Alliance Manchester Business School Lecture

After two years of restrictions, we’re extra keen to get out and talk to people about Castlefield and our thoughtful approach to investing. Here, Castlefield's Head of Research David Gorman explains his recent talk at Alliance Manchester Business School, where he was spreading the word.

We’re always keen to get out-and-about to talk to people about sustainability and about Castlefield and our thoughtful approach to investing. Not only are these activities enjoyable, they’re part of the firm’s commitment to promoting sustainable finance and it’s pleasing to see the growing interest in environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors among investors and the wider public.

We have a good working relationship with Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS), part of the University of Manchester. I studied there in the 1990’s and, having pretty much stayed in Manchester ever since, I have kept in touch with my alma mater. So, over the years, I’ve attended public lectures at AMBS, mentored students and helped academic staff with their research. Plus, this summer, we are hosting a couple of students for a week’s work experience.

This year, I have given a couple of presentations-cum-lectures to students at AMBS, the second of which took place last week. The Guest Speaker event was entitled “Corporate Finance & Investment Management: Practitioners' Perspective with a Focus on ESG Issues" and comprised a whole afternoon of activities. It was organised by Prof. Viet Anh Deng and his colleagues, Dr Ning Gao, Dr Chris Godfrey and Patricia Perlman-Dee – all academics from the School of Accounting & Finance at AMBS.

After lunch with Viet, Chris and Ning Gao in the Hyatt Regency Hotel opposite the School, I joined them to listen to some short presentations from PhD candidates on their work in the field of finance and ESG; presentations covered areas such as women on boards, mentions of the UN SDGs in annual reports and “Carbon-information risk and loan pricing.” We then moved into the main lecture theatre, where I gave a half hour talk on Castlefield’s approach to ESG investing. After that, I took part in a Q&A with Zara de Belder, an extremely bright MBA student with a background in sustainability, which was chaired by Patricia. The audience was mainly made MSc and PhD students plus some members of faculty. Levels of engagement were very good and there were some insightful questions. Most of the students seem to understand ESG – albeit with an emphasis on “E” for environmental – but there were still several devil’s advocate style questions, which always give food for thought.


Written by David Gorman