Ethical Finance 2019 (EF2019) was organised by the Global Ethical Finance Initiative, which oversees, organises and coordinates a series of programmes to promote finance for positive change. GEFI annually hosts in Edinburgh the premier platform that convenes the world’s foremost business, political, civic and social leaders of society to network, share, co-develop and shape a fairer, more sustainable financial system.

With the Bank of England recognising climate change as a core financial risk, the proliferation of the UN SDGs and the ongoing dichotomy for asset managers wrestling with the social impact versus economic return conundrum; the financial system is undergoing material transformational challenge.

Organised in partnership with UNDP and the Scottish Government, Ethical Finance 2019 convened over 350 leading finance practitioners from across the globe to help define and shape the transition to a sustainable financial system where finance delivers positive change.

Video Highlights

Rt. Hon Gordon Brown
Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Nicola Sturgeon
First Minister of Scotland

The Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby
Archbishop of Canterbury

Michael Moe
Co-Founder, GSV Asset Management / Co-Founder, CEO, CIO, GSV Capital

Dame Susan Rice
Non-Practitioner Member, Banking Standards Board

Sir Roger Gifford
Chair, Green Finance Institute

David Pitt-Watson
Consultant Investor and Author

Sarah Breeden
Executive Director, UK Deposit Takers Supervision

Saker Nusseibeh
CEO, Hermes Investment Management

Driving Finance for Positive Change

1 Minute Highlights

More videos >


“Excellent conference, very well organised with great venue and speakers. We appreciate the introductions you made for us which will be valuable.”

CEO, UK bank

“Congratulations on organising such a successful conference. I thoroughly enjoyed the presentations and panel discussions and the opportunity to make some great contacts.”

Head of Department, global asset manager

“I really enjoyed myself, learnt something new and met new interesting people which in combination is always a sign of a fantastic event. I can appreciate how much effort must have been invested in ensuring that everything was of this high quality and ran smoothly so very well done.”

Managing Director, global advisory

“Thank you so much for such an amazing event which we fully enjoyed. There was a lot of interesting and thought-provoking ideas addressed and raised at the conference.”

Director, global bank

“Let me congratulate you on a spectacularly successful conference. I loved it, really meaningful discussions, really very interesting. Congratulations also to the speakers for their insights and eloquence. Excellent event.”

CEO, global data provider

“It’s easy to get jaded about attending events, but when they are put together so thoughtfully, with a range of excellent speakers and moderators, and where the only things that are pitched to you are ideas, considered views and best practice examples, it really is a breath of fresh air. Well done to all at Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) for putting on an outstanding event. I’ve never found it easier to pay attention for a whole day.”

Managing Director, UK advisory

“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 – the audience and the speakers. That doesn’t come about without a clear vision and a lot of hard work – congratulations on the success of that! A truly impressive event!”

Managing Director, European bank

“It was a consistently superb event – it certainly gave me a good boost of confidence in the future.”

Special Advisor, European bank

“What an amazing 2 days we had in Edinburgh, lots to be energised about and take forwards, not least new connections.”

CEO, UK credit union

“Thank you so much for the opportunity to speak at such a well-executed, well curated conference. I had a great time listening and meeting new people. Well done.”

Senior Director – American think tank

“It was my pleasure. You and the team did an excellent job. The event had energy, humour and purpose.”

Trust Executive, UK foundation

“Many thanks for the invitation – I thoroughly enjoyed contributing to the debate.”

Executive Director, Central Bank

Day 1 : Purpose, culture and sustainability

The first day of the conference focused on embedding sustainability into the business models of financial institutions. It looked at how companies are responding to socioeconomic, environmental, technological and regulatory drivers to shape their internal culture, accelerate green finance and finance in support of the SDGs and leverage fintech innovations.


Financing Sustainability: Designing for A Future on Earth

Reforming Banking Culture – How do we Restore Trust and Confidence?

SDGs and the UN Principles for Responsible Banking

FinTech for Good

Accelerating Green Finance

The Scottish Government hosted the conference reception in Edinburgh Castle’s magnificent Great Hall on Tuesday 8th October 2019. Following the reception, guests were invited for a private viewing of the Honours of Scotland (Scottish Crown Jewels).

Day 2 : A New Investment Paradigm

The second day explored the new ethical investment paradigm. It considered the challenges around changing ESG data needs, asset owner appetite, innovative blended financial instruments and how asset managers are constructing new strategies to meet evolving demand.


Data Paradigm Shift – Exploring ESG Data Needs

Measuring Impact

Values-Based Investing – an Asset Owner Perspective

Innovative Financing Structures and Using Blended Capital

Finance for Sustainable Supply Chains


The Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby

Archbishop of Canterbury

(Video address)

Dame Susan Rice

Non-Practitioner Member, Banking Standards Board

Sir Roger Gifford

Chair, Green Finance Institute

Sarah Breeden

Executive Director, UK Deposit Takers Supervision

Nicola Sturgeon, MSP

First Minister, Scottish Government

Saker Nusseibeh

CEO, Hermes Investment Management

Dr Lena Wilson CBE

Non-executive Director,
Royal Bank of Scotland

David Pitt-Watson

Consultant Investor and Author

Gary Gillespie

Chief Economist,
Scottish Government

Amy Clarke

Co-Founder and Partner,

Tribe Impact Capital

Michael Moe

Co-Founder, GSV Asset Management / Co-Founder, CEO, CIO, GSV Capital

David Blunt

Head of Conduct Specialists Department, Supervision – Financial Conduct Authority

Jamison Ervin

Manager, Nature for Development Program – UNDP

Dr Costanza Russo

Senior Lecturer in International Banking Law and Business Ethics – Queen Mary University of London

Nick Silver

Co-founder, Climate Bonds Initiative

Stephen Ingledew

CEO, Fintech Scotland

JB Beckett

Author, New Fund Order

Russell Napier

Keeper, Library of Mistakes

Simon Thompson

CEO, Chartered Banker Institute

Omar Shaikh

Managing Director, GEFI

Robert King

Head of Sustainable Finance, HSBC

Iona Bain

Founder, Young Money Blog

Brian Henderson

Partner – Director of Consulting, Mercer

Christine Bamford

Founder and CEO, Women’s Coin

Charles Haresnape

CEO, Gatehouse Bank

Elaine Priest

Chief Data Officer, RBS

Georgia Stewart

Co-Founder, Tumelo

Robert Waugh

Chief Investment Officer, RBS

Luba Nikulina

Global Head of Research, Willis Towers Watson

Andrew Cave

Head of Governance and Sustainability, Baillie Gifford

Caitlin MacLean

Senior Director, Innovative Finance, Milken Institute

Stephen Hibbert

Global Lead Energy Transition,
Energy Sector,
ING Wholesale Banking

Margarita Pirovska

Head of Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century, PRI/UNEP FI

Benny Higgins

Strategic Adviser, Scottish National Investment Bank

Sian Ferguson

Trust Executive, Ashden, Mark Leonard and JJ Charitable Trusts

Phil Gosset

Senior Innovation Manager, Nationwide Building Society

Kaisie Rayner

Senior Manager – Responsible Investment & Fund Development, Scottish Widows

James Dauman

Managing Director, Southeast Asia R.J. Fleming & Co.

Tan Sri Dato Azman Mokhtar

Former MD, Khazanah Nasional Berhad

Dr Richard Mattison

Chief Executive Officer, Trucost (part of S&P Global)

Colin Baines

Investment Engagement Manager, Friends Provident Foundation

Giles Cuthbert

MD, Chartered Banker Institute

Axel Thorson

CTO and Co-founder, Ekofolio

Catherine Howarth

Chief Executive Officer, ShareAction

Peter Rutter

Head of Global Equities , Royal London Asset Management

Clare Foster

Head of Clean Energy,
Shepherd & Wedderburn

Dr Adesola Adeduntan

CEO, First Bank of Nigeria

Maggie Loo

Partner, Bridges Fund Management

Corinne Carr

Director, PeopleNet

Katherine Stodulka

Programme Director, Blended Finance Taskforce at SYSTEMIQ

Datuk Noripah Kamso

Chairman, Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia

Bill McCall

President, Chartered Banker Institute

Liesel van Ast

Membership and Regional Coordination Manager, UNEP FI

Dr. Raj Thamotheram

Founder & Chair, Preventable Surprises

Lord John Alderdice

Peer, House of Lords

Dr. Angela Falconer

Associate Director, Climate Policy Initiative

James Vaccaro

Special Advisor, Triodos Bank

Frederik Claasen

Head of Policy and Strategy, Solidaridad Network

Antti Savilaakso

Researcher & Partner, Impact-Cubed

Abdur Nimeri

Senior Vice President, Northern Trust Asset Management

Simon Connell

Head of Sustainability Strategy,
Standard Chartered Bank

Louise Wilson

Co-Founder & Managing Director, Abundance

Scotland – A Proud Heritage

Scotland has a proud heritage in ethical finance dating back over 300 years. From Adam Smith, renowned as the father of modern economics, to the Reverend Henry Duncan, founder of the world’s first commercial savings bank, Scotland has been a pioneer in financial innovation and the development of professional standards. This, along with our current strength in financial services, places Edinburgh as the ideal destination to host leading global experts committed to driving this exciting agenda forward.

Strength in depth: Five areas of Scotland’s strength

  1. Banking: 44,000 people are employed in Scotland (11% of UK total)
  2. Insurance and Long-Term Savings: 23,000 people are employed in Scotland (7% of UK total)
  3. Asset Management: 7,500 people are employed in Scotland (20% of UK total)
  4. Asset Servicing: Six asset servicing businesses employ over 3,000 people in Scotland
  5. Financial services expertise based in Scotland: A further 75,000 people are employed across our wider professional services community

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 For Media Partnership opportunities please contact

Power Round Tables

To augment the EF2019 programme, we partnered with select organisations to co-develop a series of exclusive power round tables. These private events convened senior specialists to explore select conference themes in much greater detail.

To discuss participating or partnering with the future Power Round Table series please contact

Power Round Table 1 – UN Global Leaders Forum

Time: 13:30 – 15:30
*followed by Library of Mistakes tour concluding at 18:00 

Date: Monday 7th October

The UN Global Leaders Power Roundtable explored: 

  • Integrating multiple global approaches to addressing one planet problems
  • Policy perspectives on: 1) making economies work for all & driving inclusive growth; and 2) integrating SDGs into national frameworks – appropriateness and challenges
  • Influencing and directing private sector capital to integrate ESG/ethical parameters alongside tradition risk and returns

The roundtable was followed by a guided tour and reception at the fascinating Library of Mistakes which explores the world’s business and financial history.

Power Round Table 2 – Faith in Finance

Time: 17:30 – 21:30
Date: Wednesday 9th October

Hosted by UKIFC and the Church of Scotland, this power roundtable explored:

  • Interfaith collaboration and the role of faith-based values in modern finance
    • Benefits of bringing different perspectives together
    • Identifying shared values – the Edinburgh Finance Declaration
    • Heritage role of the Church influencing the values of banks and what the current paradigm can take from this history
  • Faith groups sharing leading practice:
    • Engagement strategies
    • Creating a space for religious actors in formal governance models
    • Addressing the common global goals – role of faith traditions to address the SDGs

Want to register your interest for Ethical Finance 2022?

Please enter your details below


* indicates required

Please confirm that you would like to hear from us via email.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

    Please select which format(s) you are interested in

    Share this event