Our work


Ethical Finance Summit

For global finance to drive positive change, we need to connect people and ideas. Established in 2015, the Ethical Finance Summit has a history of driving action through a global coalition across financial services.

 

By curating in-depth conversations among experts from banking, asset management and all parts of the financial system, we are able to bring people together for action. The summit has now become the premiere event advocating finance for positive change

Ethical Finance Round Tables

Focused exchanges between expert practitioners advance good ideas and drive progress.

 

Based in Edinburgh, the Ethical Finance Round Tables are the longest-running technical discussion platform to enable the sharing of best practice.

The Radical Old Idea

The world is rethinking the belief that only unfettered financial markets deliver the best outcomes for society. Inclusive growth and reconciling profit with purpose are key challenges of our time.

 

Building on the legacy of Scotland’s great thinkers, the Radical Old Idea is a platform to debate systemic, big-picture issues and enable a radical past to drive a sustainable future.

Financing Nature & SDGs

To deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals and protect nature, we need a new framework for investing in nature.

 

GEFI has led the way in connecting conservation, development and the finance sector, delivering finance for nature through our pioneering collaboration with UNDP and the Scottish Government.

The Path to COP26

The finance sector needs to act together to achieve decisive action at COP26 in Glasgow, the most important summit since Paris.

 

With a global footprint and Scottish roots, GEFI has united the leading financial services stakeholders committed to action at COP26 with a campaign of over 30 events and activities. We are committed to making finance work for COP26, and COP26 work for finance.

Faith in Finance

Together, diverse global faith groups can drive change in finance through ethical leadership and stewardship of their endowments.

 

The Edinburgh Finance Declaration is the world's first shared values framework for ethical finance bringing faith to finance, and finance to faith.

Our work


Ethical Finance Summit

For global finance to drive positive change, we need to connect people and ideas. Established in 2015, the Ethical Finance Summit has a history of driving action through a global coalition across financial services.

 

By curating in-depth conversations among experts from banking, asset management and all parts of the financial system, we are able to bring people together for action. The summit has now become the premiere event advocating finance for positive change

Learn more ›

Ethical Finance Round Tables

Focused exchanges between expert practitioners advance good ideas and drive progress.

 

Based in Edinburgh, the Ethical Finance Round Tables are the longest-running technical discussion platform to enable the sharing of best practice.

Learn more ›

The Radical Old Idea

The world is rethinking the belief that only unfettered financial markets deliver the best outcomes for society. Inclusive growth and reconciling profit with purpose are key challenges of our time.

 

Building on the legacy of Scotland’s great thinkers, the Radical Old Idea is a platform to debate systemic, big-picture issues and enable a radical past to drive a sustainable future.

Learn more ›

Financing Nature & SDGs

To deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals and protect nature, we need a new framework for investing in nature.

 

GEFI has led the way in connecting conservation, development and the finance sector, delivering finance for nature through our pioneering collaboration with UNDP and the Scottish Government.

Learn more ›

The Path to COP26

The finance sector needs to act together to achieve decisive action at COP26 in Glasgow, the most important summit since Paris.

 

With a global footprint and Scottish roots, GEFI has united the leading financial services stakeholders committed to action at COP26 with a campaign of over 30 events and activities. We are committed to making finance work for COP26, and COP26 work for finance.

Learn more ›

Faith in Finance

Together, diverse global faith groups can drive change in finance through ethical leadership and stewardship of their endowments.

 

The Edinburgh Finance Declaration is the world's first shared values framework for ethical finance bringing faith to finance, and finance to faith.

Learn more ›

Our events, both in-person and virtual, are where we our partners and stakeholders deliver the best of their insights. Join us and share your perspective.

Our team


Director

Allan Watt

Executive Manager

Chris Tait

Consultant

Gail Hurley

Co-founder & Senior Adviser

Graham Burnside

Project Executive

Matthew Gledhill

Executive Manager

Natalie Jackson

Director & Co-founder

Omar Shaikh

Project Executive

Sam Wheldon-Bayes

Chair, Global Steering Group

Dame Susan Rice

Consultant

Jon “JB” Beckett

Director

Allan Watt

Allan Watt is a senior advisor to Global Ethical Finance with wide experience in public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK and overseas.  He has been UK Chief Executive and also Scotland Director for the Prince’s Trust which helps young people into work or education and provides microfinance and start-up mentoring. Allan spent thirteen years at RBS with responsibility for communication, sponsorship, marketing and CSR activities in Edinburgh-based global roles and for three years in Hong Kong, as a member of the RBS Asia Pacific executive management team. This included work on affordable finance, lending in disadvantaged areas and impact investing.

Earlier in his career, he worked for the Scottish Development Agency and as Development Director for the Wise Group, a UK wide social enterprise. Most recently he has been carrying out interim work and consulting roles, including a year as Communications Director for Abellio, a Dutch-owned UK transport operator. Allan has been an advisor to the UK Government on employment and financial inclusion and has been a board member for a number of community, charitable and trade bodies.

Executive Manager

Chris Tait

Chris is an experienced Chartered Institute of Marketig and PRINCE 2 qualified marketing, business development and project manager. Specialising in B2B marketing Chris has occupied roles, across the UK, within the construction, facilities management, education, professional and financial services sectors. During his time at a Scottish law firm Chris developed an interest and expertise in ethical finance and he has since helped to grow the Ethical Finance Round Table series into winners of the prestigious EFICA Awards.

Consultant

Gail Hurley

Gail is an international development and sustainable finance professional with over 16 years’ experience in research, data analysis and market trends, advocacy and direct country support. Her areas of expertise include innovative finance mechanisms, sustainable finance, aid, debt and tax. She was a Project Manager for Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB) from 2015-2019 and is also a specialist in impact bonds, blue economy financing, small island states and impact measurement. She is currently a Fellow with Development Initiatives and Senior Consultant with Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) and was previously with UNDP and EURODAD.

Co-founder & Senior Adviser

Graham Burnside

Graham is a recognised expert in banking and finance law, specialising in particular in structured finance and capital markets, along with debt trading and financial product documentation. He pioneered the legal development of Islamic finance within Scotland on which he is now considered the country’s leading expert, having structured and documented the first (and so far only) Islamic mortgage products operating under Scots law and the first fully Sharia-compliant commercial real estate financing in Scotland. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Islamic Finance Council UK. The latest edition of Chambers & Partners Guide to the legal profession conferred on Graham the accolade of “Senior Statesman” in banking and finance law in Scotland, the only lawyer so recognised.

Project Executive

Matthew Gledhill

Matthew joined GEFI as a Project Executive after completing an MSc in Environmental Sustainability at the University of Edinburgh. Prior to enrolling on his Masters, Matthew was a Captain in the British Army. His interest in sustainability stemmed from a deployment to Mali, where he saw first-hand the impacts climate change was having on human security. Outside of GEFI, he has started the Armed Forces Network for Sustainability Leadership, which aims to encourage service leavers to start careers in the sustainability sector and has joined Association Kids First Mali, which supplies equipment to schools in central Mali. Most recently, he has joined Colourful Heritage as they look to build the first British Indian Army memorial in Scotland.

Executive Manager

Natalie Jackson

Natalie has over 10 years of experience working in finance and is passionate about how finance can be used to deliver social and environmental impact. Her career started at EY in 2010, in the corporate finance department, where she qualified as at Chartered Accountant. She has spent extended periods of time working with social enterprises in Africa and has assisted entrepreneurs in the Global South through the Grow Movement and Kiva. Natalie was one of the finalists in the One Young CA competition and nominated as one of ICAS’s top Accountants under 35 in the field of Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility. She has spent the last 6 years working in project finance with a focus on education, infrastructure and renewable energy projects. Natalie currently sits on the Social Growth Fund Board at Social Investment Scotland, advising on the disbursement of £17m of funding to Scottish Social Enterprises.

Director & Co-founder

Omar Shaikh

Omar is the Director and Co-founder of the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI). A Chartered Accountant by profession, he specialises in ethical/responsible finance, Islamic finance and private equity. He has extensive experience in financial services, has advised multiple governments and regulators on financial inclusion policy and for over 15 years has been a leading advocate for ethical and responsible finance. His background includes working with EY London where he was former Head of Islamic finance.

Omar launched the award-winning Edinburgh Ethical Finance Round Table series, a platform that led to the inception of the Ethical Finance Hub and GEFI. Through his work he has established a number of initiatives, including the Ethical Finance Summit (a major conference), the finance for nature project with UNDP creating innovative financing structures for the SDGs and the interfaith Edinburgh Finance Declaration. GEFI has recently launched the Path to COP26 campaign, bringing together stakeholders to advance climate finance ahead of the crucial 2021 Glasgow summit.

Omar received a BAcc from the University of Glasgow, is a member of ICAS and holds select board advisory roles including with the Prince’s Trust Scotland and supporting Glasgow Museums on preserving South Asian Heritage in Scotland.

Project Executive

Sam Wheldon-Bayes

Sam is a researcher and economist with interests in the intersection of environment, finance and economy. He has previously worked as a researcher for Lord Robert Skidelsky, producing a MOOC on the philosophy of economics, as well as a book entitled ‘What’s Wrong With Economics’, an accessible summary of recent academic debates in economics, as well as being a member of campaign group Rethinking Economics.

Chair, Global Steering Group

Dame Susan Rice

Dame Susan Rice, a Chartered Banker, chairs the Banking Standards Board and was founding chair of the Chartered Banker: Professional Standards Board.  She also chairs Scottish Water, Business Stream and the Scottish Fiscal Commission, Scotland’s independent economic and fiscal forecaster.  In addition, she is Senior Independent Director of J Sainsbury, and of the North American Income Trust.  The first woman to head a UK clearing bank, she was Chief Executive and Chairman of Lloyds TSB Scotland plc, then Managing Director of Lloyds Banking Group.  She was previously a Non-Executive Director of the Bank of England and energy company SSE.  She has helped develop approaches to social finance in the US and UK, led work on cultural and ethical standards for bankers, chaired Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group and now works with P-CAN.  Previously, she was Senior Vice President at NatWest Bancorp in New York and, earlier in her career, a Dean at Yale and Colgate Universities in America and a published medical researcher.

Consultant

Jon “JB” Beckett

JB is an experienced investment professional, writer, non-executive director, trainer and guest lecturer. He is the author of ‘New Fund Order’, a controversial and outspoken ex investment gatekeeper and emeritus member of the Association of Professional Fund Investors. JB has long been campaigner for sustainability, technology and better investment governance.

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