Transition Investment Lab (TIL)

What is Transition Investment?

The multiple crises unfolding since the turn of the century have brought the risks of a globally interconnected world into sharper focus, and highlighted the need of a shift from the conventional economic paradigm to a new one based upon environmental sustainability, social inclusion, and shared prosperity.

Transition Investment (TI) is the broad class of financial transactions aimed at enabling such a paradigm shift.

TI is thus a different (albeit related) investment philosophy with respect to the conventional ESG practice, with a more substantive focus on intentional, incremental efforts and strategic shift to achieve quantifiable impact. By expanding the concept of fiduciary duty beyond shareholder value to embrace the broader responsibilities towards society and by focusing on the measurable contribution of investments, TI has the potential to become a game changer in XXI century global finance.

What is TIL?

The Transition Investment Lab (TIL) is a research initiative aiming at positioning NYUAD as center of excellence for impact finance and ESG research, with special reference to private markets in Middle East, Africa, and Southern Asia (MEASA). While meeting the highest academic standards, TIL’s research outputs aim to be practically relevant by providing actionable solutions to investors.


  • To study, evaluate and benchmark institutional investors and particularly SWF strategies in transition finance, under the assumption that large, universal asset owners can drive change and make a difference for successfully addressing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • To collect state-of-the-art knowledge and develop suitable frameworks for the measurement of the impact of investments on stakeholder value with special reference to private markets and unlisted companies
  • To analyze the risks and opportunities of private market investing in Middle East, Africa, and Southern Asia (MEASA), the region with the highest potential in terms of economic growth and societal progress, and evaluate whether and how TI could unlock capital deployment in emerging markets
  • To foster a dialogue between academia, the financial community and the policy sphere, by connecting with existing efforts in the ESG space by local stakeholders
  • To promote Abu Dhabi as a global hub for TI and a financial and logistic gateway for high impact investment opportunities in emerging and developing countries  

Research Areas

  • Institutional ESG investment strategies and policies
  • Impact measurement of TI
  • Risk-return-impact analysis
  • Data collection and empirical analyses on TI in the MEASA region


Founding Partners

  • Mubadala Investment Company
  • Al Maskari Holding 
Executive Director
Bernardo Bortolotti
Professor of Economics

Steering Committee
Hannah Brückner
Dean of Social Science, Professor of Social Research and Public Policy

David Crofts
Executive Director, Enterprise Risk Management
Mubadala Investment Company
Peter Lejre
Senior Advisor
Al Maskari Holding