Romain Berrou, Finagri Chair
Thesis: Understanding the difference in market behaviour between green financial products and traditional financial products.
Post-baccalaureate business school IESEG followed by a Master's degree at ESCP in Management associated with specialized courses in finance.
Testimony of Romain Berrou
What is your background and how would you describe it, more academic, or in relation to the business world ?
I have a somewhat unusual background, starting with a post-baccalaureate business school IESEG in Paris, which allowed me to discover all the sectors of the company. I then took a year off in China and Colombia where I worked for two startups, one on organic food and the second on ecological construction.
It was rewarding to discover companies with an extra-financial objective. I then continued my studies with a Master’s degree in Management at ESCP, also taking specialised courses in finance. It was in this context that I was led to carry out a research project on Impact Investing, the aim of which is to focus on investment funds specialising in projects with an extra-financial impact.
During this quarter, I had the opportunity to interview about thirty professionals in France, Europe and even the world who are also working on these issues. It was also on this occasion that I met Professor Philippe Dessertine with whom I am doing my PhD today.
What is the subject of your thesis and how does it fit into the strategy of the company that currently employs you on fixed-term contracts ?
I joined the Finagri Chair of the IAE in 2016. The general theme is to understand the difference in market behaviour between green financial products and traditional financial products.
The principle of the research chair is to bring together agricultural cooperatives, such as Invivo, France’s leading agricultural cooperative group, INRA, the Institut National de Recherche Agronomique or the Avril cooperative, on the one hand, and financial players, such as insurers, on the other,
After a first phase where we focused on partners in agriculture, we will approach a second phase with more financial actors in the coming months to analyse how the capacity of capital to finance responsible agriculture can be improved.
There is also a technical and innovative dimension, as I am required to work with Data Science and Machine Learning tools on a daily basis. This new approach is made possible within the framework of the doctoral school, thanks to which we have access to large financial databases such as Bloomberg, Datastream, etc. Our objective is to cross-reference them with agricultural data in order to determine their economic relationships.
Can you explain to us what is Territory Startup and its importance for your research work ?
The IAE offered me the opportunity to give conferences and lectures on responsible finance: how green finance will change the business model of banks, companies and its perspective of an international context with the UN for example.
The Chair also provided me with some rather exceptional opportunities, such as meeting the European Investment Bank, or in Bordeaux to exchange with the region to understand how responsible finance was beginning to interest professionals and offer possibilities for implementation. Eventually, the concrete application of the results of my thesis will certainly lead me to contact the alumni list and more generally the IAE network.