SOURCE: First Affirmative
December 01, 2010 09:07 ET
15th Annual Moskowitz Prize Awarded at SRI in the Rockies Conference
Prize Winning Research Reveals Relationship Between a Corporation's Environmental Record and Its Ability to Tap Credit Markets
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO--(Marketwire - December 1, 2010) - The Center for Responsible Business at the Haas School of Business has announced the winner of the Moskowitz Prize, the premier academic award for socially responsible investing academic research.
The winning study, "Corporate Environmental Management and Credit Risk," by Rob Bauer and Daniel Hann of Maastricht University in The Netherlands, analyzes environmental management and its implications for bond investors (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1660470).
The study found that poor environmental practices influence the credit standing of borrowing firms through the legal, reputational, and regulatory risks associated with environmental problems. The authors looked at environmental performance measures of 582 U.S. public corporations between 1995 and 2006 and concluded that firms with environmental concerns pay a premium on their cost of debt financing and are assigned lower credit ratings. In contrast, firms with proactive environmental engagement benefit from a lower cost of debt financing.
"This winning study makes a strong case that fixed income markets are aware of environmental factors and incorporate them in their decisions," said Lloyd Kurtz, Moskowitz Prize administrator and senior portfolio manager at Nelson Capital Management, an investment advisory affiliate of Wells Fargo. "Bauer and Hann offer evidence that a company's environmental policies affect both bond ratings and valuations."
The award presentation took place at the 21st annual SRI in the Rockies Conference, the largest and longest running conference for the sustainable and responsible investment (SRI) industry in North America. The Prize has been awarded at the SRI in the Rockies every year since its inception in 1996.
The Moskowitz Prize is awarded annually by the Center for Responsible Business at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business in cooperation with the Social Investment Forum. The prize is the only global award recognizing outstanding quantitative research in the field of responsible investing. The prize award was presented this year by respected author and journalist Milton Moskowitz, for whom the Prize is named.
"This is an elegant piece of research and it reflects the sophistication with which Maastricht University is addressing research in the field of socially responsible investing," said Mr. Moskowitz.
This is the third time Rob Bauer has been an author or co-author of a Moskowitz Prize-winning study. He is the only person involved in three prize-winning studies. The winners received $5,000 in prize money, and their paper or related research is customarily published in the Journal of Investing.
About the Moskowitz Prize
Awarded by the Center for Responsible Business at the Haas School of Business during the annual SRI in the Rockies Conference, the Moskowitz Prize recognizes outstanding research on responsible investing. The sponsors of the Moskowitz Prize are: Calvert Group, First Affirmative Financial Network, Nelson Capital Management, Neuberger Berman, Rockefeller and Co., and Trillium Asset Management. Launched in 1996, the Moskowitz Prize is named for Milton Moskowitz, one of the first investigators to publish comparisons of the financial performance of screened and unscreened portfolios. The Prize came under the umbrella of the Center for Responsible Business in 2005.
About the SRI in the Rockies Conference
SRI in the Rockies is the premier annual gathering of responsible investors and investment professionals in North America. The 21st Anniversary SRI in the Rockies Conference was held November 18-21, 2010 in San Antonio, Texas. SRI in the Rockies is owned and produced by First Affirmative Financial Network, an independent fee-only Registered Investment Advisor (SEC File #801-56587). The 22nd annual SRI in the Rockies Conference will be October 2-5, 2011 in New Orleans.