Insights | Article | Intern profile: Wilfred Wu

Intern profile: Wilfred Wu

15 December 2023

Altiorem partners with universities to host passionate student interns interested in expanding their skills in sustainable finance. In this post, we are profiling one our interns, Wilfred Wu.


Tell us a bit about yourself? 


I am a finance student with an unwavering dedication to sustainable and responsible investment. Currently, I’m on the brink of graduating from Macquarie University, my academic trajectory has always been influenced by my belief that finance, nature, and sustainability should exist in harmony.

Beyond the world of numbers, I have an affinity for photography which has instilled in me a meticulous attention to detail, and I’ve had the privilege to experience diverse cultures and education systems across Hong Kong and Australia.

What attracted you to Altiorem? 


When I learned about Altiorem’s initiatives, I was particularly captivated by their ambition to reshape the traditional perspectives on finance. Rather than viewing it merely as a tool for wealth accumulation, Altiorem sees finance as a force for positive change. The idea that we can take something as ubiquitous as ‘finance’ and harness it to prioritise the health of our planet is both revolutionary and crucial.


Also, in an era where our natural resources are facing unprecedented threats, it is essential that we integrate biodiversity and natural capital into our financial frameworks and strategies. Altiorem’s approach of intertwining finance with nature – by actively advocating for the inherent value of our natural world in financial deliberations – presented an innovative way forward. It’s a refreshing perspective that challenges conventional financial paradigms and works towards creating an equilibrium between profitability and planetary health.

How have you found the experience?


The most enlightening aspect was witnessing the synergy between business and sustainability. In our modern world, where the boundaries between profitability and ecological responsibility often seem at odds, Altiorem showcased how they can coexist. It became evident that businesses can thrive without compromising our planet’s health. This integration of business acumen with a sustainability-driven mindset was a consistent theme throughout my tasks, particularly as I delved into the the literature.


In bridging the gap between theory and practice, I was equipped with a more holistic view of finance—one that is adaptive, forward-thinking, and recognises the interdependence of our global ecosystems and economic structures. The experience underscored the significance of ensuring that tomorrow’s business leaders are not just proficient in profit-making but are also staunch advocates for sustainability. 

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


I enjoyed Mobilising Climate Investment in Emerging Markets. The report outline the challenges and barriers that institutional investors, such as pension funds, face when investing in emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs) but also sheds light on an intrinsic conundrum: How can these economies simultaneously transition towards sustainable pathways while also fostering social and economic development? 


One reflection that strikes me is the sheer mismatch between the potential for climate mitigation investment and its actualisation. The report points out that while the global pension market stood at an impressive USD$56 trillion in 2022, the substantial inflow into EMDEs for climate mitigation remains largely untapped. This disjunction becomes even more poignant when considering the crucial role of EMDEs in the global climate matrix, given their substantial contribution to emissions and heightened vulnerability to climate impacts. 


The article also presents a significant perspective on the role of Australian superannuation funds. It’s revealing that while a vast majority of these funds set a net zero by 2050 target, a smaller fraction commits to specific investment targets in climate solutions. This disparity between intent and actionable steps brings forth a deeper question: Can financial mechanisms, designed primarily for profit-maximization, be effectively recalibrated to factor in planetary well-being? 


 The report not only presents the multifaceted dimensions of sustainable investment but also compels readers, like me, to think critically about the paradigms that govern our financial and ecological landscapes. 

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


Seize the moment and dive in wholeheartedly! Altiorem represents more than just a platform for sustainable finance; it stands as a beacon for a new era of financial thinking. It’s a space where the conventional paradigms of finance are constantly being redefined and expanded to integrate the well-being of our planet and all its inhabitants. 


Joining Altiorem is not merely about contributing; it’s a journey of enlightenment. The breadth and depth of knowledge I’ve encountered here have been unparalleled. You will be exposed to the very forefront of sustainable finance, gaining insights into the innovative strategies and frameworks being developed to shape the future of finance. But more than the knowledge, it’s the people you’ll work alongside that truly makes the experience special. At Altiorem, you’ll collaborate with some of the brightest and most passionate minds in sustainable finance, individuals who are committed not just to their professions but to the larger cause of crafting a sustainable future for our world. 

Interested in interning?