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Department of Finance Initiative in Sustainable Finance

Private Wealth and Sustainable Investing

Table of contents

Private wealth holders control substantial assets globally and can play an outsized role in creating change through their activities and investing.

Our previous research has found that many private wealth holders are very interested in sustainable investing, yet they and their financial advisors lack the knowledge about the mechanics of sustainable finance. This can pose a significant barrier to the implementation of sustainable investing strategies.

This research focus area therefore delves into the strategies, opportunities and challenges associated with sustainable investing and how private wealth investors manage these and explores the mechanisms of decision making among private wealth holders, their wealth managers, and advisors. We also explore the intricacies of family offices and family businesses and how to best enable them to create catalytic change and a more sustainable future.

Selected Publications

Unleashing the Powerful Few: Sustainable Investing Behaviour of Wealthy Private Investors
Falko Paetzold and Timo Busch
Organization & Environment (2014)

Can Sustainable Investing Save the World? Reviewing the Mechanisms of Investor Impact
Julian Kölbel, Florian Heeb, Falko Paetzold, and Timo Busch
Organization & Environment (2020)

Do Investors Care about Impact?
Florian Heeb, Julian Kölbel, Falko Paetzold, and Stefan Zeisberger
The Review of Financial Studies (2022)

Sustainable Investing Capabilities of 20 Private Banks (with PwC)