Our Advisory Services


We can work with you in the development of your ethical and sustainable finance approach through completing research, delivering capacity building training and carrying out tailored advisory work. We are a not-for-profit rather than a commercially focused organisation – the motivation behind our advisory work is to progress the ethical and sustainable finance agenda.

The Sustainable Finance Journey


There is increasing pressure on financial institutions from government regulation and consumer activism to consider the impact of their actions on climate change and society.

Financial institutions are each at different points on their sustainable finance journey from traditional investing, with no consideration of social and environmental factors, to impact investing which considers the impact of an investment on society and the environment.

Traditional

Seeks financial returns regardless of ESG factors

Responsible

Negative screening based on values

ESG

Actively manage ESG risk and seek ESG opportunities aligned with market returns

Impact

Actively seek opportunities to create positive social and environmental outcomes aligned to market returns

Navigating this sustainable investment journey can be difficult due to the number of tools, frameworks and initiatives available and overcoming challenges around greenwashing and authenticity. It requires bandwidth and expertise that may not be readily available within an organisation.

GEFI can partner with you to guide you on your journey.

How we can assist you..

Research

We undertake tailored research on a range of topics in the ethical and sustainable finance sector including mapping the landscape and providing market insights.

Training

We deliver bespoke capacity building training on relevant topics e.g. tools available to investors who want to take action on climate change and international initiatives such as the UN Principles for Responsible Banking.

Advisory Services

We provide customised advisory services, e.g. verifying impact processes and guiding organisations on the development of an ethical framework.

what is ‘unique’ about GEFI is your holistic / systemic approach to the issues and your truly impressive convening power across the full range of stakeholders

Managing Director Energy – Global Lead Energy Transition Wholesale Banking, top tier financial institution

Experience and Expertise

We have a depth and breadth of experience and have worked with financial institutions and regulators, guiding them on their ethical and sustainable finance journey.

Advisory work is delivered by our core team and senior advisors who have a range of skills in consultancy, project finance, private equity, banking law, Islamic finance, audit and reporting, assurance, investment advisory, strategy, governance, risk, PR and communications.

Our relevant experience includes:

The Scottish National Investment Bank

We guided SNIB in the development and implementation of its ethical statement and associated ethical framework.

Office of the Chief Economist

We investigated the barriers businesses in the South of Scotland face to job growth and the types of finance that could address local needs.

Mobilising Private Sector Capital in Support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals

We reviewed the appetite amongst the global investor community for supporting the SDGs and ESG-aligned investing.

Islamic Finance and the Sustainable Development Goals

We delivered a 5-day practitioner-led, capacity building programme on ethical finance, including an overview of the UN SDGs.

Islamic Finance and the Principles for Responsible Investment

We completed analysis on the quantitative and qualitative aspects of responsible investing in the Islamic finance sector.

Mapping the Responsible Investing Landscape in Scotland

We produced a report that considered the history, ecosystem, taxonomy and market size of the responsible investing landscape in Scotland.

The Scottish National Investment Bank

We guided SNIB in the development and implementation of its ethical statement and associated ethical framework.

The Scottish National Investment Bank (“the Bank”) is a mission-led development bank providing patient capital to build a stronger, fairer, more sustainable Scotland. It was launched in 2020 and is a £2bn-capitalised public investment fund with a focus on investments in projects that support Scotland’s transition to net zero, build communities, promote equality, and harness innovation.

Prior to its public launch, we were commissioned by the Scottish Government to provide advice and guidance that could be used by the incoming leadership team to inform the development and implementation of the Bank’s ethical statement and its associated ethical framework. The underpinning analysis involved: completing a literature review; identifying and reviewing relevant frameworks, regulations and standards; conducting a horizontal benchmarking exercise of comparable institutions; and interviewing the team of civil servants and consultants building out the Bank. The final report also provided practical steps for creating and implementing the ethical statement and framework.

Office of the Chief Economist

We investigated the barriers businesses in the South of Scotland face to job growth and the types of finance that could address local needs.

Scotland’s Economic Strategy sets out its commitment to the mutually reinforcing goals of boosting competitiveness and tackling inequality, supported by four priority areas: investment, innovation, internationalisation and inclusive growth. Inclusive growth can only be sustainable in the long-term if it is business-led, working alongside the public sector and partners to create the right conditions for success.

We were commissioned by the Scottish Government’s Office of the Chief Economist, in partnership with The Good Economy, to look at the barrier’s businesses in the South of Scotland face to job growth and the types of finance and investment that could address local business needs. We completed desk-based research into availability of finance in the region, conducted face-to-face interviews with local businesses, drafted sections of the report, and reviewed the final report.

The research provided Scottish Government and the South of Scotland Enterprise Partnership with policy recommendations and practical guidance on business-led inclusive job growth for the South of Scotland Enterprise – the new economic and community development agency for the region.

Mobilising Private Sector Capital in Support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals

We reviewed the appetite amongst the global investor community for supporting the SDGs and ESG-aligned investing.

Accomplishing the SDGs requires a US$5-7 trillion per annum investment, with an estimated US$2.4 trillion per annum shortfall. Innovative financing structures that leverage private sector finance into SDG aligned projects at scale are key in filling this funding opportunity. After brokering a 2-year programme of collaboration with Scottish Government and UNDP we have led the research and development of an investment product to encourage private capital to fund SDG aligned objectives.

We provided a comprehensive review of the appetite amongst the global investor community for supporting the SDGs and ESG-aligned investing. We consulted almost 100 representatives from a cross-section of investment professionals and asset owners, representing total assets under management of over US$21.5 trillion and then developed a recommended solution.

We are now seeking an institutional partner to develop an innovative private sector financing initiative that leverages capital into projects that will help achieve the SDGs.

Islamic Finance and the Sustainable Development Goals

We delivered a 5-day practitioner-led, capacity building programme on ethical finance, including an overview of the UN SDGs.

The SDGs are designed to be a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. The 17 quantitative and qualitative SDGs reflect the aspirations of people around the world. Our research highlighted there was limited understanding of the SDGs, perceived lack of relevance of the SDGs to the commercial agenda and limited desire to consult with peers and participate in the SDG debate among Islamic Finance Institutions.

Our work provided a summary of the SDGs, the financial opportunity, the role of Islamic finance and the UN initiatives that provide a good starting point for financial institutions interested in the SDGs, including the Principles for Responsible Investment, the Principles for Responsible Banking and the Principles for Sustainable Insurance.

The research provides a guide and insight for both conventional and Islamic finance institutions that are interested in integrating the SDGs into their organisation.

Islamic Finance and the Principles for Responsible Investment

We completed analysis on the quantitative and qualitative aspects of responsible investing in the Islamic finance sector.

There has been limited participation from the Islamic finance sector in leading UN initiatives that support financial institutions seeking to align with the SDGs. To achieve SDG targets, Islamic Development Bank Member Countries require annual funding of between US$700 billion and US$1 trillion. The primary purpose of our work was to increase awareness and inspire practical action amongst Islamic financial institutions in relation to the SDGs.

The report provided a quantitative and qualitative analysis of responsible investing in the Islamic finance sector, assessing the level of engagement with the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) amongst financial institutions in the 57 Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states and analysed the approaches and terminology used by 12 Islamic finance signatories. It also featured four detailed case studies developed following in-depth interviews with senior representatives from PRI signatories in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and the UK.

Our work can be used as a tool to assist investors looking to become PRI signatories.

Mapping the Responsible Investing Landscape in Scotland

We produced a report that considered the history, ecosystem, taxonomy and market size of the responsible investing landscape in Scotland.

The motivation behind this work was to raise awareness and support the growth of the responsible investing market in Scotland. Having engaged with a number of stakeholders as well as undertaken internal desk-based research it was apparent that, whilst data on the sector exists for the UK as a whole, there was little or nothing specific to Scotland available.

To address this issue, in partnership with the Centre for Responsible Banking & Finance, a research centre within the University of St Andrews School of Management, we conducted research and delivered a report that: examined asset managers and owners actively engaged in responsible investing; identified Scottish-based investment funds that are managed ethically; and compared results from Scotland to Ireland and the UK to provide context. The report considered the history, ecosystem, taxonomy and market size of the responsible investing landscape in Scotland.

The report has directly influenced Scottish Government policy with data included in the “Investing with Purpose: Global Capital Investment Plan” launched in March 2021. The report is a useful tool for those interested in gaining insight on the responsible investing landscape in Scotland.

If you are interested in working with us please get in touch to find out more.