Hera Awards 2023

On April 25, the University of Liege will host the eleventh HERA Awards, organized by the Foundation for Future Generations. 

The HERA Awards recognize master's theses and doctoral dissertations that stand out for their systemic (360°) approach to sustainable development and for the societal added value of their work.
Among its graduates, HEC Liège has two winners - one a laureate, the other a nominee - at HERA Award Sustainable & Responsible Finance, for their final year work.
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Congratulations to Cécilia Labiouse and Lorren Mernier
for this prestigious award!


Cécilia Labiouse
Winner of the 2023 HERA Award Sustainable & Responsible Finance

thumbnail 2023 HERA MTAFin Portrait CeciliaLabiouse

Cécilia Labiouse finished her Master in Management Sciences at HEC Liège (ULiège School of Management) in September 2022. She is currently a business analyst at Deloitte Belgium.

Thesis : The link between shareholding and ESG scores of companies

Master thesis in management sciences defended in September 2022 at HEC Liège.

Sponsor: Georges Hübner

Georges Hübner (Ph.D., INSEAD) is professor of finance at HEC Liège. He is also a director of Belfius Bank and founder of the spin-offs Gambit (2007) and Sopiad (2021).

Summary of work:

Cécilia Labiouse studied the impact of ownership structure in the shareholding of 575 listed European companies on their ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) score between 2011 and 2020. Her work focused primarily on two aspects: ownership concentration (does the largest shareholder own a major portion of the company?) and the identity of the different shareholders, which she divided into five groups: the state, individuals, institutional investors, companies and family investors. In addition to its exhaustive nature, the particularity of her approach is that she studied the effect of shareholder concentration independently of the identity of the main shareholder. Among the conclusions observed: when the State owns the largest share of the capital, the increase in its participation positively affects the ESG score. In contrast, when the main owner is a company or a private owner, the opposite effect occurs.

Lorren Mernier
2023 HERA Award Sustainable & Responsible Finance Nominee

thumbnail 2023 HERA MTAFin Portrait LorrenMernier

Lorren Mernier finished her master's degree in management sciences at HEC Liège (ULiège School of Management) in January 2023. She is currently a PhD student in sustainable finance.

Thesis : The practices to avoid greenwashing through EU regulations and their sustainable impact on the financial sector

Master thesis in management sciences defended in January 2023 at HEC Liège.

Sponsor: Yves Francis

Yves Francis is a lecturer at HEC Liège (Ethics, Regulations and Compliance in Finance).

Summary of the work:

Lorren Mernier wanted to know the impact of the so-called "SFDR, European Taxonomy and MiFid II ESG" regulations on greenwashing and on the institutions concerned by them. Adopted after a series of international agreements on the environment, these three European regulations have only recently come into force. After a detailed literature review on these regulations and particularly on MiFid II ESG, she developed a qualitative questionnaire that she submitted to ten key players in the sector grouped into three categories: banking operators, financial regulators and specialized consultants. Summarized, analyzed and discussed, their analyses highlight the strengths and weaknesses of MiFid II ESG with a view to facilitating the transition of financial markets towards European climate objectives.


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