Sustainable Finance and Responsible Investment

Scientific project

The Research Initiative FDIR was created in 2007, and is codirected by Sébastien Pouget  and Catherine Casamatta for TSE and Patricia Crifo for Ecole Polytechnique. It is backed by the competencies of a highly-qualified team of researchers that benefits from an international reputation.

Under the guidance of the Association Française de la Gestion Financière (French Association for Financial Management, AFG), about 10 asset management companies, institutions investors and consulting firms have decided to fund this research inititiative in the areas of responsible investment and sustainable finance.


Faced with the emergence of a demand for responsibly invested savings management, French management companies launched their first investments of this nature several years ago. The rapid development of the amounts invested in responsible investment (RI) requires a reflection on the management, selection, validation and evaluation of these investments. Does a company’s social responsibility allow it to generate additional value that portfolio managers should integrate into their evaluations? The development of RI requires thinking about new ways of valuing financial assets to take into account the challenges of sustainable development.

Modern financial theory has not yet provided tools to address this issue. Responsible investment, linked to the concept of sustainable development, offers an interesting alternative. As citizens are also investors, they can express their commitments through their investments.

Few academic works have been devoted to this approach so far; however, it seems both important for economic actors and interesting for economic researchers.


  • Contribute to the development and dissemination of theory and practice in the field of responsible investment, both through research and training programs;
  • Facilitate direct contact between the academic partners and the members of the initiative, to their mutual benefit;
  • Increase and consolidate the level of excellence of the academic partners and members by organizing an activity of reflection, training and research of international dimension around a theme of general interest.

To achieve these objectives, the Research Initiative FDIR carries out research around three main topics.

  • Long-term ESG performance and risk evaluation

A lot of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors play out in the long-run. This research theme aims at studying how to value the opportunities and risks of investment projects in the ESG domain. In this setting, researchers explore the link between Socially Responsible Investments and sovereign bonds. They also study how to model social risks and catastrophic risks (related to climate change, nuclear disasters and others), and how to value them (interest rates, risk premium,…).

  • Corporate Governance

This research topic aims at studying the impact of various governance issues, such as directors’ independence and expertise, governance arrangements, executive compensation or shareholders’ horizon, on companies’ economic, financial and extra-financial performance. The objective is to build both a coherent conceptual framework and a comprehensive empirical investigation on French as well as international financial markets.

  • Shareholder engagement

Shareholder engagement aims at influencing corporate behavior. Engagement can take a number of forms from a dialogue between shareholders and executive, to seeking nominations on the board of directors, and to proposing resolutions and voting in shareholder meetings. The research carried out within the initiative addresses various issues related to engagement. How do SRI investors develop their engagement and dialogue policy? What financial performance can be expected on extra-financial issues? What is the link between shareholder engagement and traditional best-in-class policies?

A more precise description of the research themes addressed by the initiative is available here.


Scientific officers

Patricia  CRIFO
Patricia CRIFO
Department of Economics at the Ecole polytechnique See CV
Catherine  CASAMATTA
Toulouse School of Management & TSE See CV
Sébastien  POUGET
Sébastien POUGET
Toulouse School of Economics See CV

Academic Partners

Economic Partners