Responsible Investment Research Webinar Series


Jointly developed by the Initiative for Responsible Investment, oikos Foundation, PRME & PRI

Webinar for Students on Microfinance 

     Date: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 

     Time: 16hrs (4PM) UK time 

     Summary: Provides an introduction to PIIF and a Q&A session with Emilie Goodall, Manager of PIIF.

Research Themes

The following five themes have been identified as the most crucial topics where research is needed in order to develop understanding of Responsible Investment and move the practice forward:

  • Theme One: Cross-national studies of law and policy on responsible investment.
  • Theme Two: Evaluating corporate engagement as a mechanism for investors to change investee ESG practices;
  • Theme Three: Identifying E, S & G criteria which can be related to long term company financial performance;
  • Theme Four: Comparing responsible investment practices across organizations and asset classes;
  • Theme Five: Identifying how and when environmental externalities negatively affect fund performance;


The Research Challenge: Responsible Investment Research Webinar Series

It is easy to identify research problems; a challenge for the PRI and its partners is to support future academics and investment professionals to create solutions. The 2010/11 Responsible Investment Research Webinar Series has been developed by PRI, IRI and PRME in order to set the foundations for the next generation of research in responsible investment.

Over the 2010/11 Academic year, four webinars on the identified research themes are scheduled. The webinars are unique for three important reasons:


Centrality of Investment Professionals

The webinars draw upon the experience of practitioners, who provide insight about the key issues they face in their industry. In other words, the practical world is central in helping to define the research agenda.


Academics as Thought Leaders

Rather than presenting their own research, high profile academics suggest ways that issues raised by practitioners can be turned into research projects.  They provide advice on the questions that can be asked, the data required and the methodologies which may be used. Academics are therefore not ‘talking heads’, but critical thought leaders who navigate how realistic research programmes can be created out of fundamental dilemmas in the investment industry.


Students: A Promising New Generation of Responsible Investment Research

The audience, particularly students, are invited to submit papers which are based on the subjects covered in the webinar series. The papers which are submitted will be considered for a research prize in July 2011. The prize competition is global. Students from around the world are the most important part of the equation in this webinar series because they will be pioneers who implement the research programme that is created by academics and practitioners in this webinar series.


Awards and Recognition

Undergraduates, Masters and PhD students from universities and colleges around the world are invited to participate in the paper competition. Webinars will be recorded and made available at so that students across all time zones will have access to them.

Research papers will be due on June 15, 2011, six weeks after the final webinar. One prize of $500.00 USD will be announced on September 1, 2011. Two honourable mentions of $250.00 USD will also be awarded and the winning papers will be made available on the PRI website.


Theme Two: Engagement as a mechanism to change investee ESG practices

Date and Time: 23 February 2011, 16:30 GMT

Engagement is believed to be one of the most effective tools available to responsible investors to foment behaviour changes in companies. But which issues level can be quantified as material for investors to engage on? Furthermore, can engagement be quantified in terms of its financial impact on long term shareholder value and societal value? Finally, how should resources be allocated to stewardship?


Asset Owner Perspective: Vidette Bullock Mixon, Director, Corporate Relations General Board of Pension and Health Benefits

Asset Manager Perspective: Wilco van Heteren, Robeco

Academic: Professor Fabrizio Ferrero, IESE

Register here:


If you would like to find out more about this initiative or get involved as a speaker, contact Natalie Beinisch or Lisle Ferreira or visit the Webinar Series site.

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