The Academic Research team connect investment practitioners with academic insight by bringing investors and academics together to collaborate, by sponsoring bespoke practitioner-focused research and by bringing the best insights from existing academic research to investors in a practical format.

PRI Academic Network Conference and Call for Papers 2017

The conference

The PRI is proud to collaborate with University of Hamburg for the ninth Academic Network Conference. We are delighted to announce that the conference will once again be a part of PRI in Person and will be held on 26-27 September at the InterContinental Berlin.

The conference focuses on the latest research on responsible investment practices. The event is for academic researchers in the field of SRI and will also be an opportunity for academics and investors to engage with each other, learn and discuss the latest insights, and to network.


Call for Papers – deadline 1st April 2017

PRI Academic Network Conference 2017 - Call for paper

Aligning with key themes at PRI in Person, we invite submissions of full papers, although extended abstracts are acceptable, that focus on the following topics (example issues provided for illustration). We encourage both theoretical and empirical contributions from diverse business and social science disciplines.

  • Working to achieve a sustainable financial system
  • ESG integration
  • The role of responsible investment in meeting todays investment challenges
  • ESG engagement

Award categories

  • The most outstanding research – qualitative
  • The most outstanding research – quantitative
  • The best student paper

Find out more about the conference, the Call for Papers and how to apply at


Professor Alexander Bassen, University of Hamburg



How and why might investors respond to economic inequality?

The widening economic inequality gap is one of the most pressing challenges we face, but what can investors do practically to address this? 

This discussion paper by the Initiative for Responsible Investment at the Harvard Kennedy School accompanies an international roundtable series in Australia, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, the UK and the US that will be held over June 2016 to April 2017. It outlines: 

  • impact on economic growth
  • inequality as a lens for investment analysis
  • efforts to mitigate inequality
  • financialization
  • the role of investors in policy discussions 

When the roundtables conclude, research will be commissioned to support and guide investors.

How to get involved

Please contact Katherine Ng, Head of Academic Research if you would like to attend a roundtable or for further information.


The PRI commissioned two projects from its Call for Research on the factors for success in corporate engagement. The findings will presented at PRI in Person, Berlin 2017.

We anticipate the results will help signatories to review and implement their engagement strategies more effectively.

The projects are:

Inclusive capitalism: The impact of global shareholder engagements

  • Professor Elroy Dimson, Judge Business School, Cambridge University, London Business School; Chair of Strategy Council, Norwegian GPFG; Director of FTSE International
  • Assistant Professor Oğuzhan Karakaş, Boston College
  • Associate Professor Xi Li, London School of Economics and Temple University
  • Vaska Atta-Darkua, PhD student, Judge Business School, Cambridge University

How institutional investors' collective engagement on ESG issues create value for investors and corporations: A configurational analysis

  • Professor Jean-Pascal Gond, Cass Business School, City University
  • Dr Rieneke Slager, Nottingham University
  • Dr Michael Viehs, Engagement Professional, Hermes EOS
  • Dr Niamh O'Sullivan, Nottingham University
  • Mikael Homanen, PhD student, Cass Business School
  • Szilvia Mosony, PhD student, Cass Business School


POST Cop 21  Investing  in a low carbon world

Volume 10

We look into COP22 and two research initiatives: how and why investors might respond to economic inequality and also the interplay of salience, materiality and financial performance for human rights. We bring together academic papers that explore the impact of ESG issues on returns, and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for fintech.

POST Cop 21  Investing  in a low carbon world

Volume 9

Calling on investors to heed the new climate change calculus of the Paris Agreement, articles discuss the location and nature of stranded assets, if it is possible to hedge climate change risks via asset allocation decisions and the use of decarbonised indexes, the role of investment consultants in supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy and what policy framework is needed to shift asset allocations towards sustainable energy infrastructure.

Highlights from PRI In Person 2015

Volume 8

The Academic Network Conference was integrated with PRI in Person for the first time in 2015, 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 stocks.

Unleashing performance through reporting and disclosure

Volume 7

Reporting and disclosure are often seen as lengthy and burdensome, but done well they bring transparency, thus breeding trust and creating value. Is it possible to unleash better performance through better reporting and disclosure?

Focus on the PRI impact

Volume 6

Nearly 10 years on from its inception, it is important to assess the impact of the PRI on responsible investment practices. To what extent is the vision to mobilise asset owners being achieved, and how effective is the PRI at enabling investors to act collectively?

Highlights from the PRI Academic Network Conference 2014

Volume 5

The best of the 2014 Academic Network conference, including winning papers from the PRI-Sustainalytics prize for Excellence in Responsible Investment Research. Topics include: ESG integration; shareholder engagement; short-termism and structural market failure; social finance and transparency and reporting.

Focus on Climate

Volume 4

Our changing climate is one of the greatest threats to society, business and long-term profitability. How can companies better report on greenhouse gas emissions and how do investors respond to information on climate change when it is made available?

‘Long termism’ in financial markets

Volume 3

The PRI’s mission is to create a sustainable global financial system. Is its belief that this is necessary for creating long-term value correct, and does the short-termism that led to the financial crisis still exist?

Fiduciary Duty

Volume 2

Fiduciary duty is easy to define but translating what it means for investment practice can be highly subjective. Interpretations have varied throughout time and across regions, so what might inform definitions of this crucial investment concept in future?

ESG issue in bank loan pricing and decision making

Volume 1

Banks occupy a privileged position in the finance world, gaining access to financial information about their borrowers that public debt or equity holders do not have, and imposing terms and conditions as they see fit. So what impact do factors such as board structure, shareholder rights and corporate social responsibility have on loan pricing, and what does this tell us?


The Academic Network is the team’s engagement arm, connecting investors, policy makers and academics to direct research and share resources.

The PRI is proud to collaborate with the following organisations:

Odoo - Sample 1 for three columns

FSI-PRI Scholarship for Best Research on Responsible Investment

Odoo - Sample 2 for three columns

FIR-PRI Awards – Finance and Sustainability

Odoo - Sample 3 for three columns

Business Schools for Impact


The 2015 Academic Workshop, sponsored by Sycomore AM, brought together more than 70 investors and academics to discuss the top responses to the PRI’s call for papers.


Immature or impossible: Making environmental, social and corporate governance issues calculable for investors?

A. Young-Ferris (University of Sydney), J. Roberts


The ‘price of sin’ aversion: Ivory tower illusion or real investable alpha?

H. Adamsson (Henley Business School), A. Hoepner


Red versus Blue: Do Political Dimensions influence the Investment Preferences of State Pension Funds?

L. Schopohl (Henley Business School), A. Hoepner



CFO gender and bank loan pricing: A cross-cultural perspective

Clarissa Hauptmann


Sustainable Responsible Investment in Southern African Private Equity: Practitioner perceptions and practices

Xolisa Dhlamini


The integration of ESG criteria into investment processes considering investors’ preferences

Elena Escrig Olmedo


The importance of sustainability and transparency labels in investment decisions between conventional and sustainable mutual funds

Bernhard Zwergel


SRI research: Four competing agendas

Jean Pascal Gond


Corporate responses to external metrics: a dynamic perspective on decoupling

Rieneke Slager


Valeria Piani

Nathan Fabian

Director, Policy and research

See more on the PRI Executive team

Sagarika Chatterjee

Sagarika Chatterjee

Associate Director, Policy and research

See more on the  PRI Executive team

Katherine Ng

Katherine Ng, Head of Academic Research

Katherine joined the PRI in June 2014. She is responsible for work bridging the gap between investors and academics.

Previously, she managed the research and insights programme at global accountancy body ACCA, developing, commissioning and communicating impactful and engaging research to stakeholders around the world. She was previously an academic researcher working on European Commission funded projects on science and society.

Katherine holds an MA in International Relations and is a qualified programme manager (MSP).

Camilla Capotorto

Camilla Capotorto, Research Officer 

Camilla joined the PRI in October 2016. She is responsible for supporting the day-to-day management of PRI’s research activities and liaising with PRI’s Academic Network. Previously, she worked at the Press Recognition Panel as a Research and Business Officer and at ComRes as a political researcher. 

She holds a BSc in Communication and Journalism, an MA in Development Studies from the University of Rome Sapienza, an MSc in Globalisation and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and an MPhil from the University of Greenwich. 

Her research project focussed on the causal relation between neoliberal water management strategies and movements of resistance in Latin America, specifically Argentina, Brazil and Colombia.