Call for Papers - Advances in ESG: Integration, Risk Management and Thematic Investing

Special Issue of the Journal of Risk Management in Financial Institutions:

Advances in ESG: Integration, Risk Management and Thematic Investing

Guest Editors: Dr Luis Seco, Professor, University of Toronto, CEO, Sigma Analysis & Management, CEO, GGSJ Centre of Digital Management and Technology Innovation, Alik Sokolov, CEO, SR.ai and PhD Candidate of Mathematical Finance, University of Toronto, Taha Jaffer, Head of Wholesale Banking and Global Treasury AI, Scotiabank, and Eduard Losing, Head of Quantitative Research & Modeling, Allianz Global Investors

Copy deadline: 2nd August 2021

The last few years have seen an explosion of interest in ESG, and a continued trend of growth in assets under management for ESG funds and portfolios. These years saw some of the world’s largest and more prominent investors, including the world’s largest private fund manager, BlackRock, and prominent sovereign and pension funds like Japan’s GPIF, signal a willingness to commit to ESG investment principles. Recent reports show continued growth, with the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in even further scrutiny towards sustainability and social responsibility. Sustainable and ESG-branded funds have been shown to benefit from significantly higher net inflow of funds in recent years. These massive fund inflows have also resulted in significant momentum, and as a result generally attractive returns for ESG funds, which in turns helps drive further adoption of ESG strategies.

The implications for risk management in financial services will be significant. Post-GFC, heavy investments in credit risk and stress-testing infrastructure were quickly followed by a continued focus on conduct risk, fraud and compliance. COVID-19 will reinforce another tack back towards credit in the short term. It will also highlight conduct, especially for insurance products that failed to perform as insurers and customers may have wanted. Risk management will also play a strong role in strategic planning, whilst adhering to a demand to cut costs, leaving little time to think about changes to the long-term operating model.

The importance of ESG in asset management is beginning to permeate every aspect of the industry and is set to become a key component both of risk management and of growing assets under management. Combining these with increasing trends for digitisation and AI adoption, the greater importance of ESG in the industry is creating interesting challenges and opportunities. ESG strategies also need to evolve, with integration of ESG into risk factor models, as well as development of non-exclusionary ESG strategies becoming key priorities.

In order to shed light on the issues facing CROs and CIOs and their organisations and to guide potential solutions, we are seeking original papers from practitioners, academics, policy makers, regulators, and consultants on how financial services are evolving to respond to the risk management aspects of ESG in the industry. Potential topics could include:

Risk management's role in setting organisational ESG strategies, as well as integration of ESG in the overall investment process 
What should the major immediate organisational priorities be in response to key ESG trends?
What will be the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the ESG landscape?
How can non-exclusionary ESG strategies be constructed most effectively? How do they perform in the long term?
How can ESG factors best be integrated within current portfolio optimisation and risk management frameworks?
ESG challenges for various asset classes: listed equities, fixed income, private equity and venture capital, real estate, and infrastructure
ESG in emerging markets: risks, opportunities, and data gaps
Technological innovation for ESG and sustainable investing
Stress-testing techniques applied to credit portfolios, insurance portfolios, balance sheets, liquidity and earnings for ESG impacts (controversies, rating changes, etc.)
What is the likely evolution of the ESG regulatory landscape? With the EU leading in regulatory scrutiny, which jurisdictions are likely to follow through with similar regulations, and when?

Submission guidelines

The deadline for the submission of articles to this special issue is the 2nd August 2021. The following types of articles will be considered for publication:

The following types of articles will be considered for publication:

  • Practice articles: Thought pieces, briefings, case studies and other contributions written by practitioners. Articles should be 2,000 to 5,000 words in length.
  • Research papers: Contributions which explore new models, theories and research in risk management. The principal management implications of the submission should be included. Articles should be up to 6,000 words in length.

All submissions will be peer-reviewed to ensure that they are of direct, practical relevance to those working in the field.

Further, more specific guidance for authors on format and style can be found here.

Questions about this issue may be directed to the Guest Editors, Luis Seco and Alik Sokolov and Julie Kerry, the Publisher.

Manuscript submissions and enquiries should be submitted to the Publisher, Julie Kerry