ESG Measurements and Standards

SKBI & SGFC presents: Panel Discussions on ESG Measurements & Standards

31 August 2021

With the growth of sustainable, responsible, and impact (SRI) investing, the measurement and assessment of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impacts of investment is becoming an imperative issue. Numerous concerns have been raised over the reliability of existing ESG ratings, including the incomparability between different ESG metrics, biases and inconsistencies in rating construction, and low correlations between different ratings. This calls for greater standardization of ESG information disclosure and impact measurement, as well as properly valuing impact, not just in its natural unit but also in monetary terms.

The Sim Kee Boon Institute (SKBI) and Singapore Green Finance Centre (SGFC) presented a live webinar on ESG Measurements and Standards on 31 August 2021. It was held as a side event of the 4th Annual Global Research Alliance for Sustainable Finance & Investment (GRASFI) Conference. The session covered two main topics: (1) divergence and convergence of different ESG ratings, and (2) how measurements can move beyond ratings towards an impact-weighted account.

We were honoured to have the following esteemed speakers at our event.

Industry panel on recent development of impact measurement

  • Moderator: Dave Fernandez, Professor of Finance (Practice), SMU; Director, SKBI; Co-Director, SGFC
  • Panellists:
    1. Dave Chen, CEO/Chairman, Equilibrium; Adjunct Professor of Finance, Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management
    2. Adrian De Groot Ruiz, Executive Director, Impact Institute
    3. Wong Dan Chi, Head of ESG Integration, APAC, Schroders; Adjunct Faculty, Singapore Management University

Research and policy panel on measurements and standards

  • ModeratorLiang Hao, Associate Professor of Finance, SMU; Lee Kong Chian Fellow, SMU; Management Committee Member of SGFC
  • Panellists:
    1. Andrew King, Questrom Professor in Management, Boston University
    2. Shawn Cole, John G. McLean Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
    3. Michael Tang, Head of Listing Policy & Product Admission, Singapore Exchange (SGX)





Fireside Chat: Transforming Business with Climate Related Data Integration

Fireside Chat: Transforming Business with Climate Related Data Integration

28 May 2021

Speaking at the final day of the S&P Global's inaugural Sustainable1 conference, SKBI Director, Dave Fernandez, encouraged the audience to embrace the change towards sustainability. Although it might be hard for Asia to achieve net zero targets in the same timeline as OECD countries, this does not mean nothing should be done now. Targets and goals need to be set, even if it is for 2050 or beyond. Everyone can play their part in embracing this change; be it governments who set the targets, Asian firms who can lead in this area or the workforce who can be educated and informed about green issues.


Inflation and Cost of Living in Singapore & Asia

Inflation and Cost of Living in Singapore & Asia

29 April 2021

The Sim Kee Boon Institute (SKBI), together with the IMF - Singapore Regional Training Institute and DBS Bank, presented a live webinar on Inflation and Cost of Living in Singapore and Asia: Post-Pandemic Implications.

This two-part discussion sheds light on these issues from two angles. In part one, the panellists explore the potential for inflation overshooting in developed economies, after below-target-target outcomes for years. In the second part, the panellists look at emerging Asia, where a nascent recovery is underpinned by buoyant exports. Demand-pull inflation looks unlikely given the lack of large stimulus packages, possible delays in vaccination-driven normalization, and a distressed service sector. Still, Asia has traditionally imported inflation through food and energy channels; moreover, tight semiconductor, shipping, and consumer durables markets could boost costs this year. Understanding these opposing drivers affecting cost-of-living and inflation are critical for the design and effectiveness of fiscal and monetary policies.

  • Click here to view event photos.





CNA Leadership Summit 2021: Green Recovery

CNA Leadership Summit 2021: Green Recovery

22 April 2021

Professor Dave Fernandez, Director, Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics, SMU and Co-Director, Singapore Green Finance Centre, spoke as a panellist at the Channel NewsAsia Leadership Summit 2021, moderated by Ms Dawn Tan, CNA Presenter.

The panelists were:
Prof Dave Fernandez, Director, Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics, SMU and Co-Director, Singapore Green Finance Centre
Mr Michael Reed, Chief Executive Officer, RBC Singapore and Head of Wealth Management, Southeast Asia RBC Wealth Management
Ms Radish Singh, Financial Crime Compliance Leader, Deloitte Southeast Asia
Dr Bambang Susantono, Vice President, Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development, Asian Development Bank (ADB)

CNA (Green Recovery, 9pm), Part 1 

CNA (Green Recovery, 9pm), Part 2 

ADBI-SKBI Joint Virtual Conference on Digitalization and Sustainable Economic Development

ADBI-SKBI Joint Virtual Conference on Digitalization and Sustainable Economic Development

8 - 10 December 2020

The digital economy is improving productivity and competitiveness within and across economies. It could also have substantial positive effects on macroeconomic performance as well as enhance regional and global economic integration and help economies achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. At the same time, policy makers must consider digitalization’s impacts on international capital flows, trade, and labor markets.

This ADBI-SKBI virtual conference will feature new research on the role of digitalization in enhancing sustainable, inclusive, and balanced growth in Asia. Areas of exploration will include its potential to reduce market entry barriers, lower inequality, and foster social and economic inclusion. Identifying policies that can leverage digitalization to promote sustainable development will be an additional focus.

  • Click here to view biographies of speakers.
  • Click here to view presentations and webinar recordings.

10th Annual SKBI Conference on COVID-19, Financial Fragility and Resilience

10th Annual SKBI Conference on COVID-19, Financial Fragility and Resilience

Webinar, 2 December 2020

Even before COVID-19, many families were living without a savings buffer sufficient to cover significant and unexpected expenses. The sizable economic shock created by this year's pandemic exposed the high financial fragility of many households. This year’s SKBI Annual Conference will feature a keynote by the economist behind the concept of household financial fragility, Prof. Annamaria Lusardi, who will also highlight the positive role that financial education and literacy can play in building resilience against shocks such as COVID-19.

Prof. Anna will then discuss the situation in different parts of Asia Pacific with the former Indonesian Finance Minister, Muhamad Chatib Basri, the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of the Philippines (BSP), Chuchi Fonacier, and Melbourne Institute Director, Abigail Payne. The welcome address will be made by SKBI Advisory Board Chair and Singapore Exchange CEO, Loh Boon Chye.

Workshop on Electricity and Environmental Markets

Workshop on Electricity and Environmental Markets

23 – 25 November 2020

SKBI hosted a workshop on Electricity and Environment facilitated by Professor Frank Wolak, Stanford University and Professor Alex Galetovic, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez (Chile) & Hoover Institution (Stanford) over the 1.5 days. The participants spent majority of their time playing the roles of generating companies and load-serving entities in the game simulation. The objective of the workshop is to gain real-world experience with how environmental policies such as renewables portfolio standards, carbon taxes, and cap-and-trade markets for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions interact with outcomes in a wholesale electricity market with conventional and intermittent renewable resources.

ADBI-JBF-SMU Joint Conference on  Green and Ethical Finance

ADBI-JBF-SMU Joint Conference on Green and Ethical Finance

16 - 18 September 2020

The Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics co-hosted with the Asian Development Bank Institute and the Journal of Banking and Finance, the Conference on Green and Ethical Finance on 16-18 September 2020. The climate change challenge has raised important questions on the role of the financial sector in transforming the global economy towards a carbon-neutral equilibrium. Similarly, the experience of the Global Financial Crisis has raised important ethical and governance questions for financial sector actors, with the result that ESG (environmental, social and governance) dimensions are increasingly important for practitioners, regulators and academics. These topics, however, have only slowly started to attract the interest of researchers. With this conference, we hope to deepen and broaden this new strand of the literature further and support the development of policy recommendations in this area for Asia-Pacific economies.

Is This Time Different? Navigating the Transition to a Post-Covid World

Is This Time Different? Navigating the Transition to a Post-Covid World

9 July 2020
Prof Carmen Reinhart - Vice President and Chief Economist, World Bank Group


  • Prof Maria Socorro Gochoco-Bautista, University of the Philippines
  • Prof Dave Fernandez, Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics, Singapore Management University

Guest questioners:

  • Carlos "Sonny" García Domínguez III, Secretary of Finance, Republic of the Philippines
  • Karl Chua, Acting Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning, Republic of the Philippines
  • Prof Benjamin Diokno, Governor, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

The Importance of Data Connectivity in Financial Services

6 February 2020

Speaker, U.S. Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs, Brent McIntosh discussed the impact of data connectivity and cross-border data flows in financial services on economic growth and financial stability. The ability to hold and transfer financial information securely has always been essential to the safe and efficient provision of financial services – and thus to economic growth. Data connectivity is critical to driving the productivity growth that is a key source of higher living standards in the future. Cross-border data flows are also essential to supporting financial stability, to ensure financial regulators have access to the information required to fulfill their mandates and promote the safety and soundness of the financial system. When data connectivity is imperiled, firms, consumers, and regulators are all worse off, and we risk losing out on the benefits of today’s digital economy. Under Secretary McIntosh discussed how policymakers can address these new and complex issues and why greater cooperation among financial authorities is key to ensure we all achieve the benefits of enhanced data connectivity in financial services.

9th Annual SKBI Conference 2019 on “Sustainable Finance”

7 – 8 November 2019

“Sustainable Finance” is one of the emerging research areas that we now focus on at the Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics (SKBI) and is also the title of our 9th Annual SKBI Conference. This two-day event, hosted in partnership with the TBLI Group of the Netherlands, will occur on 7-8 November 2019. The conference is intended for practitioners, policymakers, and academics. Along with plenary session keynote speeches and panels, there will be four separate sessions of parallel workshops to allow for smaller-group interactions.

Macroeconomic Stabilization in the Digital Age

16 – 17 October 2019

Over the past decade, the global financial crisis and the rise of the digital economy have created new challenges for the management of the economy. During this period, emerging economies have had to deal with large and volatile capital flows. While such capital flows can have substantial benefits for economies in terms of growth and development, they can also pose substantial risks if not properly managed. Achieving macroeconomic stability can be fraught with difficulty when capital inflows lead to greater volatility of domestic consumption, currency and maturity mismatches, as well as boom/bust cycles in asset prices. New approaches to capital flow management and improving resilience to capital flow shocks are thus more important than ever.

In conjunction with these developments, the onset and growth of fintech has implications for cross-border capital flows. Innovations related to payments systems, maturity transformation, and the allocation of capital can create challenges for macroeconomic stabilization to the extent that they disrupt the efficacy of policy tools used to manage the economy.

Selected papers were featured at the conference hosted at the Sim Kee Boon Institute at the Singapore Management University in Singapore on 16-17 October 2019.

Asia Pacific Financial Education Institute

16 - 17 September 2019

The Asia Pacific Financial Education Institute (APFEI) is a forum for presentation and discussion of financial education research. For this event, SKBI has partnered with the world's leading center for financial literacy research and policy, the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC). Modelled after the “Cherry Blossom Financial Education Institute” held annually in Washington, DC, the APFEI’s goal is to promote excellent work in this field, foster research that can inform policy, and identify effective financial education programs, with a particular emphasis on Asia.


Dialogue with Dr Mary Daly

7 June 2019

SMU Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics (SKBI) is honoured to host Dr Mary Daly, President & CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco for a "Dialogue with Students" on 7 June 2019 at SMU.

Textual Sentiment and Sector specific reaction, by Professor Wolfgang Hardle

12 March 2019

ESG & Impact Investing: Current Status & Lessons Learned, by Robert Rubinstein

22 January 2019

High-mixed Frequency Forecasting Methods with Applications to Philippine GDP and Inflation

23 November 2018

Demystifying ICOs, Tokens, and Digital Currencies

12 November 2018

Fed official Bullard speaks in Singapore

8 October 2018

8th Annual SKBI Conference 2018 on "Charting a Roadmap toward a New Data Regime for the Digital Economy"

20 - 21 June 2018

7th Annual SKBI Conference 2017 on "Advances in Data Science and Implications for Business"

26 May 2017

6th Annual SKBI Conference 2016 on FinTech and Financial Inclusion

"Nascent financial technologies for enhancing access to finance"
18 - 19 August 2016

Seminar: Smart Contracts and Blockchains - Trends and Developments in China

1 June 2016


Speakers' Presentation Slides

SKBI-BFI Conference on "Smart Nation, Silicon Valley Technology and Connectivity Inclusion"

17 November 2015

5th Annual SKBI Conference 2015 on "Digital Banking, Financial Inclusion and Impact Investing"

6 - 7 May 2015

Inaugural CAIA-SKBI Cryptocurrency Conference 2014

4 November 2014

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