Law and policy on responsible investment

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

Fiduciary law, which governs the relationship between trustees and beneficiaries, is complex, however it is accepted that the integration of ESG issues into investment analysis in order to better predict financial performance is permissible and even required in most legal settings.

In this webinar, we discussed definitions of fiduciary duties, the types of financial institutions that are subject to fiduciary duty, the extent to which fiduciary duties can help or hinder responsible investment and the possibility to reform existing fiduciary rules.


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Speakers

Paul Watchman, Special Advisor Legal and Fidcuiary Duties, UNEP FI

Paul Watchman is an Independent Legal Advisor. He was named in 2006, with Hank Paulson, formerly Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs and now United States Treasury Secretary, as one of the five most influential world figures in the development of Sustainable Banking. He has lectured and published widely and is the author or co-author of many legal textbooks, collections of essays on the law, reports for governments, government agencies and the United Nations and articles in leading academic, legal and professional journals. Paul is a former Visiting Professor and a Fellow of the Centre for Environment Law at the University of Aberdeen . He lectures presently on Legal Risks and Financial markets on LSE’s LL.M course.

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Keith L. Johnson, Head, Institutional Investor Consulting Services, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.

Keith L. Johnson heads the Institutional Investor Legal Services team at Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c. Mr. Johnson represents pension funds and institutional investors on a global basis on corporate governance, fiduciary, responsible investment and securities litigation matters. His practice focuses on serving as pension fund fiduciary and investment counsel and as a responsible investment advisor to large international investors. He is currently Co-Chair of the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys (NAPPA) Working Group on Alternative Investments and is a coordinating team member of the Network for Sustainable Financial Markets, an international think-tank. Mr. Johnson also acts as program director of the Wisconsin International Corporate Governance Initiative at the University of Wisconsin Law School. He has published numerous articles on pension fund and institutional investor issues and regularly presents at legal and investor conferences in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. He is a member of the Wisconsin Bar Association, American College of Investment Counsel and International Corporate Governance Network. Prior to joining Reinhart, Mr. Johnson was legal counsel to the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB), the ninth largest public pension fund in the United States, for more than 21 years, including almost seven as chief legal officer. Mr. Johnson holds Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Law Degrees from the University of Wisconsin.

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Benjamin Richardson, Senior Canada Research Chair, University of British Columbia

Professor Richardson joined the UBC Faculty of Law in January 2011, and holds the Senior (tier 1) Canada Research Chair in Environmental Law & Sustainability. Previously, he was a Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University (2003-10) and earlier was a Senior Lecturer at the law faculties of the University of Manchester and University of Auckland. Prior to working in academia, Professor Richardson was a policy advisor to the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service in Australia, and a legal consultant to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) in Nepal and Kenya. He completed his undergraduate studies in law and political science at Macquarie University and his PhD at the Australian National University.

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 Sebastian Siegl, Post doctorate student, Sustainable Investment, Abo Akademi

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