Contents:
Confirmed Speakers
Moderators
Agenda

Reality Checking Sustainable Finance

Hosted event

June 4, 2024

1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET

MSCI, 250 Greenwich Street, 48th floor | New York, NY

More than three-quarters of institutional investors globally say that consideration of environmental, social and governance factors helps them price in the unexpected and informs their overall decision-making. Yet the field of sustainable finance has seen a series of developments, from innovations in data and measurement to outflows from sustainability-focused funds and politically motivated attacks, that have spurred practitioners, academics and policymakers alike to examine anew the factors that drive the creation of long-term value.

Join us in person at MSCI on June 4 for a series of conversations that will address current challenges and opportunities in sustainable investing. Together with leaders from finance, academia and business we will:

  • Delve into the latest data on sustainability and performance
  • Explore divergence in sustainability measurement
  • Examine the role of diversity in creating long-term value
  • Discuss crosscurrents that have set sustainable finance up for a wave of debate

Register here

Panels will feature rapid-fire presentations followed by thought-provoking discussions centered on how participants can navigate the evolving landscape of sustainable finance.

 

Confirmed Speakers

Carine Smith Ihenacho

Chief Governance and Compliance Officer, Norges Bank Investment Management

Limin Yang

Managing Director, Real Assets, Sustainability & Climate Change, CPP Investments

Sharon Hendricks 
Sharon Hendricks

Professor, Los Angeles City College, and Board Member, California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS)

Olivier Souliac

Head of Indexing, Xtrackers Products, DWS

Kelly Shue

Professor of Finance, Yale School of Management

Reena Aggarwal

Robert E. McDonough Professor of Finance and Director, Georgetown Psaros Center for Financial Markets and Policy

Florian Berg

Research Scientist, MIT Sloan School of Management, and Co-Founder, The Aggregate Confusion Project

Ulrich Atz

Research Fellow, Center for Sustainable Business, New York University’s Stern School of Business

Daniel Rourke

Head of ESG Integration, J.P. Morgan Private Bank

Jon Hale

former Head of Sustainability Research, Morningstar

Mamadou-Abou Sarr

Co-Founder and President of V-Square Quantitative Management

Matthew Sekol

Global ESG and Sustainability Advisor, Microsoft

Sandra Nessing

VP & Chief Sustainability Officer, American Electric Power

Moderators

Linda-Eling Lee, Founding Director, MSCI Sustainability Institute
Linda-Eling Lee

Founding Director, MSCI Sustainability Institute

Rumi Mahmood, Research Director, MSCI Sustainability Institute
Rumi Mahmood

Research Director, MSCI Sustainability Institute

Agenda

 

1:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Registration and welcome

2:00 p.m. – 2:10 p.m.

Opening remarks

Linda-Eling Lee, Founding Director, MSCI Sustainability Institute

2:10 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.

What’s Up with Sustainability and Performance?

The rise in sustainable investing has brought with it a range of academic research examining the relationship between the integration of sustainability into investment decision-making and long-term financial returns. This panel will focus on how academic researchers are assessing the relationship between sustainability and financial performance, perspectives from investors and companies, and how it influences our evolving understanding of the drivers of long-term value.

Moderator:
Linda-Eling Lee, Founding Director, MSCI Sustainability Institute

 

Speakers:
Ulrich Atz, Research Fellow, Center for Sustainable Business, New York University’s Stern School of Business
Daniel Rourke, Head of ESG Integration, J.P. Morgan Private Bank
Kelly Shue, Professor of Finance, Yale School of Management
Olivier Souliac, Head of Indexing, Xtrackers Products, DWS

2:50 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Sustainability Ratings: Can We Agree to Disagree?

Though divergence in sustainability ratings may sound like a recipe for confusion, the differences themselves can equip investors with information. This panel will focus on why sustainability ratings differ and how risk-minded owners and managers of assets draw on those differences and the data that underlines them to inform their view of companies.

Moderator:
Jon Hale, former Head of Sustainability Research, Morningstar

 

Speakers:
Florian Berg, Research Scientist, MIT Sloan School of Management, and Co-Founder, The Aggregate Confusion Project
Carine Smith Ihenacho, Chief Governance and Compliance Officer, Norges Bank Investment Management
Limin Yang, Managing Director, Real Assets, Sustainability & Climate Change, CPP Investment

3:30 p.m. – 3:40 p.m.

Break

3:40 p.m. – 4:20 p.m.

From Boardroom to Bottom Line: What Do We Know about Diversity and Value Creation?

The benefits of diversity are rooted in the aim that access to a greater pool of talent can improve decision-making and guard against groupthink. Such efforts, however, have come under the microscope following a ruling last year by the U.S. Supreme Court that race in university admissions is not a compelling state interest and a series of academic studies that paint a mixed picture on ties between diversity (especially in the boardroom and C-suite) and corporate performance. This conversation will focus on what the evidence does (and does not) tell us about building a workplace that looks like society and how the learnings may help both companies and investors in shaping their strategies.

Moderator:
Rumi Mahmood, Research Director, MSCI Sustainability Institute

 

Speakers:

Reena Aggarwal, Robert E. McDonough Professor of Finance and Director, Georgetown Psaros Center for Financial Markets and Policy
Sandra Nessing, VP & Chief Sustainability Officer, American Electric Power
Matthew Sekol, Global ESG and Sustainability Advisor, Microsoft
Mamadou-Abou Sarr, Co-Founder and President of V-Square Quantitative Management

4:20 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Sustainable Finance in the Mirror

The lion’s share of big investors in every region say that consideration of sustainability factors in investment decision-making offers a more holistic view of risk to support better-informed decision. But that hasn’t prevented net outflows from sustainability focused funds, stopped investors from staying mum about progress or silenced critics who have sought to politicize this particular facet of fiduciary investing. Together we will aim to untangle the contradictions and make sense of the dichotomy between attitudes and actions.

Speakers:
Sharon Hendricks, Professor, Los Angeles City College, and Board Member, California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS)
Linda-Eling Lee, Founding Director, MSCI Sustainability Institute

5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Networking over drinks and light fare

About the MSCI Sustainability Institute

The MSCI Sustainability Institute is on a mission to drive progress by capital markets to create sustainable value and tackle global challenges such as climate change. We aim to align data, analysis, policy, and action. We do this by drawing upon MSCI’s experience and expertise as a leading provider of sustainability data and metrics to the investment industry to connect leaders from across finance, academia, business, policymaking and society.