Academics scoop US$ 33,000 from research into responsible investment

Academics and students from the universities of Maastricht, St. Andrews and York were among the winners of the first PRI Academic Research Awards for papers of excellence on responsible investment.

The Awards were sponsored by the Danish Government and presented by Victor Kjaer, Deputy Director General of the Danish Commerce and Companies Agency in the Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs. Three awards of US$7,000 were given to papers that investigated issues around fiduciary duty, green buildings and the correlation between ESG criteria and portfolio diversification.

Three further awards of US$4,000 were given to graduate-level students from the universities of Maastricht, Toulouse and Nottingham. The Awards were presented at the 2010 PRI Academic Conference held in Copenhagen and were judged by a panel of leading academics and investors. Details of the judging panel and the selection process can be found in the notes to this press release.

James Gifford, Executive Director of the Principles for Responsible Investment said,

“Tonight’s winners showcase some of the cutting edge academic research that is emanating from business schools around the world and which can be put to practical use by mainstream investors.”

The full list of winners is:

  • Academic Award 1: ‘From Fiduciary Duties to Fiduciary Relationships for Socially Responsible Investment’ by Benjamin J. Richardson, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
  • Academic Award 2: ‘Sustainability and the Dynamics of Green Building’ by Piet Eicholtz, and Nils Kok of Maastricht University and John M. Quigley, University of California, Berkeley
  • Academic Award 3: ‘Portfolio diversification and ESG criteria: Must responsible investments really be poorly diversified?’ by Andreas Hoepner and David G. McMillan, University of St. Andrews
  • Student Award 1: ‘Social Values and Mutual Fund Clienteles’ by Rob Bauer and Paul Smeets, Maastricht University
  • Student Award 2: ‘Corporate Social Responsibility and the Board of Directors’ by Philipp Krüger, Toulouse School of Economics
  • Student Award 3: ‘What gets measured gets managed? Responsible Investment indices and responsible corporate behaviour’ by Catharina Slager, Nottingham University Business School

The judging panel included: Jeroen Derwall, Assistant Professor of Economics at Tilburg University and Assistant Professor of Finance at Maastricht University, the Netherlands; Matthew Haigh, Associate Professor. Department of Business, University of Aarhus, Denmark; Lars Hassel, Programme Director, Mistra , Sweden; Nicolas Mottis, Professor, ESSEC, France; Jean-Philippe Desmartin, Senior Analyst, Head of SRI research, Oddo Securities, France; Amanda McCluskey, Head of Sustainability & Responsible Investment, Colonial First State, Australia; Steen Vallentin, Associate professor, PhD, Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (cbsCSR) at Copenhagen Business School (CBS), Denmark; Steve Waygood, Head of Sustainability Research.

All papers were judged according to the following criteria:

  • Practical significance of the research according to mainstream investors’, corporates’ and/or stakeholders’ point of view;
  • Quality of research work with regard to its contribution to the topic of mainstreaming Responsible Investment;
  • Originality of subject study or approach;
  • Academic evaluation of research work.