oikos Young Scholars Finance Academy 2016

In collaboration with the Henley Business School

Sustainable Investment – Sources, Goals and Impact

September 11 – 15, 2016

oikos with the Henley Business School convened the sixth oikos Young Scholars Finance Academy September 11 to 15, 2016, in Reading, United Kingdom. Read a full report of the academy in our article.

The academy provided a unique platform for exceptional PhD and post-doctoral researchers in the field of finance and sustainability to advance their research and expand their international research relations. Participants benefited from presenting and discussing their work in progress with leading academics and professionals who provided feedback and shared advice on the research presented and academic career development. The event included a practitioner day, a paper development workshop, coaching on professional development, and recreational outdoor excursions.

See the programmes page and hover over “Academies” to see oikos Academies on topics like Entrepreneurship, Economics, Development and Energy.

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Topic 2016

Sustainable Investment – Sources, Goals and Impact

Investment considering environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors reached approximately 30% of long-term assets under management globally, up from 22% in 2012, according to the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance. Some of the biggest institutional investors in the world have started to back mandatory reporting of ESG issues, such as emission of air pollutants, water stress and safety issues.

According to Environmental Finance in 2015, $40.8 billion worth of Green Bonds have been issued, compared with about $36.6 billion in 2014.

To address the problem of climate change, more than 500 institutions, with $3.4 trillion of assets under management, have committed to divestment before the UN climate conference in Paris in December 2015, according to and Divest Invest.

At the same time following the global financial crisis, regulators and the financial industry are debating and implementing policies aimed at preventing risky and unsustainable financial practices.

What are the incentives driving investment choices, investor engagement and corporate decisions when opting for or against sustainable strategies? What are the different products and approaches in sustainable finance and what is their impact? How can successful strategies be scaled up?

To answer these and further questions, we invite papers on, among others, the following topics:

  • Behavioural finance and incentives for investments
  • Speculation and inefficiencies in financial markets
  • Short-termism: evidence and causes
  • Corporate social responsibility and financial performance
  • Impact Finance, Green Bonds
  • Integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria in investments, lending and insurance offerings
  • Structural changes in engagement and activism processes
  • Biodiversity and carbon accounting
  • Integrative reporting and its use by investors

The faculty of the 2016 academy are:

Professor Jill Atkins, Henley Business School

Jill Atkins is Professor of Accounting and Financial Management at Henley Business School, University of Reading. Her primary research interests within the overarching area of corporate governance include institutional investor engagement and dialogue, responsible investment, stakeholder accountability, integrated reporting, pension fund governance and sustainability issues in accounting and finance.

Professor Mike Barnett, Rutgers Business School

Mike Barnett is Professor of Management & Global Business at Rutgers Business School. He researches how firms’ efforts at stakeholder management, through acts of corporate social responsibility and via communal institutions such as industry trade associations, influence their reputations and financial performance and affect society.

His scholarship has been recognized with numerous awards, to include annual Best Paper Awards from the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Proceedings, and the International Association for Business & Society, as well as Finalist for the Aspen Institute’s Faculty Pioneer Award.

Professor Sébastien Pouget, Toulouse School of Economics

Sebastien Pouget is Professor of Finance at IAE Toulouse and member of the Toulouse School of Economics (Université Toulouse 1 Capitole). In 2010-2011, he was a visiting Professor of Economics at Princeton University where he taught asset management and behavioral finance. Prof. Pouget’s research studies financial markets with a multidisciplinary approach combining insights from economics, psychology and history. His research has been published in international academic journals such as Econometrica, Management Science, the Journal of Finance and the Review of Economic Studies. Prof. Pouget is co-director of a research center on Sustainable Finance and Responsible Investment supported by around ten asset managers and asset owners.


The participants of the 2016 academy: 

Anna Geddes for OikosAnna Geddes is a PhD researcher in the Climate Policy group and an affiliate researcher in the Energy Politics Group at ETH Zürich, Switzerland. Her research interests lie in the techno-economic and financial aspects of energy systems transitions with a focus on bridging the finance gap in renewable energy projects. Anna is currently analyzing how well ‘green’ state investment banks address the needs of renewable energy developers and the impact these banks may have on the innovation and diffusion of renewables. Anna earned her MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures at Imperial College London, UK, alongside the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and she also holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Queensland, Australia. Prior to entering energy research Anna worked for 10 years as project engineer and risk consultant in the mining and energy sectors in various countries including Australia, UK, Indonesia and South Korea for clients including BHP Billiton, Xstrata and Rio Tinto.

Aymeric Guidoux - Photo

Aymeric Guidoux is a PhD Candidate in economics at Ecole Polytechnique (France). He holds a bachelor degree in biology, an engineer degree in agronomy and environment from AgroParisTech (Paris) and a master degree in economics of sustainable development from Ecole Polytechnique (Paris). Aymeric’s research focus is centered on corporate governance and sustainable issues with a specific focus on boards of directors. The main objective of his PhD dissertation is to contribute to the understanding of women influence on corporate decisions and performance, when they have succeeded to be appointed to the board of directors. His current research projects have therefore analyzed the impact of the French gender quota law on economics and environmental firm valuation.


ClClarissaarissa Hauptmann is a Ph.D. candidate in the Finance Department of Maastricht University and visiting Ph.D. at Harvard Business School. She holds a Master degree in Financial Economics with a specialization in banking, and a Bachelor in Economics. Her research interest is in the field of corporate social responsibility, governance, and banking. Next to her research, she has been teaching the courses “Financial Management and Policy”, “Ethics, Organizations, and Society”, and “Finance and Accounting”. Prior to her doctoral studies, Clarissa gained valuable experience in several banking institutions including Deutsche Bank, Barclays, and Bank Central Asia. In her spare time she enjoys dancing ballet and salsa, reading, travelling to exotic places, and appreciating good food with friends and family.


Photo_ Franziska SumpFranziska Sump is a research assistant and Ph.D. candidate at the Chair of Capital Markets and Management at the University of Hamburg. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from HSBA Hamburg School of Business Administration and a Master Degree in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Southern Denmark. She gained practical experience during a traineeship at Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt and Hamburg and internships at the Otto Group in the Sustainability Department in Hamburg and the Compliance and Sourcing Department in Shanghai. In summary, her research is centered on financial markets, organizations and sustainability. Franziska is interested in whether – and if how –financial market participants, as well as organizations, in particular, consider sustainability in their decision-making processes. Next to her research, she has been teaching a course on “Finance and Investment “ and a seminar on “Sustainability and Capital Markets” at the University of Hamburg. Apart from work, Franziska enjoys playing field hockey.

Nederland, Amsterdam, april 2016 Helen Toxopeus Alle rechten voorbehouden/ All Rights reserved foto: Merlijn Doomernik

Helen Toxopeus is a Ph.D. candidate at the Impact Centre Erasmus at Erasmus University Rotterdam. She holds a Master degree in International Economics and Business from the University of Groningen. Before returning to academia she worked at ABN AMRO as a strategy analyst and as an innovation manager. Her research question focuses on what type of innovation in the financial sector can lead to more sustainable financial decision-making, in particular in banking and crowdfunding, ranging from the role of information to different types of lending technologies. Next to her research she regularly shares her thoughts in the media ( She has two children aged 2 and 4 and lives in Amsterdam with her family. If there is any time left she likes to go for a run in the Vondelpark.

Herwig Pilaj

Herwig Pilaj is a research fellow at the Department of Finance, University of Graz, Austria. He also teaches undergraduate courses in banking and finance. His current research is focussed on “The Behavioral Economics of SRI“. The basic idea: Make more realistic assumptions on (SRI) decision-making and test them in the lab. The experimental approach may yield new insights into the driving and restraining forces behind individual SRI investment behavior. Herwig is a big fan of interdisciplinarity and out-of-the-box thinking. In his free time he enjoys playing chess.

jieunchungJieun Chung is a PhD candidate in Accountancy at John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, in Montreal, Canada. Jieun has a Master’s in Accountancy at Brock University, and Bachelor’s in Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her thesis topic is on green bonds, and her research interests are CSR disclosure, determinants of corporate governance, and risk management through ESG. She likes using both critical and empirical approach to have multiple perspectives on a topic. When she is not writing her thesis, she enjoys playing with her little dog at a park. She loves to travel, whether it is backpacking by herself or relaxing at a resort with family and friends.

photo LiviuLiviu Andronic is a PhD candidate in Finance at the University of Toulouse Doctoral School for Management Science. He holds a Master degree in Corporate Finance, and in 2010 received the French Asset Management Association (AFG) award for his Master’s thesis. His research focuses on investigating various aspects of socially responsible investing and corporate social responsibility, such as the importance of the extra-financial flows of information to financial analysts or the behavior of firms in response to shareholder engagement. In 2013 he received a research grant from the FIR/PRI for his PhD work. In addition to his research work he has experience in teaching finance and statistics at the masters level, as well as a course on socially responsible investments. In his spare time he enjoys contributing to various open-source projects.

Manuel Coeslier is a doctoral student in Management at Ecole Centrale Nantes and Audencia Business School in France. His research is conducted at Mirova, the subsidiary of Natixis Asset Management dedicated to responsible investment, where he mainly focuses on the impact of investment portfolios on climate change and the different indicators and tools available to measure and manage the alignment of investments with the needs of the energy transition. Manuel has previously worked at the 2° Investing Initiative where he started his research by collaborating in the redaction of IEA’s World Energy Outlook Special Report on Investments. He holds an engineer degree in Environment from Mines Nantes and a master degree in economics of sustainable development and environment from Mines ParisTech (Paris).

Mumbi-Profile photo (2)Mumbi Wachira is a doctoral researcher at the University of Saint Gallen. She holds a Master degree in Commerce with a specialization in Forensic Accounting and a Bachelor of Commerce. Her doctoral research is based on the role sustainability reporting plays in encouraging environmental and social pro-activeness among African corporations. Before commencing her doctoral degree, she taught courses in Financial Accounting and Public Financial Management at Strathmore University in Nairobi. She is passionate about entrepreneurship and is involved in the training and consultancy of micro-businesses operating in Kenya. In her free time she paints landscapes, watches anime and is a Tae Bo enthusiast.

bio_NoraNora Pankratz is a Ph.D. Candidate in Finance at Maastricht University School of Business and Economics. She holds a Master degree in International Business from Maastricht University, graduating as part of the first generation of students specializing in Sustainable Finance. Besides, she holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from Mannheim University. Her research interest is in the field corporate governance and responsible investing. Currently, Nora is working on a project on insider ownership, governance mechanisms and bond pricing as well as setting up future research investigating the public and private shareholder activism of institutional investors. Next to her research, she is teaching the courses “Institutional Investors” as well as “Ethics, Organisations and Society”.

-Sebastian Utz is a research fellow at Department of Finance, University of Regensburg. He teaches classes in Finance and Risk Management. Sebastian obtained a M.Sc. in Mathematics at the University of Augsburg, and a Ph.D. in Finance at the University of Regensburg. His general research interests include multicriteria portfolio selection, socially responsible investing, risk capital allocations, and corporate finance. Currently, Sebastian is working on the development and application of models that include sustainability as a third criterion besides risk and return in the portfolio selection process. His research has been published in journals such as the European Journal of Operational Research, Journal of Asset Management, and Operations Research.


Tatu Lyytinen is a Ph.D. candidate in Department of Management Studies in Aalto University School of Business. He holds a Master degree on Business Administration and Economics from University of Jyväskylä. His research interest is on private sector role on sustainable development, business model design and impact investment. Currently, he is working in the research project New Global in Finland focusing on role of private sector on sustainable development in Chile, India and Tanzania. He also works as business advisor for two startup companies in Finland. In his free time he enjoys functional training, running and football.


Vanya Rusinova

Vanya Rusinova is a PhD Fellow at the Department of International Economics and Management at Copenhagen Business School. She holds an Elite Master’s in Advanced Economics and Finance from Copenhagen Business School and an Honors BSBA in Finance from Suffolk University. During her undergraduate studies she spent four months in Tanzania studying the use of micro-credit as a tool for poverty alleviation. Currently, her research focuses on the strategic use of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by MNEs. She is currently working on a paper examining the casual link between firm financing constraints and CSR.


The organizers of the 2016 academy:

Chris Biehl - KopieChris Biehl is currently working as a doctoral researcher at the Henley Centre of Governance, Accountability and Responsible Investment, based at the Henley Business School in the United Kingdom. His research focus is responsible investment and corporate governance in Japan. In the past Christoph has worked as Project Manager Asia for the Centre for Responsible Banking and Finance at the University of St Andrews and as a consultant to the UN-supported PRI Academic Network. As part of these two appointments he (co-)organised international conferences and leadership events, e.g. the Asia-Pacific session at the MSCI Global Leadership Forum 2013. Prior to the PhD Christoph has completed a master degree (distinction) at the University of St Andrews and a first class bachelor degree at the University of Bayreuth. He is also alumnus of the scholarship programme of the German Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

Stefano_Ramelli (1)Stefano Ramelli is oikos PhD fellow in finance and sustainability at the University of Zurich’s Department for Banking and Finance. His research interests are related to responsible finance and ESG risks in financial sectors. He studied business and economics at the University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy) and obtained a Master of Science in Economics at the University of Edinburgh (UK). For oikos Stefano manages the oikos Research Hub and contributes to the organisation of the oikos Finance Academy. His professional experience includes an internship at the European Commission and more than five years in the field of socially responsible investments.

UZH_Hoernlein_Lena_7709_-®Bruederli - KopieLena Hörnlein is a PhD student at the University of Zurich’s Department for Banking and Finance. Her PhD thesis analyses incentives for investment in a low-carbon energy supply. For oikos she manages the Case Writing Competition and organises the Finance Academy, among other tasks. Lena holds a bachelor degree in Philosophy and Economics from the University of Bayreuth, Germany, and a master degree in Environmental Economics and Climate Change from London School of Economics. She has worked with GIZ, the German development agency, as a climate policy expert at the Tunisian Ministry of the Environment. Lena has completed previous assignments for the German Environment Ministry, the German development bank KfW, the consulting firm Perspectives and the University of Zurich in a research project on the UN climate negotiations.