Academic research

The PRI's academic research programme provides grant funding to support and develop innovative responsible investment research, showcases research findings for an investor audience and convenes a vibrant, global community of nearly 4,000 academics and investors through the Academic Network. To hear more about our academic research work, contact us.

Investing in a just transition

Just transition

Climate change and the just transition: a guide for investor action

A ‘just transition’ for workers and communities as the world’s economy responds to climate change was included as part of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Economic inequality

Income inequality

Why and how investors can respond to income inequality

Institutional investors are increasingly realising that income inequality—the gap in income and wealth between the very affluent and the rest of society—has become one of the most noteworthy socioeconomic issues of our time.

Success factors in corporate engagement

The PRI commissioned two projects from its call for research on the factors for success in corporate engagement.

  1. The findings from How ESG engagement creates value for investors and companies, led by Professor Jean-Pascal Gond (Cass Business School, City University), are now available:

How ESG engagement creates value for investors and companies

This piece of research, commissioned by the PRI, looks at how ESG engagement creates value for both companies and investors, amid growing evidence that engagement by investors with companies on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues can create shareholder value.

  1. Initial findings from How institutional investors’ collective engagement on ESG issues create value for investors and corporations: A configurational analysis, led by Professor Elroy Dimson (Judge Business School, Cambridge University, London Business School; Chair of Strategy Council, Norwegian GPFG; Director of FTSE International), are available here.

Academic Network Conference 2018

PRI Academic Network Conference 2018

The PRI collaborated with the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, Davis for the tenth Academic Network Conference which took place on 11 September at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. We were delighted to welcome nearly 130 academics and investors. Stay tuned for updates on the next PRI Academic Network Conference taking place on 9 September 2019 in Paris.

Partnership opportunities

The PRI is offering a suite of exciting partnership packages for the 2019 annual Academic Network Conference. Each partnership offers organisations the opportunity to showcase commitment and associate themselves with expertise and research in responsible investment whilst gaining exposure to peers and thought leaders through branding, hosting networking engagements, supporting prizes and bursaries. For more details, please contact the Partnerships team at partnerships@unpri.org.

Download the brochure

Economic inequality

The PRI is commissioning research on economic inequality to support and guide investors in how to respond. The project was launched with the discussion paper below from the Initiative for Responsible Investment at the Harvard Kennedy School, accompanied an international roundtable series held in Australia, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, the UK and the US.

Why and how might investors respond to economic inequality? cover

Why and how might investors respond to economic inequality?

Recent research and discourse on inequality has suggested that economic inequality is growing, may have harmful effects on economic growth, may be a sign of unproductive economic activity, rent-seeking or economic instability and is becoming a concern in political and civil society.

How and where will millennials invest?

Modern portfolio theory is core to finance and how we invest, but in its practical application ESG factors are merely “externalities;” therefore, how can responsible investment ever become “investment” if education treats RI as a module – or does not feature at all? A hot topic at PRI in Person 2018.

Levers, levels and learning: how can investors respond to economic inequality?

Also at PRI in Person in September, the topic of how investors can respond to economic inequality was discussed at the Academic Network conference.

The 2018 investor climate calendar

2018-02-19T10:54:00+00:00

2018 will be an important year in the race against time to safeguard the environment.

Social cohesion and inclusive growth: Investment risks and opportunities

2017-10-13T18:11:00+01:00

Social cohesion is an increasing concern in the investment sphere, skewing traditional notions and models.

RIQ 12 cover

RI Quarterly vol. 12: Highlights from the Academic Network Conference and PRI in Person 2017

2017-10-13T18:11:00+01:00

At a time of heightened political and societal sensitivity, the debates that took place at the PRI Academic Network Conference 2017 were brought into sharp focus.

How and where will millennials invest?

2017-10-13T18:09:00+01:00

Millennials are changing the nature of finance and how it works (or doesn’t), corporations, the investment and pensions industry, and investment itself.

Empowered millennial RIQ

Handle with care: The empowered millennial

2017-10-13T17:57:00+01:00

Millennials are more empowered than previous generations and they know what they want: to invest in the “future”.

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How ESG engagement creates value: bringing the corporate perspective to the fore

2017-10-02T18:16:00+01:00

Corporate engagement on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues is on the rise among investors. However, the mechanisms through which value is typically created have hitherto been an underexplored area, particularly from a corporate perspective.

Business team meeting 178533569 copy

Local leads, backed by global scale: the drivers of successful engagement

2017-09-19T18:29:00+01:00

The PRI encourages and facilitates collaborative engagement, yet robust evidence of its effectiveness in driving corporate change and creating value for investors remains elusive.

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Beyond modern portfolio theory – how investors can mitigate systemic risk through the portfolio

2017-08-10T18:46:00+01:00

The near universally adopted modern portfolio theory (MPT) put forward by Nobel laureate Harry Markowitz in 1952 is blind to the effect of portfolio investment on the capital markets’ overall risk/return profile and on the macro systems upon which the market relies for stability.

Social issues RIQ

Long-term social issues drive economic growth, so why aren't investors behind the wheel?

2017-07-17T17:41:00+01:00

Long-term social issues – the ‘S’ in ESG – matter for investors. They are key factors determining both long-term GDP growth and the level of equilibrium of interest rates.

Professor Susan Vinnicombe on The Davies Committee

2017-06-05T19:26:00+01:00

“It was a very successful campaign.” That is how Professor Susan Vinnicombe describes the outcome of the 2015 Davies Report.

all RI Quarterly articles