January 23 – 28, 2011, Gais (Switzerland)
The third oikos PRI Young Scholars Finance Academy 2011 will provide a unique platform to develop emerging researchers. Exceptional graduate students and young faculty are at the center of the programme and they will have exposure to leading academics and practitioners who provide feedback on their work and share advice about careers in the field of responsible investment.
The event includes paper development workshops, professional development roundtables, guest speeches and outdoor activities in the picturesque Swiss Alps. The philosophy of the Academy is towards long-term development of young academic research. Selected participants will be encouraged to submit papers to a follow up symposium hosted by the PRI and Mistra in Stockholm in September 2011.
Responsible investment is expanding significantly. Mainstream investors along with SRI funds increasingly make use of extra-financial measurement tools and policies encouraging responsible investment are emerging in legislative frameworks. These phenomena have been analysed across a wide range of disciplines, from finance to law, sociology and business ethics.
The growth of responsible investment, however, adds considerable complexity to the way that it is defined and applied. It also raises a number of important questions about its future trajectory.
– The role of Institutional Innovation for RI
– Institutional Investors and Shareholder Engagement
– Responsible Investment and Behavioural Finance
– Corporate Governance and Incentives for Responsible Investments
– ESG-focused investments among mainstream investors
For further background please refer to the 2010 Research Agenda developed at the 2010 oikos PRI Academy which is available for download here.
Moderated feedback will be given by selected peers and internationally well-reputed guest faculty:
Lars G Hassel is the Öhrling’s PricewaterhouseCoopers professor of accounting and auditing at Umeå School of Business in Sweden. He holds a Dr.Sc. degree in accounting from Åbo Akademi University in Finland where he also is a professor of accounting. Hassel has had visiting positions at Virginia Tech and Massey universities and at universities in Estonia, France, Malaysia and Russia. He is an honorary professor at Khabarovsk State Academy of Economics and Law in Russia.
Professor Hassel is since 2006 the Director of Sustainable Investments research program funded by Mistra, the foundation for strategic environmental research in Sweden. Mistra (www.mistra.org) funds and organizes interdisciplinary research aimed at solving strategic environmental problems. A Mistra program is considered a success when scientifically advanced research has been put to practical use in companies, authorities or other organizations. The overall purpose of the Sustainable Investments program is: “to find out how the use of sustainable investment practices can create an added value to investors, and identify barriers for such practices to become mainstream.” The main target group for the Sustainable Investments program is mainstream institutional investors. Research from this program can be found on the Sustainable Investment Research Platform webpage (www.sirp.se). The SIRP group was recognized with the Globe Award in May 2008 with the motivation for an outstanding and tangible research in the field of CSR.
His current research deals with the extra-financial value of ESG information in the value chain in the financial markets. The broad approach recognizes the fiduciary duty of institutional investors, SRI asset management, financial analysts’ use of ESG information and sustainability reporting by companies. He supervises doctoral candidates and post doc researchers, publishes research both in academic journals and books in cooperation with the business community. His writings also appear in newspapers and popular magazines. He has been involved in writing the Carbon Disclosure Project – Nordic report 2009 and serves in SRI reference groups for pension funds in Sweden. He is a frequent speaker at practitioner workshops related to ESG and SRI issues.
Yonca Ertimur is an Assistant Professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She received her BA from Bosphorus University in Istanbul, her MBA from University of Rochester and her PhD from New York University. Prior to joining Duke, Yonca was an Assistant Professor of Accounting at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
Yonca’s research focuses on three major themes. The first is the impact of direct monitoring by shareholders on the governance structures of public firms. In particular, she focuses on the effectiveness of shareholder activism in solving the governance problems that arise from the separation of ownership and control. Direct monitoring can take a variety of forms. Yonca focuses on direct expressions of shareholder voice through i) non-binding governance related shareholder proposals, ii) vote-no campaigns and, iii) shareholder votes at the annual meeting.
The second major theme of Yonca’s research is the production and disclosure of information by information intermediates (specifically, financial analysts), and the effects of those activities on firms’ information environments, in particular, mitigating information asymmetry between investors and firms, and thereby contributing to the efficient functioning of capital markets. In a series of papers, Yonca explores how analysts’ incentives affect the quality of their key research outputs, the dessimination of their research, and certain relations among their outputs.
The third and more recent theme of Yonca’s work is related to firms’ reporting of environmental information. She is interested in both investors’ use of and reliance on environmental information as well as governance determinants of this information.
Yonca Ertimurs’ CV can be viewed here:
David Wood, Director, Responsible Investment Initiative
Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge MA, USA
The goal of the Academy is to promote intensive learning through in-depth discussion and feedback. The participants of the oikos Young Finance Academy 2011 were: