18 May 2012, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford


In a globalized era of 'borderless' financial markets, the financial sector has a crucial impact on 'sustainabilities', including stability in the financial system, progress toward social equity and improvement in ecological systems. But this depends on the proliferation of effective institutional governance that is capable of fending off exploitive, short-term decision-making.

This in turn requires multiple yet integrated research agendas that work across the different actors in the financial system, while respecting national differences and financial imperatives.

Institutional and Corporate Governance for Sustainability took place at the University of Oxford on the 18th of May 2012. The conference brings together a diversity of perspectives, with the intention of converging on the common objective to promote institutional decision-making and governance practices that reflect greater concern for environmental and social consequences, not the least, the enhancement of long-term financial performance.

The Conference was funded by the Responsible Investment Community University Research Alliance Award of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the UN Principles for Responsible Investment Academic Network and the Transformations: Economy, Society and Place research cluster of the School of Geography and the Environment.


10:00-10:15Welcome Remarks
Professor Gordon L. Clark, Director of Graduate Studies, School of Geography and the Environment
10:15-11:15Panel 1: Corporate Governance: Performance and Impact?

Student Presenters:
  • Internal Corporate Governance Mechanisms and the Performance of Firms in the Context of the Recent Financial Crisis: Evidence from the UK
    Sardar Ahmad, PhD. Candidate, Open University, UK
    Presentation PDF: 328.7 KB
  • Understanding the Mechanics of Greenwashing
    Julian Koebel, PhD. Candidate, Zurich, Switzerland
    Presentation PDF: 149.9 KB

Panel Respondents and Discussion
  • Academic Respondents: Jill Solomon, King's College London; Michael Barnett, Saïd Business School (moderator)
  • Practitioner Respondents: Antonia Lee, Aberdeen Asset Management
11:15-12:15Panel 2: The Geography of Shareholder Engagement for Sustainability

Student Presenters:
  • The Geography of Delegated Shareholder Engagement by Institutional Investors
    Michael Viehs, PhD. Candidate, Maastricht University, Netherlands
  • Barriers to Shareholder Activism in Japan: Transformation in the Face of International Investors?
    Yukie Saito, DPhil Candidate, University of Oxford, UK
    Presentation PDF: 330.1 KB

Panel Respondents and Discussion
  • Academic Respondent: Dariusz Wójcik, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford
  • Practitioner Respondents: Adam Frost, Sarasin; Sandra Carlisle, F&C (moderator)
12:15-12:45Buffet Lunch
12:45-13:45Panel 3: Decision-Making for the Long-Term: Institutional Investors

Student Presenters:
  • Entropy and Sustainable Investment Beliefs: A Simple and Practical Metric for Analysing Belief Organisation
    Dane Rook, DPhil Candidate, University of Oxford, UK
    Presentation PDF: 208.5 KB
  • Achieving Sustainability Through Responsibility: An Innovative Framework for SRI Funds
    Corentin Vermeulen, Centre de Recherche Public Henri Tudor, Luxembourg
    Presentation PDF: 265.8 KB

Panel Respondents and Discussion
  • Academic Respondent: Claire Molinari, Sarasin
  • Practitioner Respondent: Phineas Glover, ABI (moderator); Jennifer Lau, Aberdeen Asset Management
13:45-14:45Panel 4: Public Policy and Global Governance Regimes

Student Presenters:
  • The Role of Climate Finance in a Sustainable Innovation Policy Regime
    Ryan Hogarth, DPhil Candidate, University of Oxford, UK
  • From Private Regulation to Public Policy: The Case of Corporate Non-Financial Reporting
    Matthew Maguire, PhD. Candidate, Boston University, US (Visiting at Warwick)
    Presentation PDF: 0.5 MB

Panel Respondents and Discussion
  • Academic Respondents: Adam Dixon, Bristol University (moderator); Matthew Haigh, SOAS
14:45-15:00Break - Coffee, Tea and Snacks
15:00-15:45Future Research Needs Panel Discussion
  • Moderator: Rob Lake, Director for Strategic Development, Principles for Responsible Investment
15:45-16:00UN PRI Academic Network
Natalie Beinisch, Principles for Responsible Investment Academic Network Manager
16:00-17:30Closing Keynote, Open Q&A, and Drinks Reception
Raj Thamotheram, President, Network for Sustainable Financial Markets and Co-Founder, PreventableSurprises.com
Presentation PDF: 1.1 MB

Contact Details

For further information or questions regarding the conference, please contact: Heather Hachigian or Sarah McGill.