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University of Oxford invites nominations for annual research prize for green finance

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The University of Oxford’s Greening Finance Prize, an annual prize established through an endowment provided by Insight Investment, a GBP647.8 billion global asset and risk manager, has now opened for 2024 nominations.

There are three categories:

Outstanding Research – recognising outstanding research that helps society better understand how environmental change influences finance and investment, and how economic and financial systems can contribute to achieving global environmental sustainability. 

Best Green Finance Fixed Income Paper – this category, new for 2024, is for specific research papers that examine the role environmental sustainability plays in fixed income investing. It seeks to recognise research that demonstrates rigorous financial analysis and which has practical applications for investment managers.

Outstanding Service – recognising the individuals or not-for-profit organisations who have provided outstanding support for the furtherance of green finance.

For the Green Finance Fixed Income Paper category, the Prize Panel are encouraging submissions for research in areas including, but not limited to, the following: ESG factors that are financially material for fixed income investors; instrument versus portfolio-level financial performance; the role of labelled bond issuance; bondholder engagement; asset class distinctions (e.g. corporate versus sovereign investments); bond duration and investment time horizons and their relevance to ESG; and approaches to management of data/disclosure gaps.

Nominations

Oxford University works with nominating partner organisations, selected based on their expertise and networks. The organisations play a key role in ensuring nominations are of a high calibre and reflect the international scope of the Prize. They include:

Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)

Ceres

CFA Institute

European Leveraged Finance Association (ELFA)

Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ)

Global Research Alliance for Sustainable Finance and Investment

Green Finance Institute

International Capital Market Association (ICMA)

Impact Investing Institute

The Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System (NGFS)

The Investment Association

One Planet Sovereign Wealth Fund Initiative (OPSWF)

Science-based Targets Initiative (SBTI)

UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF)

UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI)

UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI)

Prizes and judging

Prize money of up to GBP50,000 is available annually across the Prize categories, split at the discretion of the University. The Prize is only open to individuals and not-for-profit organisations.

A panel chaired by Dr Ben Caldecott, Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Group and Director of the UK Centre for Greening Finance & Investment, will review the nominations and award the prize. The prize will be awarded in a ceremony at the University of Oxford with the winners given the opportunity to give a public lecture at the University. Judges for 2024 include:

Rob Bauer, Professor of Finance, Maastricht University

Andrew Clare, Professor of Asset Management, Bayes Business School of City, University of London

Bob Eccles, Visiting Professor, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Jessica Fries, Executive Chair, Accounting for Sustainability

Nando van Kleeff, Senior Programme Manager, Laudes Foundation

Mindy Lubber, CEO and President, Ceres

Sabine Mauderer, Chair, Central banks and Supervisors Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS)

Mette Morsing, Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford

Colin Mayer, Emeritus Professor, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change

Peter Tufano, Baker Foundation Professor, Harvard Business School

Dariusz Wójcik, Professor of Financial Geography, National University of Singapore

Investing for the future

Abdallah Nauphal, Chief Executive of Insight Investment, says: “Investment managers urgently need a broad and deep bank of empirical evidence to support rational investment decision-making that can deliver long term sustainable outcomes for investors. Scientific scrutiny demonstrating rigorous financial analysis is crucial to separate investment realities from the rhetoric. Investment quality depends on academic work that has practical application in portfolio management.”

Dr Ben Caldecott says: “Academic research is essential for the proper functioning of financial markets. Researchers play an important role not only in innovation, but also in providing accountability and transparency within financial markets. The second iteration of the prize will be an opportunity to celebrate outstanding contributions made by individuals and not-for-profit organisations to greening finance and the financial system.”

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