Spotlight Story

UC Davis Graduate School of Management Presents Sustainability Investment Performance Research to CalPERS Board

Professor Brad Barber and Dean Steven Currall presented research to a California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) board of administration meeting on June 17 to advise the nation’s largest public pension fund on sustainability factors and the impact they have on financial performance in investments. 

The research resulted from a partnership launched in January with the UC Davis Graduate School of Management and Columbia School of Law called the Sustainable Investment Research Initiative, or SIRI. The initiative is geared toward providing independent evaluation and insight for CalPERS to integrate its sustainability strategy across its nearly $260 billion portfolio.

Following open remarks to the board by Dean Currall and Anne Simpson, senior portfolio manager and director of global governance at CalPERS, Professor Barber and Robert J. Jackson Jr, Associate Professor of Law at the Columbia Law School, jointly presented an overview of academic research, including work presented at a symposium earlier in June at UC Davis.

At that symposium, co-chaired by Barber and Jackson, leading academics and practitioners, including CalPERS senior investment staff, discussed research that examines the effect of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues on long-term value creation and capital market stability. The symposium program committee received more than 90 submissions and selected seven papers to be presented and debated at the symposium.

In 2011, the CalPERS Board approved integrating ESG issues as a strategic priority across its investment portfolio.

Further information about the UC Davis GSM and CalPERS partnership is available at

Further information about the CalPERS board meeting and investment committee workshop on Monday is available at:

The full agenda for the board meeting is available at: