources and interview participants (or their organizations at a minimum).

Deliverables/Outputs

  • A written report summarizing the results of the OCIO landscape assessment, as outlined in the scope of work, with details further confirmed during inception meeting. The report should contain the consultant’s detailed analysis (sources cited)
  • Summary slide-deck
  • A 90-minute virtual presentation to WRI’s Executive Team and Finance & Investment Committee, inclusive of Q&A

Timeline

It is expected that the project would take roughly 8 weeks to complete.

  • Inception meeting
  • Report and slide deck delivered 6 weeks from inception meeting
  • Presentation date TBD, within 2 weeks of report delivery

Consultant Qualifications

Guidelines for Proposal Submission

Requirements

The selected vendor will be able to demonstrate capacity in similar work, particularly:

  1. Proven knowledge of the U.S. OCIO landscape, sustainable investing trends, and OCIO partnerships that involve a focus on sustainability
  2. Experience producing high-quality landscape assessments
  3. A nuanced understanding of unique circumstances of smaller endowments of mission-driven organizations

Proposal content

Prospective vendors should submit:

  • A statement of interest describing the proposed consultant/team and how they meet the above requirements/deliverables;
  • CVs of team member(s);
  • Examples of and references for similar previous work;
  • An outline of the proposed methodology and workplan;

 

A proposed budget with a breakdown of costs sufficient to assess reasonableness. Please also include a competitive payment schedule associating amounts with work milestones

Proposal deadline

All proposals must be sent by close of business, February 28, 2022 (Washington, DC) in electronic format to:

Tracey Patillo
[email protected]

Budget

This is a fixed price contract, and it is expected that the total contract value will fall within the range of $20,000-$35,000, with value for money being an evaluation criterion.

Evaluation and Selection

Evaluation Criteria

The following elements will be the primary considerations in evaluating all proposals submitted in response to this RFP:

  • Completion of all required elements;
  • The extent to which the consultant’s proposal fulfills WRI’s stated requirements as set out in the RFP;
  • Experience with similar projects;
  • Overall cost of the consultant’s proposal;
  • Debarment and sanctions – WRI will not consider proposals from vendors/organizations/consultants, etc. that are presently debarred by the U.S. government or named on any restricted parties lists;
  • Sustainability – WRI values sustainability and all other factors being equal, will favor a proposal to more sustainably perform the work.

The bidder offering the best overall value will be selected.

 Selection Process

No proposal development costs shall be charged to WRI / all expenses are to be borne by the bidders.

WRI may award to the bidder offering best value without discussions. However, WRI reserves the right to seek bidder clarifications and to negotiate with those bidders deemed to be within a competitive range.

WRI may, at its discretion and without explanation to the prospective vendors/organizations/consultants, etc., choose to discontinue this RFP without obligation to such prospective vendors/organizations/consultants, etc. or make multiple awards under this RFP. Contracts will not be awarded to vendors/organizations/consultants, etc. debarred by the US government or named on restricted parties lists

The consultant offering the best overall value will be selected. For this position, price and non-price aspects are considered to be of approximately equal importance. [if quality is imperative, change to say non-price is relatively more important than price. If procuring services that many consultants or vendors sell, we often would revise to say that price is relatively more important than non-price aspects. This helps ensure you get proposals that are most in line with your objectives, and readily comparable.] 

Compliance Requirements: WRI receives funding from a variety of sources, including governments and other non-governmental organizations. In addition to WRI’s standard contract terms, certain funder conditions may apply. [If knowable at the time of this posting, it is advisable to attach the anticipated terms to the consultancy/RfP posting.]

How to Apply

Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.

Program Overview

WRI is a global nonprofit organization that works with leaders in government, business and civil society to research, design, and carry out practical solutions that simultaneously improve people’s lives and ensure nature can thrive. We are fortunate to have a roughly $45 million endowment, designated to provide a modest, consistent source of unrestricted annual funding for our work.

WRI believes that sustainability risks and opportunities are material and directly impact business profitability over the long-term. Therefore, companies that proactively manage their environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance will be best positioned to survive – and thrive – in a resource-constrained world. Given these beliefs, WRI has committed to investing its endowment in a prudent manner that incorporates how companies manage ESG risks and opportunities, while achieving a market return.

WRI has partnered with an Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO) to manage our endowment and help implement our sustainable investment strategy. In collaboration with our OCIO, WRI uses a tailored approach to proactively integrate sustainability across our endowment portfolio. We follow a three-part framework that structures the portfolio to minimize exposure to sustainability risks, while optimizing the opportunities of a changing world.

  • Reduce exposure to ESG risks through passive strategies.
  • Drive value creation through active managers with strong competency for ESG integration.
  • Allocate capital to solutions and capture growth opportunities through private market investments with measurable positive impacts.

Our Climate Change Investment Statement elaborates on our approach to holistically integrate climate-related factors as part of this ESG strategy. It further details our plan for aligning WRI’s portfolio with the goals of the Paris Agreement, including key steps and interim targets for transitioning the portfolio to net-zero GHG emissions by 2050 and for supporting the transition to a climate-resilient and just economy.

WRI is committed to integrating ESG considerations across the entire portfolio, deploying all of our endowment capital to sustainable investments. An important aspect of this commitment will be to maintain competitive returns, as it is our hope to demonstrate that a sustainable investing approach can help asset owners preserve and grow their financial resources.

WRI's Sustainable Investing Initiative uses WRI's investment experience, data, research and convening power to advance sustainable investing in the mainstream investor marketplace. We collaborate with institutional investors and other market participants to inform, develop, and promote widespread adoption of sustainable investments strategies.

 

WRI Overview:

World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity, and human well-being. We are working to address seven critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean.

We are passionate. We value our diversity of interests, skills, and backgrounds. We have a flexible work environment. And we share a common goal to catalyze change that will improve the lives of people. Our shared ideals are at the core of our approach. They include: integrity, innovation, urgency, independence, and respect.

The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps, and analysis to solve the world’s greatest environment and international development challenges and improve people’s lives. We work with leaders in government, business, and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact.

We have been growing rapidly: our staff has doubled in size over the past 5 years, and our operating budget is now $150 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of 1,000+ people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices in Africa, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and the United States, as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.  

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices.