3rd Annual Paper Competition: Investment Theory v. Real Behavior

IRRCiThe Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute (IRRCi) announced its third annual competition for research that examines the interaction of the real economy with investment theory.  Two papers – one academic and one practitioner – each will receive the “2014 IRRC Institute Research Award” along with a $10,000 award.

Award submissions will be accepted through March 31, 2014.  A blue-ribbon panel of renowned judges with broad finance and investment experience will carefully review submissions and select two winning papers.  The panel includes:

  • Mark Anson, Chief Investment Officer, Acadia Investment Management
  • Collette Chilton, Chief Investment Officer, Williams College
  • James Hawley, Professor & Director, Elfenworks Center for Fiduciary Capitalism, Saint Mary’s College of California
  • Robert J. Jackson, Jr., Faculty Co-Director, Ira M. Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Governance and Associate Professor of Law and Milton Handler Fellow at Columbia Law School
  • Erika Karp, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Cornerstone Capital Inc.
  • Bill Miller, Chairman, Legg Mason Capital Management
  • Nell Minow, Co-founder and Board Member, GMI Ratings

Biographies of the judges are available here.

Award submissions are accepted online here.  Winners will be announced at the Columbia University Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Governance Forum to be held in June 2014.

Submissions may be an original work created specifically for the IRRCi Research Award, or relevant unpublished papers, or papers that have been published after March 31, 2013. Winning papers will be published by IRRCi and the Social Science Research Network. IRRCi also will distribute the winning papers to some 6,000 individuals interested in the organization’s research.

“We are pleased to again sponsor this competition,” said Jon Lukomnik, IRRCi executive director.  “The 2012 and 2013 award winning papers were incredibly well received and thought-provoking for investors, academics and policymakers. That’s the standard we seek:  new, innovative research that takes a critical look at the real economy in relation to portfolio & investment theory,” Lukomnik added.

Previous award winners are:

  • 2013 Academic Award: Lucian Bebchuk of Harvard Law School, Alma Cohen of Tel-Aviv University Economics Department, and Charles Wang of Harvard Business School for Learning and the Disappearing Association between Governance and Returns. The study shows how financial markets have learned over time to appreciate the significance of certain governance provisions, and to factor these provisions into market prices and earnings forecasts.
  •  2013 Practitioner Award: Edward Waitzer, partner at Stikeman Elliott LLP in Toronto and director of the Hennick Centre for Business and Law at York University, and to Douglas Sarro, a student at Osgoode Hall Law School forThe Public Fiduciary: Emerging Themes in Canadian Fiduciary Law for Pension Trustees. The research argues that evolving trends in fiduciary responsibility will impose public and inter-generational obligations of trustees.
  • 2012 Academic Award: Professor Menachem Brenner and Dr. Yehuda Izhakianof New York University’s Stern School of Business for Asset Pricing and Ambiguity: Empirical Evidence, which examines how stock prices are impacted by ambiguity, the unknown probabilities that generate risk as opposed to marketplace volatility.
  • 2012 Practitioner Award: Steve Lydenberg for research Reason, Rationality and Fiduciary Duty, which examines the ability to understand the real world implications of investment decisions rather than just short-term financial implications.

As outlined on the IRRCi web site, Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) has dominated investment theory for a half century.  This dominance has increased the focus on security selection, portfolio construction, and other financial issues rather than attention on the real economy and investing.  Simultaneously, the growing importance of the private sector relative to the public sector in the real economy has increased scrutiny of private sector behavior and economic activity, leading to the rise of a ‘responsible investing’ movement.  Yet, a significant focus of that scrutiny is normative.  That is, the private sector entity ‘should’ act in a certain manner with minimal attention on portfolio and investment theory.  Thus, the IRRC Institute Research Award encourages new research that integrates analysis of private sector behavior with investment theory.

More information regarding the award process, submission guidelines and calendar is available here.  The award submission form is here, and a series of Frequently Asked Questions is here.

About The IRRC Institute

The IRRC Institute is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in New York, NY that provides thought leadership at the intersection of corporate responsibility and the informational needs of investors.  More information is available at www.irrcinstitute.org.

IRRCi Award Contact: Jon Lukomnik +1.212.344.2424 jon@irrcinstitute.org

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