CalPERS launches Sustainable Investment Research Initiative

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CalPERS has launched the Sustainable Investment Research Initiative aimed at advancing the pension fund's understanding of the impact sustainability factors have on financial performance, confirmed Anne Simpson, CalPERS senior portfolio manager and director of global governance.

Ms. Simpson said in an interview that the $253.2 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, will partner with the UC Davis Graduate School of Management as well as Columbia Law School's Ira M. Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership to collect and review papers from scholars and investment practitioners globally in the fields of finance, economics, accounting, law and business.

Ms. Simpson said authors of the most distinguished papers will be invited to present their research at the inaugural Sustainability & Finance Symposium, to be hosted by UC Davis on June 7.

Ms. Simpson said she expects the selected papers will help CalPERS determine best practices as it implements environmental, social and governance factors into investment decisions across its investment portfolio.

“We look forward to working with CalPERS on this path, breaking research to provide an independent analysis to better understand the potential impact of ESG issues on capital markets, companies and intermediaries in the investment chain,” said Steven C. Currall, dean of the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, in a statement issued by CalPERS. “This project is both theoretical and practical.”