Lombard Odier launches sustainable finance partnership with Oxford University

The new academic post will be based within Oxford’s School of Geography and the Environment, connected to Oriel College. (Andrew Shiva / Wikipedia)

Lombard Odier, the Swiss wealth management and investment firm, has teamed up with the University of Oxford to promote research and teaching on sustainable finance and investment.

The Geneva-based company, which oversees around CHF 259bn in client assets, has launched a five-year partnership with Oxford to help facilitate the exchange of knowledge between academia and financial services, with a particular focus on issues such as climate and the circular economy.

In a joint statement, Oxford and Lombard Odier said the partnership “will support sustainable finance in becoming a major field of academic research globally” and tap into the financial sector’s potential to drive environmental and economic change.

The partnership tie-up will see Lombard Odier integrate the University’s work into their own research and investment solutions. Oxford will also run a programme to train Lombard Odier investment professionals. The two institutions will also host a joint annual research forum, open to the wider academic and practitioner community.

Dr Ben Caldecott, a leading academic and expert on sustainable issues, has been appointed to a new dedicated post, the Lombard Odier Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow of Sustainable Finance. The founder of a number of sustainable finance initiatives, Caldecott is also a strategy advisor for finance at the UK cabinet office for the next United Nations climate change conference, COP26. He said:

“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.”