About | Mentor | Michael Corcoran

Michael Corcoran

A firm believer in life long learning, I aim to use my experience in the financial services sector, along with my ongoing studies, to contribute to society. I have a great interest in ESG principles, responsible investing (particularly impact investing) and social issues – especially anything addressing social or financial inequality. I’m also a keen scholar of most sports, and still manage to partake (slowly) in touch footy, swimming, cycling, tennis and yoga.


My career to date in the superannuation industry (mainly the “profit for members” sector) has involved working closely in service and strategy delivery with a wide range of stakeholders. These range from superannuation fund members and employers through to boards of directors, senior executives, service providers and regulators. Areas of most interest include investments, marketing and communications, ethics and governance.

The community sector is also of enormous interest to me, particularly the aged care and disability services sectors. I’m most interested in finding ways that the world of finance can be used to sustain social and community services. I serve on the boards of two not for profit organisations.

Currently studies are in Social Impact through the Centre for Social Impact and UNSW. Other recent studies have included Business (Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies – QUT) and Communication (Public Relations and Professional Communications – UQ). I have individual membership of the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia (RIAA) and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Earlier studies have been in business, government and economics.


Conceptualizing the circular economy: An analysis of 114 definitions

15 September 2017
The aim of this paper is to create transparency regarding the current understandings of the circular economy concept. The findings indicate that the circular economy is most frequently depicted as a combination of reduce, reuse and recycle activities. Concerningly, many definitions overlook that circular economy necessitates a systemic shift.

A legal framework for impact: Sustainability impact in investor decision-making

The report examines whether laws within eleven diverse jurisdictions support institutional investors in pursuing sustainability outcomes, while at the same time earning a financial return. It discusses options available to policymakers for legal reform in order to facilitate investing for sustainability impact.

The promise of fintech: financial inclusion in the post COVID-19 era

This report uses quantitative and qualitative research to further our understanding of developments in digital financial inclusion driven by fintech, and their macroeconomic effects. It also details the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and discusses the future of fintech’s impacts on financial inclusion.

Climate transparency report 2021: Comparing G20 climate action towards net zero

14 October 2021
The Climate transparency report 2021 summarises the climate actions of G20 countries using the latest emissions data. It covers 100 indicators on decarbonisation, climate policies, finance, and vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. Providing country ratings, it identifies leaders and laggards in transition to a net zero-emission economy.

Investing in a just transition in the UK: How investors can integrate social impact and place-based financing into climate strategies

The Investing in a Just Transition initiative sets out how investors can act with social and environmental responsibility in the transition to a zero-carbon, resilient economy. It provides stakeholders with a sense of what a ‘just’ transition looks like, and suggests practical actions to achieve such a transition.

Final report: Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures

This report contains the final recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. It includes information on climate-related risks and opportunities, scenario analysis, and guidance to support organisations from all sectors to make climate-related financial disclosures consistent with these recommendations.

TCFD good practice handbook

This Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) handbook provides examples of good practice climate-related financial disclosures across the four core TCFD elements of governance, strategy, risk management, metrics and targets from corporates across the G20.

Impact investing: An emerging opportunity to add broader value?

30 November 2017
Large asset owners such as superannuation fund trustees have a responsibility not only to their member beneficiaries, but also to society at large. Investment decisions should manage both financial returns and societal impact. This report discusses opportunities and challenges faced by superannuation fund trustees in approaching impact investing.

Fixed income: An introduction to responsible investment

This guide provides an introduction on how investors can consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues when assessing fixed income instruments and their issuers. It outlines options for how to include ESG issues when building a fixed income portfolio and when working with issuers on how they manage ESG issues.

Investing in the global green economy: Busting common myths

31 May 2018
Analysis by FTSE Russell suggests that the transition to a sustainable green economy is a large investment opportunity, backed by global efforts to combat climate change and broader environmental challenges, that can deliver outperformance of the global equity market,


Why do we invest ethically?

31 August 2005
This report looks at investor behaviour, and contends that investors no longer behave in the “rational” fashion that traditional finance theory assumes. Studying the desire to invest ethically challenges the relevance of traditional finance theory, and helps improve our understanding of ethical investor behaviour.

Framing the future of corporate governance: Deloitte governance framework

This report outlines the Deloitte governance framework which provides board members with an end-to-end view of corporate governance. The aim of the framework is to act as a tool for board members and executives to quickly identify potential opportunities to improve both effectiveness and efficiency within the organisation structure.


The COVID-19 Corporate Response Tracker: How America’s largest employers are treating stakeholders amid the coronavirus crisis

31 March 2020
The 2020 novel coronavirus pandemic and impending recession have created an opportunity for corporate leaders to put stakeholder capitalism into practice. JUST Capital has created a tracker to assess America’s largest employers’ response in supporting their workers, customers and communities. They have also developed principles to guide corporate America during the crisis.

Climate change: Awareness to action

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has highlighted the financial risks of climate change facing financial services organisations, saying that they are material, foreseeable and actionable now. APRA’s survey of 38 entities summarises the activities that those entities are adopting to mitigate financial risks. This information paper provides APRA's insights into responses to their survey.