Academic Research

Katherine NG

Katherine Ng


Head of Academic Research

The PRI Academic Research workstream aims to engage and inform signatories and responsible investment practitioners with academic research that is thought-provoking, analyses current thinking and future trends, and provides practical recommendations.

Research Priorities

Our priorities are determined by PRI’s strategy and signatories and with input from the Academic Network Steering Committee. These are the areas in which we work to support PRI’s goals through responsible investment research and activities that bridge the gap between academics and practitioners.

ESG integration

  • How do organisations practice ESG integration?
  • What are the barriers and enablers of ESG integration in the investment value chain? How is this communicated within organisations?
  • The outcome of ESG integration – does it make a difference?

Long term investment

  • Market issues and structural inefficiencies – how can the bar be raised for the investment community as a whole rather than being focused on picking winners?
  • Fiduciary duty
  • Behavioural finance and investment biases
  • Sovereign debt and ESG criteria

ESG engagement

  • What approach works best for engagement, individual or collaborative?
  • What are the barriers to acting in concert and how can they be addressed?
  • The impact of engagement

Financial performance

  • How is high performance achieved?
  • How do organisations do well in responsible investment for their beneficiaries and other stakeholders?
  • Risk management

ESG impact

  • How to measure impact
  • Linkages between investment and its impact
  • The intention of investors and the thinking behind their investment decisions

The Academic Workshop

We are delighted to announce the Academic Network Conference will be part of PRI in Person for the first time, with a full stream dedicated to academic research. The conference will be held on 8-10 September at ICC ExCeL London, enabling the interface between academics and investors to engage, learn and discuss the latest insights, and to network.

PRI is proud to collaborate with The Systemic Risk Centre, based at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) for the PRI Academic Workshop. This additional event is for PRI signatories, other responsible investment professionals and academics to enhance their knowledge and practices, but also for deeper interactions in a distinct community setting. The Workshop will be held on 11 September.

Both PRI in Person and the Academic Workshop will showcase selected research from the call for papers.

To find out about these high profile events, check out

The Academic Workshop will take place at the Systemic Risk Centre at the London School of Economics and will present papers on :

  • ESG integration
  • Long term investment
  • ESG engagement
  • Financial performance
  • ESG impact

The final agenda will be published on this space shortly.

For the Academic Workshop final agenda, click here.

This is a list of papers that will be presented at the Academic Workshop on the 11 September.

  • Politics and Pension Funds: Does the Political Colour of U.S. States impact the Investment Behaviour of their Public Pension Funds?
  • The ‘Price of Sin’ Aversion:Ivory Tower Illusion or Real Investable Alpha?
  • Exploring a framework of KPIS for ESG integration
  • Financial performance, investment style, and driving characteristics of SRI fixed income funds
  • Values and investments: Evidence from institutional trading responses to news components
  • Portfolio size, composition and the investor’s reputational risk: How (mis)behaviour of investee companies matters for portfolio construction
  • Corporate social responsibility and Eurozone corporate bonds: The moderating role of country sustainability
  • The Effects of Corporate Social Responsibility on M&A Likelihood
  • CFO gender and bank loan pricing: A cross-cultural perspective
  • Do Banks Really Care? Social Norms in Bank Lending 
  • Corporate Social Responsibility and Firm’s Transparency: Evidence from the Canadian Market
  • Resource Efficiency and Firm Value
  • Country-Level Institutions, Firm Value, and the Role of Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives
  • Sustainable Responsible Investment in Southern African Private Equity: Practitioner perceptions and practices.
  • The materiality of Human Capital to Corporate Financial Performance
  • Altruism or profit maximising? Motivations of the demand for extra financial information

The Academic Network

The PRI Academic Network is the engagement arm of the programme that connects practitioners and academics in a unique community of interest. It fosters a network of scholars, practitioners, policymakers and students across the Six Principles, such as encouraging research into incorporating ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes, to sharing tools, resources and best practice learning on how to enhance the effectiveness of implementing the Principles.

PRI is proud to collaborate with the following organisations:

FSI-PRI Scholarship for Best Research on Responsible Investment
FIR-PRI Awards – Finance and Sustainability
oikos PRI Young Scholars Finance Academy

RI Quarterly

RI Quarterly showcases research insights to investment professionals. Every issue focuses on theme, with a number of papers put forward by the Academic Network Steering Committee, which are translated and distilled into articles for a practitioner audience.

VOL. 7Unleashing performance through reporting and disclosure

Trust, transparency and value-attribution, these are the some of the issues surrounding reporting and disclosure, but also negative qualities such as being lengthy and burdensome. We address these key concerns facing investors, the impact on corporate performance and reveal clear results.

VOL. 5Highlights from the PRI Academic Network Conference 2014

This issue focuses on the themes included at the PRI Academic Conference in 2014 conference: ESG integration, shareholder engagement, short termism and structural market failure, social finance, and transparency and reporting.

VOL. 6Focus on the PRI impact

The present issue centres on a topic that is close to all of us: the PRI itself. The articles below discuss the history, challenges, members and future direction of the Principles for Responsible Investment.

VOL. 3‘Long termism’ in financial markets

From a sustainability angle, the long termism question is crucial. Particularly since creating a sustainable global financial system, which is the PRI’s mission.

VOL. 4Focus on Climate

In an era where our changing climate has become one of the greatest threats to both society as a whole, business and the long-term profitability and sustainability of companies and markets, the PRI encourages signatories to take action on climate risk. I hope you find the articles within this fourth edition of RI Quarterly both engaging and thought provoking.

VOL. 1ESG issue in bank loan pricing and decision making

This issue focuses on the impact of social and governance factors on corporate bank loans, a growing area of interest, but one that has received much less attention than the impact of ESG on equity risk and returns.

VOL. 2Fiduciary Duty

Defining fiduciary duty is straightforward – a legal duty for one party to act in the interests of another party – but interpreting what that means in practice can be highly subjective. The papers summarised within explore the history and future development of the concept of fiduciary duty, from global and country-specific perspectives.