NSFM Edinburgh workshop; World Economic Forum report on short-term investing; ESG data - a behavioural experiment; FT on 'walking the talk' in SRI

Event alert: Network for Sustainable Financial Markets fringe workshop prior to the opening of the Just Banking conference in Edinburgh, 19 April 2012:

Did investors act as the enablers of the banking crisis?  What should / could we do to be a bigger part of the solution?

Further details and instructions on how to register available here.

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Report: Long-term investing can be severely distorted by inaccurate, short-term focus  

Inaccurate measurement of investment values, returns, risks and liabilities can create substantial distortions to long-term investment strategies and drive long-term investors to adopt a short-term orientation, according to the Measurement, Governance and Long-term Investing report, released 29 March 2012 by the World Economic Forum. NSFM participant Stephen Davis is a member of the Global Agenda Council on Long-term Investing involved in the report.

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NSFMer Ralf Frank  has conducted, with Hamburg University, a series of behavioural experiments on how mainstream investors use ESG data in the context of integrated vs. separate reports. 

In an experiment with investment professionals, the study investigates whether the existing reporting practice that leads to disconnect between financial statements and sustainability reports contributes to a cognitively biased processing of ESG information. Read the draft article here.

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Expectations that socially responsible investing would move from niche to mainstream have not been fulfilled. Managers 'talk more than walk' on SRI reports Ruth Sullivan in the FT, drawing on NSFM President, Raj Thamotheram and participant Will Oulton's views to support her hypothesis:

“There is lots of activity but mainstreaming into the core [investment] process is still not happening enough,” says Raj,  “There is a gap between the walk and the talk,”