The Academic Research Programme develops and supports responsible investment research.
Its core purpose is to support practical evidence and insights from research to: inform, raise awareness and challenge established thinking and practice in RI among investment practitioners, and to develop an active community of interest that is innovative, rigorous and cross-disciplinary. Change can be encouraged and influenced - in processes, behavioural, cultural, or systemic issues with evidence, insights and recommendations generated by research.
PRI works to achieve these aims by providing grant funding, by showcasing research findings and through the activities of The Academic Network, which is a vibrant and flourishing international community of close to 4,000 academics and investment practitioners on ESG and investment.
PRI Academic Network Conference and Call for Papers 2017
The PRI is proud to collaborate with University of Hamburg for the ninth Academic Network Conference. We are delighted to announce that the conference will once again be a part of PRI in Person and will be held on 26-27 September at the InterContinental Berlin.
The conference focuses on the latest research on responsible investment practices. The event is for academic researchers in the field of SRI and will also be an opportunity for academics and investors to engage with each other, learn and discuss the latest insights, and to network.
We are delighted to welcome Union Investments as the 2017 Academic Network Conference Partner.
Call for Papers - Closed
Applicants will be notified about their submissions by 1st July 2017.
Aligning with key themes at PRI in Person, we invite submissions of full papers, although extended abstracts are acceptable, that focus on the following topics (example issues provided for illustration). We encourage both theoretical and empirical contributions from diverse business and social science disciplines.
- Working to achieve a sustainable financial system
- ESG integration
- The role of responsible investment in meeting todays investment challenges
- ESG engagement
- The most outstanding research – qualitative
- The most outstanding research – quantitative
- The best student paper
Find out more about the conference, the Call for Papers and how to apply at www.unpri.org/prian2017
Professor Alexander Bassen, University of Hamburg
CURRENT AND FORTHCOMING RESEARCH
why AND HOW might investors respond to economic inequality?
The widening economic inequality gap is one of the most pressing challenges we face, but what can investors do practically to address this?
This discussion paper by the Initiative for Responsible Investment at the Harvard Kennedy School accompanies an international roundtable series in Australia, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, the UK and the US that will be held over June 2016 to April 2017. It outlines:
- impact on economic growth
- inequality as a lens for investment analysis
- efforts to mitigate inequality
- the role of investors in policy discussions
When the roundtables conclude, research will be commissioned to support and guide investors.
How to get involved
Please contact Katherine Ng, Head of Academic Research if you would like to attend a roundtable or for further information.
The PRI commissioned two projects from its Call for Research on the factors for success in corporate engagement. The findings will presented at PRI in Person, Berlin 2017.
We anticipate the results will help signatories to review and implement their engagement strategies more effectively.
The projects are:
Inclusive capitalism: The impact of global shareholder engagements
- Professor Elroy Dimson, Judge Business School, Cambridge University, London Business School; Chair of Strategy Council, Norwegian GPFG; Director of FTSE International
- Assistant Professor Oğuzhan Karakaş, Boston College
- Associate Professor Xi Li, London School of Economics and Temple University
How institutional investors' collective engagement on ESG issues create value for investors and corporations: A configurational analysis
- Professor Jean-Pascal Gond, Cass Business School, City University
- Dr Rieneke Slager, Nottingham University
- Dr Michael Viehs, Engagement Professional, Hermes EOS
- Dr Niamh O'Sullivan, Nottingham University
- Mikael Homanen, PhD student, Cass Business School
- Szilvia Mosony, PhD student, Cass Business School
RI Quarterly extracts the essentials and distils key findings from research in a clear and concise manner for investment professionals. Topical articles are released regularly that are accessible online and on mobile. They are brought together at the end of every three-month period into magazine format giving you the choice of how you would like to stay up to date with news, insights and opinions from thought leaders.
A concise takeaway from our flagship events and key debates in Berlin. This edition includes our research agenda and funding announcement on modern portfolio theory, examining its impacts, challenges and beyond.
- Long-term social issues drive economic growth, so why aren't investors behind the wheel?
- Beyond modern portfolio theory
- The PRI research awards
- Effective engagement strategies
- Social cohesion and inclusive growth: the investment risks and opportunities
- The future of RI: How and where will millennials invest?
We focus on the investor voice in this edition by looking at the ExxonMobile climate vote and the outlook for climate disclosure, we question whether proxy access has reached a tipping point in the U.S, and executive remuneration through the impact of Say on Pay legislation. We also cover board diversity in terms of men and women’s routes to the board and what has changed since the Davies Review. Finally, we’re delighted to highlight the new members of the PRI’s Academic Network Advisory Committee who discuss the key challenges in responsible investment.
We look into COP22 and two research initiatives: how and why investors might respond to economic inequality and also the interplay of salience, materiality and financial performance for human rights. We bring together academic papers that explore the impact of ESG issues on returns, and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for fintech.
Calling on investors to heed the new climate change calculus of the Paris Agreement, articles discuss the location and nature of stranded assets, if it is possible to hedge climate change risks via asset allocation decisions and the use of decarbonised indexes, the role of investment consultants in supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy and what policy framework is needed to shift asset allocations towards sustainable energy infrastructure.
The Academic Network Conference was integrated with PRI in Person for the first time in 2015, with a full stream dedicated to academic research. This issue presents the three winning papers, exploring the political influence on investment preferences in the US, ESG data and materiality and the illusion of returns from sin stocks.
Reporting and disclosure are often seen as lengthy and burdensome, but done well they bring transparency, thus breeding trust and creating value. Is it possible to unleash better performance through better reporting and disclosure?
Nearly 10 years on from its inception, it is important to assess the impact of the PRI on responsible investment practices. To what extent is the vision to mobilise asset owners being achieved, and how effective is the PRI at enabling investors to act collectively?
The best of the 2014 Academic Network conference, including winning papers from the PRI-Sustainalytics prize for Excellence in Responsible Investment Research. Topics include: ESG integration; shareholder engagement; short-termism and structural market failure; social finance and transparency and reporting.
Our changing climate is one of the greatest threats to society, business and long-term profitability. How can companies better report on greenhouse gas emissions and how do investors respond to information on climate change when it is made available?
The PRI’s mission is to create a sustainable global financial system. Is its belief that this is necessary for creating long-term value correct, and does the short-termism that led to the financial crisis still exist?
Fiduciary duty is easy to define but translating what it means for investment practice can be highly subjective. Interpretations have varied throughout time and across regions, so what might inform definitions of this crucial investment concept in future?
Banks occupy a privileged position in the finance world, gaining access to financial information about their borrowers that public debt or equity holders do not have, and imposing terms and conditions as they see fit. So what impact do factors such as board structure, shareholder rights and corporate social responsibility have on loan pricing, and what does this tell us?
The Academic Network is the team’s engagement arm, connecting investors, policy makers and academics to direct research and share resources.
The PRI is proud to collaborate with the following organisations:
The 2015 Academic Workshop, sponsored by Sycomore AM, brought together more than 70 investors and academics to discuss the top responses to the PRI’s call for papers.
BEST QUALITATIVE PAPER
Immature or impossible: Making environmental, social and corporate governance issues calculable for investors?
A. Young-Ferris (University of Sydney), J. Roberts
BEST QUANTITIVE PAPER
The ‘price of sin’ aversion: Ivory tower illusion or real investable alpha?
H. Adamsson (Henley Business School), A. Hoepner
BEST STUDENT PAPER
Red versus Blue: Do Political Dimensions influence the Investment Preferences of State Pension Funds?
L. Schopohl (Henley Business School), A. Hoepner
CFO gender and bank loan pricing: A cross-cultural perspective
Sustainable Responsible Investment in Southern African Private Equity: Practitioner perceptions and practices
The integration of ESG criteria into investment processes considering investors’ preferences
Elena Escrig Olmedo
The importance of sustainability and transparency labels in investment decisions between conventional and sustainable mutual funds
SRI research: Four competing agendas
Jean Pascal Gond
Corporate responses to external metrics: a dynamic perspective on decoupling
MEET THE ACADEMIC RESEARCH TEAM:
Katherine Ng, Head of Academic Research
Katherine joined the PRI in June 2014. She is responsible for work bridging the gap between investors and academics.
Previously, she managed the research and insights programme at global accountancy body ACCA, developing, commissioning and communicating impactful and engaging research to stakeholders around the world. She was previously an academic researcher working on European Commission funded projects on science and society.
Katherine holds an MA in International Relations and is a qualified programme manager (MSP).
Camilla Capotorto, Research Officer
Camilla joined the PRI in October 2016. She is responsible for supporting the day-to-day management of PRI’s research activities and liaising with PRI’s Academic Network. Previously, she worked at the Press Recognition Panel as a Research and Business Officer and at ComRes as a political researcher.
She holds a BSc in Communication and Journalism, an MA in Development Studies from the University of Rome Sapienza, an MSc in Globalisation and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and an MPhil from the University of Greenwich.
Her research project focussed on the causal relation between neoliberal water management strategies and movements of resistance in Latin America, specifically Argentina, Brazil and Colombia.