Good governance causes high corporate social responsibility, which can enhance portfolio performance, according to a recent, prize-winning study.

The study by Harvard University professor Allen Ferrell and two colleagues at Tilburg University in the Netherlands won the 2014 Moskowitz Prize for Socially Responsible Investing, awarded yesterday at the 25th annual SRI Conference--The Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing--in Colorado Springs, Colo. Almost 600 financial professionals are attending the three-day event.

In accepting the prize, Ferrell told the audience that he was “particularly thrilled to present an academic work that hopefully could speak to a wider audience--people out in the ‘real world’ so-to-speak that are thinking about these issues.”

Since 1996, the Moskowitz Prize has recognized outstanding quantitative research in socially responsible investing. Judges from academic and investment institutions evaluate each year’s submissions based on three criteria: practical significance to practitioners of socially responsible investing; appropriateness and rigor of quantitative methodologies; and novelty of results.

Winning papers receive a $5,000 prize and recognition at the annual conference. This year’s paper was chosen from 40 submissions to the Center for Responsible Business at the University of California Berkeley's Haas School of Business, which determines the annual honorees.

The Moskowitz Prize is named after Milton Moskowitz, one of the early researchers in socially responsible investing and one of the first to publish comparisons of the financial performance of portfolios screened, and unscreened, for social and environmental impacts.

Sponsors of the Moskowitz Prize are Calvert Investments, First Affirmative Financial Network, a registered investment advisory firm that produces the annual SRI Conference, Nelson Capital Management, Rockefeller and Co., Neuberger Berman and Trillium Asset Management.

The paper, “Socially Responsible Firms,” can be viewed via this link.


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