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GRASFI 4th Annual Conference – LEVEL EEI Workshop

1. September 2021 @ 17:00 - 18:30

LEVEL EEI organised a workshop within the framework of the 4th Annual Conference of the lobal Research Alliance for Sustainable Finance and Investment, (re) watch the session!


  1. Prof. Rob Bauer
    Rob Bauer is Professor of Finance (chair: Institutional Investors) at Maastricht University School of Business and Economics in The Netherlands. His academic research is focused on pension funds, strategic investment policy, mutual fund performance, responsible investing, shareholder activism and corporate governance. Rob is also Director of the European Centre for Corporate Engagement (ECCE) at Maastricht University, and Executive Director of the International Centre for Pension Management (ICPM) in Toronto.
  2. Henk Groot
    Henk Groot is Head of Investments of Pensioenfonds Detailhandel, one of Netherlands largest pension funds with €28 billion in AUM. Henk Groot managed the process of integrating the UN Sustainable Development Goals into the pension fund’s investment strategy.
  3. Dr. Julian Kölbel
    Dr. Julian Kölbel is an economist and environmental scientist and the BMW Foundation Fellow at the Center for Sustainable Finance and Private Wealth (CSP) at the University of Zurich. His research covers the real-world impact of sustainable investing, analysis of environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics, as well as the effects of climate change on risk and return. Julian has studied at ETH Zurich, the University of Oxford, and has worked as a Post-Doc at MIT Sloan. Professionally, he has worked at Bank Vontobel, RepRisk AG, and is currently a member of the investment committee at the Swiss pension fund Abendrot.
  4. Mickaël Mangot
    Mickaël is Head of the Retail Investor research program, which investigates the preferences and beliefs of retail investors about green financial products and the supply of those products by the financial industry. Mickaël is an economist with an expertise on matters at the crossroads with psychology and finance. Mickaël holds a Master of Science in Management from ESSEC Business School, a Master of Science in Applied Economics from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris and a PhD in Economics from La Sorbonne University.


Workshop 1 – How should researchers measure preferences for sustainability in financial markets? (40’)

Short presentation 1 (Academia) – Maastricht University, “How to measure preferences for sustainability in financial markets” (10’) by Prof. Rob Bauer
Based on the paper “Get Real!”, Mastricht University will present its finding in terms of preferences and how to measure them in cooperation with a Dutch pension fund (Pensioenfonds Detailhandel).
Abstract: The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have created societal and political pressure for pension funds to address sustainable investing. We run two field surveys (n=1,669 and n=3,186) with a pension fund that grants its members a real vote on its sustainable-investment policy. Two thirds of participants are willing to expand the fund’s engagement with companies based on selected SDGs, even when they expect engagement to hurt the financial performance. The support remains strong after the fund implemented the choice. A key reason is participants’ strong social preferences.

Short presentation 2 (Practice) – Pensioenfonds Detailhandel (a Dutch pension fund) representative, “How to Translate Investors’ Preferences for Sustainability into an Investment Strategy” (10’) by Henk Groot 
This presentation will give insights into practice. Pensioenfonds Detailhandel will present how they translated the research results (presentation 1) into their investment strategy. A focus will put on challenges during the implementation and client satisfaction afterwards.

Discussion between the speakers and Q&A (20’)

Workshop 2 – How to measure investors’ impact? (40’)

Presentation 1 – University of Zurich, “The investor’s guide to impact” (20’) by Dr. Julian Kölbel
The University of Zurich wrote a guide for investors who want to generate a positive impact in the real economy. It supports investors in developing an evidence-based impact strategy for their entire portfolio. Investor impact can mean enabling “green” companies with a net-positive impact to grow faster or encouraging “brown” companies to improve. It can also include influencing other investors by being part of a movement. Based on the available evidence, the guide makes recommendations on how to maximize the impact of investors. This presentation aims at discussing the different strategies available to investor to generate an impact in the real economy, including the barriers they may face and solutions to address specific hurdles.

Presentation 2 – 2DII, best practices regarding financial impact products (20’) by Mickael Mangot

2DII will provide an overview of financial products and mechanisms enabling the funding of energy efficiency activities and the use of renewable energy resources. The discussion will focus on the level of evidence of each identified product and mechanism to generate a positive impact in the real economy. On top of that, financial performances of the targeted financial products and structures will be mentioned.
In addition, 2DII will briefly present the Climate Impact Management System, which aims to provide financial institutions (FIs) with a clear roadmap to develop, refine, optimize, and communicate on impactful climate strategies. This framework can also support the development of labels and certifications for financial products. The system was developed by 2DII’s Evidence for Impact Programme and the French Ecological Transition Agency (ADEME).

Closing Remarks (10′)

Download the programme.


Check out the conference: 

The 4th Annual GRASFI Conference in 2021 is being organised by the International Institute of Green Finance (IIGF) of the Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE) from September 1-3, 2021 as a virtual event. This will be the first GRASFI conference in an emerging economy and the first in Asia, one of the most dynamic regions for sustainable finance and investment.

Adaptation and resilience; Biodiversity and nature; Central banks, regulation and supervision; Data and metrics; Emerging markets; Environmental and climate risk analysis; Financial disclosure and reporting; Green and resilient recovery; Sustainable sectors (agriculture, healthcare, infrastructure investment, etc.); FinTech; Taxonomies; Transition finance; International cooperation; Corporate sustainable performance.


1. September 2021
17:00 - 18:30
Event Category:




International Institute of Green Finance (IIGF)
Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE)