Engagement as a mechanism to change investee ESG practices

This webinar is part of a series of discussions between academics and practitioners that are designed to stimulate research on responsible investment.

Engagement is believed to be one of the most effective tools available to responsible investors to foment behaviour changes in companies.

This webinar addressed the following questions, among others:

  • Which issues can be quantified as material for investors to engage on? 
  • Can engagement be quantified in terms of its financial impact on long term shareholder value and societal value? 
  • How should resources be allocated to stewardship?

Questions & Answers

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Speakers

 Vidette Bullock Mixon, Director, Corporate Relations, General Board of Pension and Health Benefits

Vidette Bullock Mixon is Director of Corporate Relations for the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of The United Methodist Church. The General Board is a not-for-profit, administrative general agency of The United Methodist Church responsible for the supervision and administration of pension, disability, death and health benefit plans for more than 74,000 clergy and lay employees of the Church and manages and invests over $15 billion dollars in assets. Ms. Mixon oversees the research and monitoring of corporate policies and practices to ensure adherence to the General Board’s socially responsible investment program, monitors proxy voting, files shareholder resolutions and communicates with corporate management on corporate governance, environmental and social issues.

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Wilco van Heteren, Senior Engagement Specialist, Robeco.

Mr. van Heteren is senior engagement specialist at Robeco’s Responsible Investing department. His main areas of concern are corporate governance and issues about human rights and labour conditions. On behalf of Robeco and its clients, he enters into dialog with invested companies, encouraging them to improve their conduct in terms of corporate social responsibility. From 2002, Mr. van Heteren held similar positions at Robeco and PGGM Investments. Before that, from 1998 onwards, he was junior portfolio manager (equity) and quantitative researcher at Robeco. He holds a master’s degree in Econometrics from the Erasmus University Rotterdam..

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 Fabrizio Ferraro, Associate Professor of Strategic Management, IESE Business School

Professor Ferraro is currently studying the emergence and consolidation of the socially responsible investing field. His research project was selected for support by a European Research Council (ERC) 5-year grant. Previously he studied the emergence of novel institutions such as sustainability reporting and the functioning of novel organizational forms like open source software communities. He has published in journals such as the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Organization Science and his article “Economics Language and Assumptions: How Theories Can Become Self-fulfilling” won the 2006 Best Paper Award from the Academy of Management Review. Before joining IESE, he completed a PhD in Management from Stanford University.

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