Dr Hao Liang, Associate Professor of Finance, Singapore Management University
We find that a non-trivial number of hedge funds that endorse the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) indulge in greenwashing. Hedge funds that greenwash underperform both genuinely green and nongreen funds after adjusting for risk. By exploiting the staggered adoption of stewardship codes, we provide causal evidence that relates greenwashing to fund underperformance. Consonant with an agency explanation, funds that greenwash (i) underperform more when incentive alignment is poor, (ii) trigger more regulatory violations, and (iii) report more suspicious returns. However, investors do not appear to discriminate between funds that greenwash and those that are genuinely green.
Dr Hao Liang is an associate professor of finance at SMU, where he also holds the BNP Paribas Fellowship and DBS Sustainability Fellowship. He is also a research member of European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) and an extramural fellow of Tilburg University. His research interests include sustainable finance, impact investing, corporate finance and governance.
He has published on prestigious academic journals including Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of International Business Studies, Management Science, Organization Science, and Journal of Business Venturing.
He is the recipient of the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability Emerging Scholar Award in 2020, and two time winner of the prestigious Moskowitz Prize for Socially Responsible Investing (2014 and 2019). He organised the SKBI-TBLI Sustainable Finance conference held at SMU and the Sustainable Finance Forum held in Shenzhen in 2019.
At SMU, he teaches Sustainable Finance and Entrepreneurial Finance at undergraduate, masters, DBA and PhD levels. He is a frequent contributor to Harvard Law School Forum of Corporate Governance and Oxford Business Law Blog among many other media.