Moskowitz Winner: CSR & Executive Compensation

Moskowitz Prize Winner Announced

Moskowitz prize winner for 2017 was announced today by the Center for Responsible Business at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, in collaboration with The SRI Conference (). The prize is named after research pioneer Milt Moskowitz, one of the first researchers to look for the connection between good corporate citizenship and profitability. Sustainable and responsible investing remains the focus.

This year, the Moskowitz Prize acknowledged the superior quality of the paper Corporate Governance and the Rise of Integrating Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Criteria in Executive Compensation: Effectiveness and Implications for Firm Outcomes released in September 2017.

The study examined the integration of CSR contracting – that is the linking of executive compensation to social and environmental performance – and how it affects firm-level outcomes. Assistant professors Caroline Flammer (Boston University), Bryan Hong (University of Western Ontario Ivey Business School) and Dylan Minor (Northwestern UniversityKellogg School of Management) conducted the study.

Flammer and her co-authors compiled a new database that aggregates CSR-contracting data collected between 2004 and 2013 from company proxy statements. The authors explored how CSR contracting helps focus managers’ attention on areas that are less salient, but financially material, to the firm in the long term, thereby enhancing corporate governance.

Key findings from the study show that the adoption of CSR contracting leads to:

  • An increase in long-term orientation on the part of managers;
  • An increase in firm value;
  • An increase in social and environmental performance;
  • A reduction in emissions; and
  • An increase in green innovations.

According to Steve Schueth, producer of The SRI Conference and president of First Affirmative Financial Network:

This study provides practitioners of sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI) investing with data that shows how companies that do good also perform well. The authors’ findings add to the mounting evidence that investing in companies that integrate sustainability best practices into their operations does not hinder financial performance, but can improve it – especially for their long-term investors.

“This is a difficult, multifaceted topic, and there has been little direct study of it,” said Lloyd Kurtz, senior portfolio manager, Wells Fargo Private Bank and faculty co-chair, Moskowitz Prize. “The authors’ new database of corporate pay arrangements creates the first really clear picture of the relationships between executive pay, corporate social performance and firm value.”

Moskowitz Prize: Second Prize

In its 22nd year, the Moskowitz Prize also recognized another study Why Do Investors Hold Socially Responsible Mutual Funds? with an honorable mention by authors Arno Riedl and Paul Smeets of Maastricht University.

Lloyd Kurtz and Caroline Flammer will be at The SRI Conference to discuss these and other recent studies that are adding value to the responsible investment industry. This is always one of my favorite parts of the very informative Conference.

Moskowitz Prize: Background

Since its inception in 1996, the Moskowitz Prize has been awarded annually at The SRI Conference. The 28th annual SRI Conference will be held at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, California on November 1-3, 2017. Register now to get the conference rate at this historic venue.

The 2017 Moskowitz Prize sponsors are Bailard, Calvert Group, First Affirmative Financial Network, Neuberger Berman, Trillium Asset Management, and Wells Fargo. To learn more about the history of the prize, this year’s submissions and acknowledgements, or for more information about the Moskowitz Prize, please visit the Haas School’s site.

About The SRI Conference

The 28th annual SRI Conference will be held November 1–3, 2017, at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, CA. Produced by The SRI Conference and Community, LLC in collaboration with many organizations working to direct investment capital toward the creation of a truly sustainable future, The SRI Conference is the premier annual forum for investment professionals and investors engaged in sustainable, responsible, impact (SRI) investing. Conference participants include investment professionals, institutional investors, and related organizations. The program features educational sessions and opportunities to network with hundreds of like-minded individuals, organizations, and leaders in the field of sustainable, responsible, impact investing.

About The Center for Responsible Business, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley

Building upon over a decade of research, teaching, and industry engagement, the Center for Responsible Business (CRB) brings together students, company leaders and faculty to develop leaders who redefine business for a sustainable future. The CRB, part of the Institute for Business and Social Impact at the Berkeley Haas School of Business, inspires students, practitioners, and researchers to re-think traditional business practices, envision the roles that they can play in creating change, and obtain the skills to get there.

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