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What is the perception of corporate social responsibility for fund managers in Switzerland?

  • Hélène Pasquini-Descomps
  • Frédéric Teulon

We study the link between the sustainable and social activities of a firm (known as Corporate Social Responsibility CSR) and its financial performance. We first review and analyze the existing research on the topic, followed by a qualitative study of this relationship consisting of interviews of fund managers in Switzerland. We find in the literature that a positive relationship is perceived between the commitment to CSR of companies and their performance, but overall scientific evidence is still lacking, as positive results are only achieved in some specific contexts. On the other hand, it appears from our interview that investors may not expect a higher performance when investing in high CSR firms, but a neutral relationship. In other words, they want the proof that engaging in CSR is not detrimental to the performance of the firm. In that case, they are willing to invest preferably in companies that create the most value in non-financial objectives. Another important result is that investors cannot asses the CSR the firm precisely due to a lack of recent and relevant information on companies' CSR activities. The need to do their own research for CSR evaluation could be a barrier for sustainable investment, as investors would spend extra time to ensure of a firm sustainability for a neutral impact on their portfolios gain.

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Paper provided by Department of Research, Ipag Business School in its series Working Papers with number 2014-097.

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Length: Number of pages pages
Date of creation: 02 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ipg:wpaper:2014-097
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