Lombard Odier and the University of Oxford have entered a multi-year strategic partnership to drive research and teaching on the topic of sustainable finance and investment.
The aim of the partnership is to create a platform for knowledge exchange between scholarship and financial services, and support sustainable finance in becoming a major field of academic research globally.
Dr Ben Caldecott has been appointed the first holder of the post and will become the Lombard Odier associate professor and senior research fellow of sustainable finance at the University of Oxford.
Dr Caldecott said: “Sustainable finance is a structural change in both the demand and provision of financial products and services. It is also mission critical for tackling the massive environmental and social challenges facing humanity.
“But for sustainable finance to be itself sustainable, it needs greater academic rigour, as well as pedagogy to scale the adoption of best practice. This is a huge agenda for both practitioners and researchers, and as the Lombard Odier endowment implies, these questions and issues will endure in some form for many generations.
“There are also many very immediate questions, such as how to ensure investor portfolios are aligned with climate outcomes, that we’ll seek to answer much more quickly over the coming months and years.”
Meanwhile, the asset manager will also work with the university’s scholars to integrate their research into its own investment solutions, while Oxford will establish a programme for the ongoing training of Lombard Odier investment professionals.
The two institutions will host a joint research forum on an annual basis, which will be open to the wider academic and practitioner community.
Hubert Keller, managing partner at Lombard Odier, said: “There are unprecedented investment opportunities associated with the global sustainability transition – towards a circular, lean, inclusive and clean economy. We call this the ‘CLIC Economy’ and as a firm, we are at the very forefront of identifying and capturing these opportunities.
“Through their unique and leading capabilities in sustainable finance, we are excited to be working with the University of Oxford with the objective to increase the impact of sustainable investments.”
Professor Dame Sarah Whatmore FBA, head of the social sciences division at the University of Oxford, added: “This timely partnership with Lombard Odier will help to ensure the University of Oxford can scale its pioneering multi-disciplinary research on sustainable finance.
“Our researchers have significant analytical insights to bring to bear on this profoundly important set of issues and this unique collaboration will enhance their ability to do so over the long-term.”