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Symposium on Responsible Investing Wealthier

Deadline: May 30, 2024,

Date & Time

May 31, 2024


Telfer School of Management
Desmarais Building
DMS 4101
55 Laurier Avenue East
Ottawa, Ontario  K1N 6N5


Jenna Bryson


Please contact us by May 27th if you have any particular accessibility requirements or dietary restrictions.


  • Free for uOttawa faculty, students and external students
  • External attendees

Deadline: May 30, 2024,

Two fingers stacking gold coins

The symposium will bring together leading scholars and industry leaders to shed light on the latest research and practices concerning responsible investing. It will also provide a forum for researchers and practitioners to discuss and exchange ideas. It will feature two keynote speeches, a selection of recent and relevant working papers presented by leading accounting and finance academics and an industry panel.


Fabio Moneta (Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa). Contact Professor Fabio Moneta for questions about the program, and Jenna Bryson for questions about participation and logistics.


The symposium is funded by the Centre for a Responsible WealthTransition located in the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa. Contact Professor Jonathan Yu-Meng Li for questions about the Centre.

9:20-9:30 AM - Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Stephane Brutus, Dean, Telfer School of Management
  • Fabio Moneta, Associate Professor and RBC Financial Group Professor in Finance, Telfer School of Management
  • Jonathan Yu-Meng Li, Associate Professor and Principal Coordinator of Centre for a Responsible Wealth Transition, Telfer School of Management

9:30-10:30 AM - Keynote Address “CSR and ESG Investing: Challenges and Opportunities”

  • Russ Wermers, Paul J. Cinquegrana ’63 Endowed Chair in Finance Director, Center for Financial Policy, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland

10:30-11:00 AM - Coffee Break

11:00-12:00 PM - Academic Research Paper Session #1: ESG, CSR and Disclosure. Session Chair: Cheryl McWatters, Full Professor, Telfer School of Management

  • “TCFD Reporting: Early Evidence on the Value Relevance of Global Climate-related Disclosures”
  • Elizabeth Demers, Professor, Financial Reporting; Co-Director of CPA Ontario Centre for Sustainability Reporting and Performance Management, School of Accounting & Finance, University of Waterloo
  • “Do Managers Invest in Stakeholder Relations to Insure Against Personal Fallout? Evidence from Clawback Provisions”
  • Jingjing Zhang, Associate Professor and Area Coordinator, Accounting, Desautels Faculty of Management McGill University

12:00-1:00 PM - Lunch

1:00-2:00 PM - Keynote Address “Sustainable Investing: Prices and Quantities”

  • Luke Taylor, John B. Neff Professor in Finance, Professor of Finance, Co-Director, Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research, Coordinator of Finance PhD Program, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

2:00-3:00 PM - Academic Research Paper Session #2: ESG Investing. Session Chair: François-Éric Racicot, Full Professor, Telfer School of Management

  • “ESG Skill of Mutual Fund Managers”
  • Richard Evans, Professor of Business Administration, Donald McLean Wilkinson Research Chair in Business Administration, Darden School of Business, University of Virginia
  • “Investor Reliance on ESG Ratings and Stock Price Performance”
  • Aleksandra Rzeźnik, Assistant Professor of Finance, Schulich School of Business, York University.

3:00-3:30 AM - Coffee Break

3:30-4:30 PM - Industry Panel - ESG Factor Integration and Impact Investing

  • Moderator: Sean Sirois, Senior Advisor DNA Capital
  • Simon Senécal, Portfolio Manager, Responsible Investment, Partner Alphafixe Capital
  • Michel Brutti, CEO and Founder, Clear Skies Investment Management Inc.
  • Rebecca Zentner-Barrett, Director - ESG Global Advisors Inc.

4:30 PM - Concluding Remarks and end of Symposium


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Fabio Moneta

Fabio Moneta is an associate professor and RBC Financial Group Professor in Finance at the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa. He is the recipient of a senior research fellowship at the Long-Term Investors think tank at the Collegio Carlo Alberto (University of Turin). He is also the co-ordinator of the responsible investing sub-cluster of the Centre for a Responsible Wealth Transition and co-director of the Microprogram Capital Markets (Telfer Capital Market Program) and student managed investment fund (Telfer Capital Fund). He has published articles in leading journals including Critical Finance Review, Energy Economics, the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, the Journal of Empirical Finance and Management Science. In recognition of his significant research contributions, the Telfer School of Management awarded him the 2023 Telfer Established Researcher Award. Before joining Telfer, he was an assistant professor of finance at the Smith School of Business, Queen’s University. He was also a visiting professor at the University of Pisa and the Collegio Carlo Alberto (University of Turin). He received his PhD in Finance from the Carroll School of Management, Boston College.

Jonathan Yu-Meng Li

Jonathan Li is an Associate Professor at the Telfer School of Management, where he specializes in risk management across operational, financial, and technological domains. He serves as the principal coordinator for the Center for a Responsible Wealth Transition and as the coordinator for the cluster Risk Intelligence and Resilient Solutions. His research focuses on developing analytics-powered and data-driven solutions through machine learning, optimization, and financial econometrics, and has been published in leading journals such as Management Science and Operations Research. He received his PhD from the University of Toronto.

Russ Wermers

Russ Wermers is the Paul J. Cinquegrana ’63 Endowed Chair in Finance and director of the Center for Financial Policy (CFP) at the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland at College Park, where he won a campus-wide teaching award in 2005 and a Krowe Teaching Award (at the Smith Business School) in 2013.  As director, Professor Wermers guides the CFP in its mission to generate research that informs financial policy in the private and public sectors. His main research interests include the efficiency of securities markets and the role of institutional investors in setting stock prices. In addition, he studies and teaches quantitative equity strategies.  His papers have been published in leading scholarly journals, such as The American Economic Review and The Journal of Finance. He is co-author of a book on the latest scientific approaches to performance evaluation and attribution of professional fund managers, written for academics and practitioners (published in December 2012). He received his PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, in December 1995.

Elizabeth Demers

Elizabeth Demers is the Deloitte Professor of Accounting at the University of Waterloo’s School of Accounting and Finance. She earned her PhD at Stanford University and has taught at the University of Rochester, INSEAD (France), the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and HEC Lausanne in Switzerland. Elizabeth also serves as an editor for Contemporary Accounting Research and the Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, as well as on CPA Ontario’s Sustainability Strategic Advisory Committee and the Academic Advisory Committee to the Canadian Accounting Standards Board (AcSB). Her studies have been published in top academic journals such as the Journal of Accounting Research, the Journal of Financial Economics, Management Science, the Review of Accounting Studies, the Journal of Business Finance & Accounting and the Harvard Business Review, and they are widely cited in both the academic literature and in the financial press (The Economist, Fortune, Forbes, Financial Times, Bloomberg Green, the Globe & Mail Report on Business, etc.).

Jingjing Zhang

Jingjing Zhang is an associated professor at the Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University. She earned her PhD from Northwestern University, with a research focus on corporate governance and sustainability. Her research has been published in the Journal of Financial Economics, The Accounting Review and Contemporary Accounting Research. Additionally, her work has been featured in notable outlets, including the Wall Street Journal and the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance.

Luke Taylor

Luke Taylors research focuses on three main themes: sustainable investing, skill in fund management and structural estimation in corporate finance. His research has received the Moskowitz Prize for research in sustainable finance, the Fama/DFA Prize for best paper in the Journal of Financial Economics and the AQR Insight Award for Distinguished Paper. He is an associate editor for the Journal of Financial Economics and Review of Finance. Luke earned his AB from Princeton University and MBA and PhD in Finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Richard Evans

Richard Evans holds the Donald McLean Wilkinson Research Chair at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. His work has been published in the Journal of Finance the Journal of Financial Economics and the Review of Financial Studies and has been cited by the financial press (The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist and Forbes) as well as regulatory agencies (Securities and Exchange Commission, U.S. General Accounting Office and the White House Council of Economic Advisors). He has presented his research to the SEC, Federal Reserve, Social Security Administration and American Finance Association. He currently serves on the editorial board of the Financial Analysts Journal and as academic director of the Money Management Institute's Executive IQ Program. He has also taught executive education courses for investment professionals from Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Sands Capital Management and Citizens Bank. He has received a Santander Research Fellowship at Cambridge University and a senior research fellowship at the Long-Term Investors think tank at the University of Turin and has served as a visiting faculty member at Nova University Lisbon. He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s in chemistry from the University of Utah and a master’s and doctorate in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Aleksandra Rzeźnik

Professor Rzeźnik is an applied financial economist with broad research interests in asset pricing. She currently studies how financial intermediaries manage their portfolios in frictional financial markets, in particular, when fund managers are subject to adverse selection problems and liquidity constraints. She also seeks to understand the implications of mutual fund behaviour for asset prices. When faced with informational asymmetries and liquidity constraints, fund managers are likely to adjust their portfolio, leaving a less than optimal balance that can affect the prices of the underlying securities. Professor Rzeźnik received her PhD in Finance from Copenhagen Business School in Denmark.  She is a recipient of the SSHRC Insight Development Grant and the Women in Intermediary Asset Pricing Grant.

Sean Sirois

Sean Sirois is a senior adviser with DNA Capital and KingsRock, where he focuses on capital raising for alternative asset funds and mid-market corporations.

Sean is also managing director with Demeter Advisors Inc. and assists corporations, asset owners and investment managers to better understand and meet the environmental, social and governance expectations of their stakeholders. As well, he advises on capital origination and corporate development for funds and corporations in the field of sustainable and impact investment. Sean’s career in global capital markets with Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and Toronto-Dominion has spanned multiple market cycles. Sean was head of Deutsche Bank Canada’s Institutional Client Group. He has broad and diversified experience with issuers and investors in public and private financing in debt and equity. Sean was a member of Anges Québec, a seed capital investor group and was a partner at Ipsol Capital, a multifactor public equities investment manager. He is a member of the CFA Society of Montreal, the Institute of Corporate Directors of Canada and the Responsible Investment Association of Canada. Sean was a board member of the Tyndale St-Georges Community Centre and continues to be involved in its fundraising program.

Simon Senécal

Simon Senécal is portfolio manager, responsible investment, and a partner at AlphaFixe. As portfolio manager, he works to develop sustainable bond strategies that position AlphaFixe among leaders in responsible fixed income portfolio management. In addition, he oversees the integration of ESG factors and climate risk into the investment process. Simon is also involved in the firm’s investment strategy, as well as client servicing. Prior to joining AlphaFixe Capital, Simon worked as an investment and treasury manager with the Commission de la construction du Québec, where he oversaw a range of external work. He also was a member of the Sustainable Development Committee. As well, Simon worked at the treasury department of Desjardins Group as a credit analyst. Simon holds a master’s in finance from the Université de Sherbrooke and a bachelor’s in economics from UQAM. He also holds Sustainable Investment Professional Certification from Concordia University.

Michel Brutti

Michel Brutti founded Clear Skies Investment Management, an impact investing firm in Montreal, in 2021. Prior to that, he spent more than 25 years as a partner and portfolio manager at Jarislowsky Fraser, where he served as a member of the firm’s investment strategy and sustainable investment committees. Michel started his career in finance working for a Canadian firm affiliated with N.M. Rothschild. He holds a CFA charter, an MBA from the University of Toronto and a computer engineering degree from the Université de technologie de Compiègne, France, and is a graduate of the Canadian Institute of Corporate Directors. Michel is a member of the boards of the Fonds d’action québecois pour le développement durable (FAQDD) and the Fonds climat du Grand Montréal, whose investment committee he chairs. He is also a board member of the CAFIID (Canada Forum for Impact Investment and Development). Additionally, Michel sits on the investment committee of the Ottawa-based Green Municipal Fund, the investment review committee of the Inuit Makivik Corporation and the investment committee of Ecofuel, a clean tech accelerator fund.

Rebecca Zentner-Barrett

Rebecca Zentner-Barrett is director, ESG Global Advisors. Rebecca has over six years’ experience working in ESG, with a focus on the investor perspective on ESG. She helps her clients identify and prioritize ESG issues with the greatest potential to affect value, compare ESG performance to peers and best practices, understand investors’ approaches to ESG, develop ESG and climate change strategies that align with strategic priorities and report to investors and stakeholders on ESG. Prior to joining ESG Global Advisors, Rebecca was a proxy voting analyst with the Corporate Governance and Responsible Investment team at RBC Global Asset Management (RBC GAM). In this role, she was responsible for making proxy voting recommendations for all of RBC GAM’s global funds, supporting the investment teams in integrating ESG considerations in investment decision making and engaging with portfolio companies on ESG. Prior to joining RBC GAM, Rebecca worked as a project manager at a social impact research centre. Rebecca has a Bachelor of Commerce from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University.

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