The Rise of Self-Expression in Investment
Date: Friday, September 27
Site: Rutgers Law School (Newark, NJ)
Doug Chia, President, Soundboard Governance LLC and Fellow, Rutgers Center for Corporate Law and Governance
Sarah Dadush, Professor of Law, Rutgers Law School
Stephen Park, Associate Professor & Satell Fellow in Corporate Social Responsibility, University of Connecticut School of Business
Host: Rutgers Center for Corporate Law and Governance in partnership with the Rutgers Institute for Professional Education
CLE credit will be offered for this conference.
REGISTRATION IS FREE FOR GUESTS WHO DO NOT WANT CLE WITH PROMO CODE NOCLE648.
Register for the conference at: rutgerscle.com
Terms such as environmental-social-governance (ESG) investing, socially responsible investing, ethical investing, and impact investing are increasingly ubiquitous, both within and beyond the world of finance. More and more investors consider factors beyond financial returns and seek to achieve positive—or at least, not negative—social and environmental impacts. Amidst rapidly growing investor attention to ESG issues, an under-explored aspect of this phenomenon is the extent to which investors make decisions as a means for expressing their personally held values.
With the aim of fostering debate and discussion on the role of self-expression in the financial investment markets, this day-long event will address questions such as:
- What is the role of personal values in ESG investing?
- In what ways can ESG investors be analogized to consumers engaging in ethical or conscious consumption, and how do the modalities of ethical or conscious consumerism and ESG investing differ? What is the potential and what are the limits of applying the conscious consumerism concept to the investment markets?
- When an investment fails to generate promised non-financial returns, how can (and should) the investor’s dissatisfaction be redressed?
- How are market participants enabling the creation of new ESG investment instruments and strategies that address the personal values of investors?
- How can regulation support or inhibit the expression of personal values through the investment markets?
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Registration and Breakfast
Welcome and Framing Remarks
- Doug Chia, Fellow, Rutgers Center for Corporate Law and Governance
- Sarah Dadush, Professor, Rutgers Law School
- Stephen Park, Associate Professor & Satell Fellow in Corporate Social Responsibility, University of Connecticut School of Business
Panel 1: Self-expression in the marketplace: From individuals to institutions
Panelists will discuss how social, environmental, and other non-financial considerations come play into consumer and investor decision-making. They will address questions concerning the similarities and differences between individual consumers and investors and between different types of “expressive” investors.
- Stephen Davis, Associate Director, Harvard Law School Programs on Corporate Governance and Institutional Investors, Harvard Law School
- Adam Kanzer, Head of Stewardship, BNP Paribas Asset Management
- Meir Statman, Professor of Finance, Santa Clara University School of Business
- Melinda Tually, Country Coordinator, Australia, Fashion Revolution
- Clara Vondrich, Director, Divest Invest
Moderator: Sarah Dadush
Panel 2: Identifying the tools and strategies for self-expression in the investment markets
Panelists will speak to the different tools and strategies they employ when they engage in expressive investing, including shareholder activism, social impact bonds, ESG funds, and metrics for assessing non-financial performance.
- Debarshi Basu, VP, Researcher and Portfolio Manager, Blackrock
- Deborah Burand, Professor and Co-Director, Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship, NYU Law School
- Margaret Hartigan, CEO and Founder, Marstone
- Alex Lebow, Co-Founder, Say.com
Moderator: Stephen Park
Panel 3: Managing information asymmetries in an expressive marketplace
- Dana Brakman Reiser, Professor, Brooklyn Law School and Anne Tucker, Professor, Georgia State University College of Law, will present their paper, Buyer Beware: The Paradox Of ESG & Passive ESG Funds
- Casey O’Connor-Willis, Senior Program Manager, NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, will present her paper, Putting the “S” in ESG: Measuring Human Rights Performance for Investors
Moderator: Doug Chia
Panel 4: How law (hard and soft) supports and inhibits self-expression in the marketplace
Panelists will speak to the laws and norms that support or inhibit expressive investing. They will address questions regarding the gaps in rules and regulations as well as questions on privately-led efforts to fill these gaps. Speakers will also discuss the challenges faced by corporate boards in addressing the competing interests of various investors and other constituents, as well as the challenges faced by investor advisors who, as resource “gatekeepers”, must balance social and environmental impact with considerations around risk, return and fiduciary duty.
- Ariel Meyerstein, Senior VP, Corporate Sustainability, Citi
- Doug Rappaport, Partner, Akin Gump, LLP
- Tom Riesenberg, Director, Legal Policy & Outreach, SASB
- Cynthia Williams, Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School
Moderator: Jordan Savitch, General Counsel & Managing Director, The Glenmede Trust Company, N.A.
Closing remarks and looking ahead: 4:15-4:30
Reception to follow