Department of Banking and Financial Management University of Piraeus
Academic Seminar Series
Thursday, April 27th, 2023 / Time: 16:15 – 17:30, Online
Revealed Beliefs about Responsible Investing: Evidence from
Mutual Fund Managers
Department of Banking and Finance, University of Zurich
What do asset managers believe regarding the financial performance of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investment strategies? We address this question by exploring the relationship between fund managers’ co-ownership and portfolio ESG performance. Managers with more “skin in the game” exhibit significantly lower ESG performance in funds they manage than their peers. ESG performance is sensitive to changes in managerial ownership. Co-investing managers were less likely to increase their stake in high-ESG stocks after an exogenous shock in ESG-driven fund flows. Moreover, the negative effect of managerial ownership on ESG performance is stronger for managers paid to maximize assets under management, and weaker for managers paid exclusively to maximize financial returns. Overall, the results are contrary to what one would expect if managers really considered ESG strategies an enhanced form of portfolio management.
Alexander Wagner is a Professor of Finance at the University of Zurich (UZH) and a Senior Chair at the Swiss Finance Institute. He leads the Executive Education of UZH’s Faculty of Business, Economics, and Informatics, and he is Co-Head of the UZH Center for Crisis Competence. He earned his PhD in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University. Prior to that, he completed studies in economics and law in his hometown Linz, Austria. Wagner’s former practical experience derives from his work as an independent counsel for PwC and from serving as the chairman of a proxy advisor. His research focuses on corporate finance and governance, sustainable finance, and behavioral economics and finance.
This seminar will be online on Teams. Click here to attend