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 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
Business Schools for impact

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. 9
POST COP 21: Investing in a low carbon world
The present issue calls on investors to heed the new climate change calculus of the Paris Agreement. The articles discuss the location and nature of stranded assets, how is it possible to hedge climate change risks via asset allocation decisions and the use of decarbonised indexes, what is the role of investment consultants in supporting the transition to a low carbon economy and what policy framework is needed to shift assets allocation in sustainable energy infrastructure.
VOL. 7
Unleashing 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. 8
Highlights from PRI In Person 2015
The Academic Network Conference was integrated with PRI in Person for the first time this year, with a full stream dedicated to academic research. This issue presents the three winning papers exploring the political influence on investment preferences in the US, ESG data and materiality and the illusion of returns from sin stock. From the annual conference this issues presents the discussion on two crucial topics in sustainable investment: does ESG pay off financially? and is all investing impact investing?
VOL. 5
Highlights 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. 6
Focus 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. 4
Focus 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. 1
ESG 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. 2
Fiduciary 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.