Largest ever academic conference on sustainable finance takes place at the University of Oxford

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The largest ever convening of academic researchers working on sustainable finance takes place in Oxford from 3 to 6 September 2019. The Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment is hosting the 2nd Annual Conference of the Global Research Alliance for Sustainable Finance and Investment (GRASFI).

GRASFI was founded in 2017 to promote multi-disciplinary academic research on sustainable finance and now has 23 Member Universities representing a wide range of major global and regional research universities, with more joining regularly.

Over 40 papers are being presented at the conference across 14 sessions covering topics from climate resilience to the financial performance of green investing. 10 PhD students have been given scholarships to attend funded by UBS.

The Opening Keynote will be given by Professor John Kay CBE FRSE FBA on "The Concept of the Twenty-First Century Corporation". Kay led the seminal 2012 Kay Review of UK Equity Markets and Long-term Decision Making for the UK Government. The Closing Keynote will be given by Professor Colin Mayer CBE FBA on "Finance and Prosperity".

The conference will begin with a high-level panel discussion on 'Sustainable Finance and Investment: Future Research Directions' with senior practitioners and researchers, including Jane Ambachtsheer (BNP Paribas AM), Professor Rob Bauer (Maastricht University), Professor Robert Eccles (University of Oxford), Julie Hudson (UBS), Professor Nick Robins (LSE), and Heidi Raubenheimer (CFA Institute).

There are six paper prizes being awarded in the following categories and these will be announced at the closing ceremony:

  • Best Paper Prize (sponsored by BNP Paribas Asset Management) - £3,000
  • Best Novel Methods Paper Prize (sponsored by UBS) - £1,500
  • Best PhD Paper Prize (sponsored by the CFA Institute Financial Analysts Journal) - £1,000
  • Best Paper Prize for Research on Sustainable Investment (sponsored by the CFA Institute Financial Analysts Journal) - £1,500
  • Best Paper Prize for Research on Climate Finance (sponsored by Imperial College London) - £1,500
  • Best Paper Prize for Research that Supports Central Banks and Financial Regulators to Green the Financial System (sponsored by INSPIRE) - £1,500

Frédéric Janbon, CEO of BNP Paribas Asset Management will award the Best Paper Prize at the ceremony at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford and Julie Hudson, Head of Socially Responsible Investment at UBS will award the Best Novel Methods Paper Prize.

Dr Ben Caldecott, Chair of the Conference Committee and Co-Chair of GRASFI, as well as an Associate Professor at the University of Oxford said, "There are huge opportunities for academic research in sustainable finance, many with direct implications for practice and thus opportunities to have real impact. This will continue to be the case for many decades to come as sustainable finance is not, in my view, a mere passing fad, but a long-term structural change in the demand and supply of finance and financial products.

"Our growing community of academic researchers working on sustainable finance will need to be here for the long haul. The Alliance has been established to support this and to encourage a flourishing of impactful, high-quality research on sustainable finance. The quality of the papers reviewed for the conference suggest there is indeed a blossoming in sustainable finance research and now an impressive pipeline of PhD students wanting to build careers in this field. It is an incredibly exciting time!"