Supernumerary Fellow Dr Ben Caldecott Appointed to Newly Endowed Professorship of Sustainable Finance

  • Dr Ben Caldecott in a dark blue suit
10 September, 2020

As part of a new multi-year partnership between Lombard Odier and the University of Oxford, Oriel’s Supernumerary Fellow Dr Ben Caldecott has been appointed as Lombard Odier Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow of Sustainable Finance at the University of Oxford.

This post, the first endowed senior academic post in sustainable finance at any major global research university, is based at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment within the School of Geography and the Environment. This new professorship is an important element of the partnership announced by Lombard Odier and the University of Oxford, which aims to foster research and teaching on sustainable finance and investment.

Dr Caldecott is an expert in sustainable finance and investment, as well as being the founding Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme and the COP26 Strategy Advisor for Finance at the UK Cabinet Office. He will lead this new partnership, in which:

  • Lombard Odier will work with Oxford University’s scholars to integrate the University’s pioneering work into their own proprietary research and investment solutions;
  • Oxford will establish a programme for the ongoing training of Lombard Odier investment professionals, while Oxford scholars will benefit from accessing Lombard Odier’s research and product innovation;
  • The two institutions will host a joint annual research forum, open to the wider academic and practitioner community.

Of the partnership, Dr Caldecott said, “Sustainable finance is a structural change in both the demand and provision of financial products and services. It is also mission critical for tackling the massive environmental and social challenges facing humanity.”

“But 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.”

Oriel’s Provost Neil Mendoza said, “We’re delighted to be part of this broader Oxford collaboration and for Lombard Odier’s generosity and support. Across the physical and social sciences Oriel has one of the largest clusters of academic researchers in Oxford working on sustainability challenges. Understanding how environmental change influences investment and vice versa is essential and will add a significant capability to the Oriel Environmental Change Group. This donation will help Oriel be a focal point for what we believe is an essential area of research with a potential for high impact.”

Dr Christopher Kaminker, Head of Sustainable Investment Research, Strategy & Stewardship at Lombard Odier, said, “As investors it is our obligation to ensure that we are as informed as possible about the myriad sustainability dynamics that underpin risk and return considerations. These dynamics, including the interlinked transitions to net-zero emissions, a circular economy and regenerative nature are already material to our investment and processes are set to accelerate dramatically in the years ahead. Through supporting research into these critical areas we endeavour to contribute to advancing the research agenda for the public benefit while also enhancing our own investment capabilities for our clients.”