Investment manager Mirova announced today the formation of a partnership with the University of Montpellier and the Center for Environmental Economics – Montpellier (CEE-M). Mirova the sustainable investment affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers, with 12.5 billion euro in AUM.

The goal of the research partnership is to aid in the expansion of the field of finance associated with the low carbon transition and the reduction of CO2 emissions, through the development of a better understanding of the dynamics of green assets in financial markets, investor behavior and preferences.

The partnership will be composed of two teams, each studying a different aspect of sustainable investing. The first team, led by Adrien Nguyen-Huu will examine the stability of asset-based portfolios, among other things, on ESG criteria. Nguyen-Huu is an Associate Professor at University of Montpellier, teaching Actuarial Sciences, Stochastic Calculus in Finance, Climate and prospective models, and is affiliated with CEE-M.  The second team will be led by Patrick Sentis, will study the connection between assets’ ESG ratings and their risk/return profiles. Sentis currently serves as Director of the School of Management Economics at University of Montpellier.

As demand for sustainability-linked investment products increases, there has been growing scrutiny among investors and academics of many aspects of the ESG investing, such as the reliability of ESG ratings, long-term risk and return profiles of sustainable companies and funds, and other issues including the consistency of disclosure among issuers and funds. Partnerships such as the one announced between Mirova, University of Montpellier and CEE-M are likely to become more common, hopefully shedding light on this rapidly expanding investment universe.