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Showcasing innovative ideas

Top awards granted at the European Investment Forum organised by the Centre for Endowment Asset Management at Cambridge Judge Business School and FTSE Russell, a London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) company.

A golden coloured image showing a winners trophy award outdoors.

A paper on environmental activist investing and a presentation on the value of privacy for individuals won top awards at the European Investment Forum in Cambridge, which was organised by the Centre for Endowment Asset Management (CEAM) at Cambridge Judge Business School and FTSE Russell, an LSEG business.

The 12-14 September Forum showcased innovative ideas across the natural and social sciences, and explored such ideas as quantum computing, digital currency opportunities and challenges, and sustainable investing. An integral part of the Forum is a research competition for early career academics, with 97 entrants competing for an opportunity to present at the event. Two winners were selected from the finalists and awarded for best paper prize and best presentation.

The Best Paper award was won by Lakshmi Naaraayanan, Assistant Professor of Finance at London Business School, for a study entitled “The Real Effects of Environmental Activist Investing”.

“Using plant-level data, we find that targeted firms reduce their toxic releases, greenhouse gas emissions, and cancer-causing pollution,” says the study. “Improvements in air quality within a one-mile radius of targeted plants suggest potentially important externalities to local economies. These improvements come through increased capital expenditures on new abatement initiatives.”

The Best Presentation Award went to Huan Tang, Assistant Professor of Finance at the London School of Economics, who presented a paper – “The Value of Privacy: Evidence from Online Borrowers” – based on data on loan applicants and loan terms on an online peer-to-peer lending platform in China.

“I quantify the monetary value of personal data—and the welfare effect of various disclosure policies – by developing a structural model that links individuals’ disclosure, borrowing, and repayment decisions,” the study says. “Using detailed application-level data, I estimate that social network ID and employer contact are valued at 230 RMB (i.e., $33, or 70% of the average daily salary in China); for successful borrowers, this accounts for 8% of the average net present value of a loan.”

The Best Paper and Best Presentation, awarded by CEAM with the support of FTSE Russell, each carried a $1,000 cash prize.

There were 97 submissions for the two awards, and six finalists including the winners were selected. The other finalists were: