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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Ga-Young (Kathy) Jang

Hanyang University, Korea

How to integrate ESG in financial decision making



This study analyzes what determines ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) and its performance, through qualitative case studies. First, it finds that the biggest motivating force that accelerates ESG integration is the shift in the investment activities of the asset owners and managers. Furthermore, from the analysis of the qualitative case studies involving major players in ESG integration (i.e. credit rating agencies, asset managers and an AI-drive ESG research firm), this study finds that the incomplete and conflicting approaches at different agents are the main cause for the difficulty in ESG integration. This study presents the challenges that hinder effective ESG integration as follows: lack of credibility, lack of motivation, lack of voice and lack of education. Lastly, this paper introduces two novel developments in ESG integration, technological innovations and COVID-19 that are expected to act as a catalyst to accelerate ESG integration in academia and practice going forward.


Currently working as a portfolio manager at Hanwha Asset Management in Seoul, Korea, she has an investment experience of more than ten years in the finance industry. Before joining Hanwha, she worked as an institutional investor at Kyobo Life Insurance Company in Seoul, Korea. Her primary focus area is fixed income. She has been a CFA charterholder since 2012.

She graduated from University of Michigan-Ann Arbor with a bachelor’s degree in LS&A. She received a master’s degree in finance from Seoul National University in Seoul, Korea. She wrote her master’s thesis called, Top Managers' Pledging: Determinants and Effects.

She is currently a doctoral student at Hanyang University Business School in Seoul, Korea. She is working on various projects from asset pricing to corporate finance to ESG. In April 2020, she published her work called, ESG Scores and the Credit Market, at Sustainability.

Ga-Young (Kathy) Jang

Ga-Young (Kathy) Jang