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Ethical Finance 2020 (EF2020) will convene the world’s foremost business, political, civic and social leaders for a virtual summit to network, share, co-develop and shape a fairer, more sustainable financial system. The annual Ethical Finance conference is organised by the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI), which coordinates a series of programmes to promote finance for positive change.

It is now widely recognised that the financial services sector has a fundamental role to play in delivering universally supported targets such as the Paris Agreement and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, as well as supporting the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, despite its potential, the current financial system can be a cause, rather than a solution, to some of the pressing challenges our planet and its people currently face. Ethical Finance 2020 will explore how the finance services can support inclusive economic growth without depleting natural resources or leaving anyone behind.

Following discussions with event partners, we will be holding Ethical Finance 2020 as a virtual summit, for safety reasons. We will continue to make every effort to ensure that Ethical Finance 2020 provides speakers and delegates with a platform to share ideas, network, and drive finance for positive change. In light of the change of format, we will now hold the summit over 4 days from 5th-8th October.

Summit Themes

  • Inclusive growth and driving financial inclusion
  • Rethinking capitalism
  • System change
  • Leadership
  • The COVID-19 recovery

DAYS 1 & 2: Green and Sustainable Finance Principles to Practice – Banking on Change

  • Banking Leaders 2021 Outlook
  • Climate Finance – the moral imperative for achieving net zero
  • Principles for Responsible Banking
  • Real Leadership during crisis/change
  • Redefining Purpose & Thinking Beyond GDP

DAYS 3 & 4: From Greenwash to Greentrust – Investing for Our Future

  • Investment Leaders 2021 Outlook
  • How investors cope with radical uncertainty and the implications for investing with impact
  • Greenwashing – time to name and shame?
  • Becoming an ESG-oriented asset owner
  • The Health of Nations

Download the Ethical Finance 2019 Summary Report

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Join over 300 delegates from 15+ countries to network, share, co-develop and shape a financial system that delivers social, economic or environmental impact.

EF2019 Keynotes

EF2019 Keynotes


CEO, Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)

Fiona Reynolds

Fiona Reynolds is the CEO of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). The PRI is a U.N. supported organisation which aims to create a sustainable global financial system and has more than 2,800 signatories who collectively represent over US $90 trillion in assets under management.

Appointed in 2013, Fiona has 25 years’ experience in the financial services and pension sector. Fiona joined the PRI from Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST), where she spent 7 years as the CEO. Fiona also serves on the Board of the UN Global Compact, is a member of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), the Global Advisory Council on Stranded Assets at Oxford University, the UN Business for Peace Steering Committee, the Global Steering Committee for the investor agenda on climate action and the Steering Committee for Climate Action 100+. Fiona has been a member of the UK Government Green Finance Taskforce and is currently on the Advisory Board for the UK Green Finance Centre. In 2018 Fiona was named by Barron’s magazine as one of the 20 most influential people in sustainability globally.

CEO, Aberdeen Standard Investments

Keith Skeoch

Keith Skeoch is Chief Executive of Standard Life Aberdeen plc, which oversees £544.6bn* of assets for clients.

Keith started his career in 1979 at the Government Economic Service. He moved into financial services in 1980 and became chief economist with James Capel (HSBC Securities from 1996), where he was latterly managing director of international equities.

He joined Standard Life Investments in 1999 as Chief Investment Officer, before becoming Chief Executive of that division in 2004. In 2015 he was appointed Chief Executive of Standard Life plc, having been a board member since 2006, and led the merger with Aberdeen Asset Management in 2017. He was named as sole CEO of Standard Life Aberdeen in 2019.

Keith has held a number of key industry appointments. He is currently Chair of the Investment Association, a board member of the Financial Reporting Council and a member of the Takeover Panel.

Keith holds a BA from the University of Sussex and an MA from the University of Warwick. In recognition of his wider contribution to the financial services industry – particularly his work in response to the global financial crisis – he has been awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Sussex and Teesside University. For his services to the economics profession, he has been named a Fellow of the Society of Business Economists.
Keith is also a Trustee of the Edinburgh International Festival.

Chair, Banking Standards Boards

Dame Susan Rice

Dame Susan Rice was appointed Chair of the Banking Standards Board on 1 January 2020. Dame Susan Rice is also Chair of Scottish Water, Chair of the Scottish Fiscal Commission, Senior Independent Director of J Sainsbury’s and a Non-executive Director of the North American Income Trust, Big Society Capital.  She was a member of the First Minister’s Council of Economic Advisors, Managing Director of Lloyds Banking Group Scotland and was previously Chief Executive and then Chair of Lloyds TSB Scotland plc.  She has chaired the Chartered Banker: Professional Standards Board since its inception.

Susan is also the Chair of Business Stream and has held a range of other senior non-executive appointments including a seven year term as a non-executive Director of the Bank of England and eleven years as a non-executive Director of SSE. She is also the President of Scottish Council for Development Industry.

Susan was made a Dame in the 2018 New Year’s Honours list for services to business, the arts and charity in Scotland.


Eric Usher

Eric Usher Heads the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative, UNEP FI, a global partnership bringing together the UN with a global groups of banks, insurers and asset managers working to develop the sustainable finance and responsible investment agendas. Eric oversees governance, strategy and day-to-day management of UNEP FI’s work programme and global network development. Over the years UNEP FI has established some of the most important sustainability oriented frameworks within the finance industry, including the Principles for Responsible Investment (2006), the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (2012) and the Principles for Responsible Banking (2019). Since joining in 2015, Mr. Usher has focused on accelerating the deep integration of sustainability risks into financial practice, including addressing climate change, natural capital loss and human rights abuses, as well as building out the frameworks for positive impact finance needed to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Eric sits on several industry bodies including as UN representative on the Board of the Principles for Responsible Investment, and as a member of the governing boards of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative, the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, the Investor Agenda and the impact fund REPP Africa.

Prior to leading UNEP FI, Mr. Usher has over twenty years of experience in the low carbon sectors, spanning technology commercialisation in Canada, solar rural electrification in Morocco and financial sector development across emerging markets. During 2011, Mr. Usher worked on the establishment of the Green Climate Fund and led efforts to create its Private Sector Facility. Eric has been an editor of the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment report published annually with Bloomberg and was lead author for finance of the IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources. Earlier in his career, Eric was General Manager of a solar rural electrification company based in Morocco.

Board Member, Tesla & Former CIO, GPIF

Hiro Mizuno

Hiro Mizuno has been a member of the Board of Tesla since April 2020. Mr Mizuno’s entire career has been in finance and investment, spanning Tokyo, New York, London, Hong Kong and Silicon Valley. Most recently, Mr. Mizuno served as Executive Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, which is the largest pension fund in the world with approximately $1.5 trillion in assets under management. Mr. Mizuno is also a member of numerous business and government advisory boards, including the board of the PRI, an investor initiative to promote responsible investment in partnership with the United Nations, the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council, and the Japanese government’s strategic fund integrated advisory board.

CEO, Committee on Climate Change (CCC)

Chris Stark

Chris Stark is the Chief Executive of the UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the public body tasked by the Climate Change Act to be the independent authority on tackling climate change. Chris leads a team of analysts and specialists, offering expert insight into the challenges of reducing UK emissions and adapting to the changing climate.

Chris led the CCC’s work in 2019 to recommend a new ‘Net Zero’ target for the UK – now brought into law. He speaks regularly on the transition to a zero carbon economy and the need to confront climate change with urgency.

Chris has wide experience in government. He has designed economic policy in Whitehall, including in HM Treasury and the former Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. He was previously Director of Energy and Climate Change in the Scottish Government, leading the development of the Scottish energy and climate strategies.

Executive Dean, Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University

Professor Heather McGregor

Professor McGregor is non-executive chairman of the executive search firm Taylor Bennett. She is also the founder of the Taylor Bennett Foundation, which works to promote diversity in the communications industry. In addition, Professor McGregor is a non-executive director of two public companies.

Professor McGregor has a Ph.D. from the University of Hong Kong in Structured Finance and is an experienced writer and broadcaster, including writing for the Financial Times for 17 years. She is also the founder of the Taylor Bennett Foundation, which works to promote diversity in the communications industry, and a founding member of the steering committee of the 30% Club, which is working to raise the representation of women at senior levels within the U.K.’s publicly listed companies.

In June 2015, Professor McGregor was made a Commander of the British Empire for her services to diversity and employment. In February 2017, she was appointed by the UK Government to be a member of the Honours Committee for the Economy.


David Pitt-Watson

David is a leading thinker & practitioner in responsible investment. Born & brought up in Scotland, he was co-founder, and CEO of Hermes Focus Funds & Equity Ownership Service. These became the largest responsible investment group of any fund manager in the world.  Throughout his career he has been deeply involved in policy, particularly in the field of corporate governance and financial market regulation. He has led numerous initiatives to improve the performance of the financial system. For example he chaired the UN Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative in the run up to the Paris Climate Conference, (CoP 21).

Author & Economist

John Kay

John Kay is an economist whose career has spanned the academic world, business and finance, and public affairs. He has held chairs at the London Business School, the University of Oxford and the London School of Economics and is a Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford, the British Academy and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. John is a director of several public companies and a contributing editor of the Financial Times. He chaired the Review of UK Equity Markets and Long-Term Decision-Making.

He is the author of many books, including The Truth About Markets, The Long and the Short of It and Obliquity. His latest book, Other People’s Money was a book of the year for Bloomberg, The Economist and the Financial Times, winner of the Saltire Literary Prize for non-fiction, and was short-listed for the Orwell Prize for political writing. His next book, Radical Uncertainty, jointly written with Mervyn King, will be published in March 2020.

CEO, Triodos Bank N.V.

Peter Blom

Peter Blom is the CEO and Chair of the Executive Board of Triodos Bank N.V., a position he has held since 1997. He has also served as a Statutory Director of Triodos Bank N.V. since 1989. He first joined the organisation in 1982 as a Loan Officer, rising to Joint Managing Director by 1989. He also serves as Statutory Director of Triodos Ventures B.V. and a Member of the Board of Stichting Triodos Holding and Stichting Triodos Sustainable Finance Foundation.

In addition to the roles he holds within the Triodos group, he is a Board Member of the Dutch Banking Association (NVB) and Stichting NatuurCollege. He is a co-founder and Chair of the Board of Stichting Global Alliance for Banking on Values and co-founder and co-Chair of the Board of Stichting Sustainable Finance Lab. He chairs the Supervisory Board of MVO Nederland (CSR Netherlands) and is a member of the Club of Rome, and the Central Planning Committee of Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB).

Managing Director, Global Ethical Finance Initiative

Omar Shaikh

Omar is a Chartered Accountant by profession and specialises in ethical finance, Islamic finance and private equity. He has extensive experience in financial services and Government advisory. He has advised, and trained, multiple governments on their capital markets, banking, pension and insurance regulation and is a regular speaker at ethical finance conference and events. Omar’s background includes working with EY where he was a Subject Matter Expert for Islamic finance. Through his work at developmental body UKIFC Omar launched the award winning Edinburgh Ethical Finance Round Table series, a platform that led to the inception of the Ethical Finance Hub and Global Ethical Finance Initiative

Chief Executive, Chartered Banker Institute

Simon Thompson

Simon Thompson was appointed as Chief Executive of the Chartered Banker Institute, the oldest institute of bankers in the world, in 2007. Simon was recently appointed as the first Chair of the Global Banking Education Standards Committee, and is a former Vice-President of the European Bank Training Network.  He is the editor of Green Finance: Principles and Practice – the world’s first practitioner guide to green finance.

Associate Editor - Breakingviews, Thomson Reuters

George Hay

George Hay is an associate editor in Breakingviews’ London office, covering commodities, the Middle East and general financial policy issues. Prior to that he was Breakingviews’ European Financial Editor, and also worked as a correspondent for AFX News and United Business Media. He has an undergraduate degree from Edinburgh University, a Graduate Diploma in Economics from Birkbeck, University of London, and his work has been recognised at the UK’s Business Journalist of the Year Awards.


Strategic Partners

Scottish Government





Interested in Sponsorship Opportunities?

There are an exciting range of sponsorship opportunities available to work with GEFI for Ethical Finance 2020 and other events throughout the year. We are happy to work with you to tailor sponsorship packages to suit your marketing objectives and budget. For Sponsorship and Supporter opportunities please contact sponsor@globalethicalfinance.org.

For Media Partnership opportunities please contact Events@globalethicalfinance.org.


Ethical Finance 2020 will be attended by over 1000 senior representatives from 300+ companies and organisations from across the globe. As well as asset owners, banks and asset managers the conference will be attended by Governments, regulators, multi-lateral agencies, academics and representatives from a wide range of organisations engaged in the ethical finance sector. In light of our move to a virtual summit, we have decided to offer free access for all attendees in order to facilitate the delivery of genuine impact.

Please note that some digital content may also be offered on a paid-for or membership basis. Attendees can request refunds for any paid add-ons up to 30 days before the event start date.

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