Investing in school systems: An interview with Syed Ahmed

Syed Ahmed discusses how MetLife Investment Management (MIM) invests not only in schools, but also in its students, teachers, the communities they serve, and the future they deserve. 

Hi Syed, thanks for meeting with us. Can you tell us about one of your favorite projects behind MIM’s $81B in responsible investments?

Absolutely – one of my favorite examples is how we’ve invested $200 million in Prince George's County School District, helping them renovate the school systems. Over half of their schools are more than 50 years old. When you think about how that impacts the students, you realize these are young people facing inadequate gyms, inadequate athletic fields, and classrooms that lack the right technology and the right resources for their teachers. So our investments really try to update, renovate, and construct new schools that are relevant for a student going to school in 2022. And it's 8000 students that are impacted by this investment.

How does this investment tie into our Sustainability commitments at MetLife?

MetLife is committed to sustaining lives, and in the development of this district’s six schools, there also will be about 4000 construction jobs created for people who want employment delivering to these schools. And within these construction jobs, we have included a mechanism where 30% of those construction roles are allocated to small businesses – minority-owned businesses within the community – so the project can really help the local communities within Prince George's County as well.

We're helping the county build these schools almost four years faster than they would have been built if they had to do it themselves. MetLife is committed to partnerships like this – one that is truly supporting communities in delivering to their students’ schools faster than they could have.

With this project, is there also an environmental focus?

In fact, there is! For me, investing in a school district is really exciting because it's helping students, it's helping teachers, and it’s also helping the community from an environmental angle. The old schools didn't have the right resources to stop floodwaters from going into the community. For instance, whenever it would rain, the school's infrastructure wasn’t adequate to stop the rainwater, and it would impact the residents living around the school. Our investments will help solve that issue as well.

This investment impact people in so many ways. And we're so proud to be part of this project and to lead this project. We're in the business of long-term sustainable investments, and I think we'll continue to do that for years to come.

To learn more about MIM and their commitment to sustaining lives with each investment, visit their website here.

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