Dr Ioannis Oikonomou and Professor Chris Brooks’ work on the connection between firm sustainability and the pricing of corporate bonds was recently honoured with the Outstanding Publication Award from the Financial Review academic journal.
The Financial Review is an internationally recognised journal which publishes rigorous and original research providing insights into all areas of financial economics. It is the official journal of the Eastern Finance Association (EFA). Every year the editorial team shortlists the papers published in the journal which it deems to be of the highest quality and then the members of the EFA vote the best among them. For 2014, the paper “The Effects of Corporate Social Performance on the Cost of Corporate Debt and Credit Ratings” of Professor Brooks and Dr Oikonomou was announced as the (joint) recipient of the award.
The paper provides findings supportive of a negative association between corporate social responsibility and credit spreads and a positive link between corporate social performance and credit quality − as measured by agency ratings. These conclusions are particularly useful for the multi-billion socially responsible investing (SRI) industry which has been expanding its investment universe from equity to bonds and alternative asset classes.
“Naturally, we are very happy to see our work being honoured in this way by the academic world. It is less than a year ago that the same paper was featured in CFA digest which shows that high quality research can, and should, also be practically relevant”, commented the authors.