ESG Shareholder Engagement and Downside Risk

Time: 21 November 2018, 13:00-15:00
Venue: S314, SOAS University of London (Paul Webley Wing)
Speaker:     Professor Andreas Hoepner

Abstract

We examine whether engagement on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues can benefit shareholders by reducing firms’ downside risk, measured using lower partial moments and value at risk. Using a proprietary database, we provide evidence supporting this hypothesis. We further find that the measured risk effects vary across engagement success and engagement themes. Engagement appears most effective in lowering downside risk when addressing governance or strategy topics and when changes in firms’ social policies are coupled with governance improvements. We find corroborating evidence in that successful engagement reduces the firm’s exposure to a downside-risk factor.