A Framework for Responsible Investment, with particular focus on proxy voting

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Academic Profile

Ian is a part-time DPhil Candidate through Oxford's Department of Continuing Education. He holds graduate degrees from Carleton and Dalhousie Universities and undergraduate degrees from the University of British Columbia, as well as a post-graduate diploma from Oxford. He holds the CFA designation and is a longstanding leader and volunteer within the CFA community, including as one of the Institute's regional lecturers in financial ethics. He is chair of the board of the Responsible Investment Association (Canada), and has worked in the investment industry for over twenty years.

Responsible Investment - the incorporation of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors into the selection of stock and the voting of proxies - is increasingly incorporated into institutional investors' mandates. Despite the analytical rigour of ESG integration, many investors also use a 'values-based' approach through negative (including divestiture) or positive screening of stocks. Ian's thesis will situate the valuation and values-based approaches to security selection within a robust framework, and then adapt and extend the framework to the proxy voting practices of different categories of shareholder. It will analyse the proxy voting practices of the different institutions and assess the voting patterns against the framework.

Ian's first paper, Responsible Investment Requires a Proxy Voting System Responsive to Retail Investors was published in 2018 as a chapter in Designing a Sustainable Financial System (Walker T., Kibsey S., Crichton R. (eds)). It was awarded Best Student Paper at the 2017 PRI Annual Academic Conference. He is also a book reviewer for the Financial Analysts Journal, and contributed an article — Navigating the Responsible Investment Landscape — to the 2018 Canadian Responsible Investment Trends Report.