Facilitating education

Objective 4

Facilitate collaboration between academics and investors and use our knowledge to educate

The PRI connects investment practitioners with academic insight by bringing investors and academics together to collaborate, by sponsoring bespoke practitioner-focused research and by bringing the best insights from existing academic research to investors in a practical format

BRINGING ACADEMICS AND INVESTORS TOGETHER

In 2015, the PRI integrated its Academic Network conference with PRI in Person for the first time, with a stream of sessions throughout the two days bringing academic insight to more than 1,000 delegates from 35 countries. Key sessions covered topics such as:

  • How is high performance achieved?
  • ESG engagement: barriers, approaches and impacts
  • How to measure impact
  • Alpha or beta?

Investors heard from academics representing institutions including:

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 quantitative 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)


SUPPORTING ORIGINAL RESEARCH

By building bridges between the academic and finance communities and their stakeholders, the FIR-PRI Finance & Sustainability Awards support original research with a combined €30,000 of research prizes, promoting practically relevant academic research with the aim of building a network of researchers in responsible investment. The 2015 winners were:

Does corporate social responsibility lead to superior financial performance? A regression discontinuity approach

Caroline Flammer

Finance and society: On the foundations of corporate social responsibility

Hao Ling
(Tilburg University)

Divestment of fossil fuel equities, its financial implications, and alternative asset allocation strategy

Mayank Kumar Jain
(Imperial College London and Henley Business School)

CSR within morally objectionable businesses: Can what’s done be undone?

Salma Ktat
(Université des Antilles et de la Guyane)

The FSI-PRI Competition for Best Research on Responsible Investment recognises the best Quebec-based research on responsible investment. The US$5,000 winner in 2015 was The societal performance of companies and their probability of facing media events damaging to their reputation by Édith Breault (Université de Sherbrooke), awarded at the PRI’s Quebec Network conference.

DISTILLING THE BEST ACADEMIC FINDINGS FOR INVESTORS

Post-COP21: investing in a low-carbon world, calls on investors to heed the new climate change calculus of the Paris Agreement. Drawing on the findings of the best academic research available, it discusses:

  • how to evaluate 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;
  • what policy framework is needed to shift asset allocations towards sustainable energy infrastructure.

PROVIDING CFA-ACCREDITED ESG TRAINING

The PRI Academy provides CFA-accredited online training on how ESG issues impact company performance, shareholder value and investment decisions. The training is completely web-based, meaning that you can start and finish when and where you please: no travel, no pressure, lower greenhouse gas emissions.

PRI Academy

INCORPORATION TRAINING

326

Number of signatories with objectives to provide training on ESG incorporation

ENGAGEMENT TRAINING

184

Number of signatories with objectives to provide training on ESG engagement


PRI ACADEMY STUDENTS

562

Number of students enrolled in PRI Academy courses in 2015/16

PRI ACADEMY APPROVAL

PRI Academy courses approval rating:

83%

...against a target of 75%.

Academy courses do not require any existing skills or knowledge, though candidates considering the Enhanced Financial Analysis course will get the most out of it if they have experience of financial analysis and responsible investment.

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