ESG stands at a crossroad

On the one side, its very existence has become a new political battleground. On the other, it has come to be viewed as a sticking plaster discouraging more comprehensive reforms of the financial system.

Our annual in-person summit Ethical Finance Global 2023 tackled these issues and more on Wednesday 20th September 2023 in Edinburgh, hosted by NatWest Group.

Across four core thematics of climate, nature, the ‘S’ in ESG and leadership the summit discussed overcoming greenwashing, politicisation of ESG, climate justice, sustainability skills, integrating nature and the incorporation of human rights.

  • In-person only summit
  • Senior representatives from across finance
  • Open, frank and challenging discussions
  • Ample networking opportunities
  • Evening reception at the iconic Edinburgh Castle

Photobook »

20 September 2023

EF 2023 Global Summit

Agenda & discussion points*

  • ESG Emergency - politicisation of ESG & unpacking the tension points between the E-S-G
  • Leadership - navigating the challenge of reconciling profit and purpose
  • People, Skills and Culture - equipping the future work force towards greening finance 
  • Overcoming Greenwashing - green hushing, rainbow/SDG washing or time to get serious about adaptation and resilience solutions 
  • Regulations and New Taxonomies 
  • Green Financial Centres - who's winning
  • S in ESG - is sustainable investment failing the global south
  • Human Rights and Justice - understanding the financial risk
  • Nature and Biodiversity - integrating nature into the 'E', data, measurement, TNFD and mainstreaming nature based risk

*subject to change

20 September 2023

Agenda


Are we in an ESG Emergency?

Keynote & Fireside

Leadership and Purpose in Times of Crisis?

Keynote

Greenwashing

Presentation & Panel

Global Perspectives

Fireside

Greening Finance

Fireside

Young Banker of the Year

Presentation

S in ESG

Panel & Fireside

Nature

Presentation & Panel

Way Forward

Purpose Fireside

*All sessions are subject to change

Speakers


Professor of Modern Slavery Policy

Professor Dame Sara Thornton DBE QPM

Secretary General, Global Alliance for a Sustainable Planet

Satya Tripathi

Group Chief Financial Officer, NatWest Group

Katie Murray

Broadcaster, Writer and Owner, Monster Media Productions

Dr Vanessa Collingridge

Managing Director, Securities Commission Malaysia

Azalina Adham

Professor of Finance, London Business School

Alex Edmans

Author & Economist

Prof Sir John Kay

Managing Director, Commercial Mid Market at Royal Bank of Scotland

Judith Cruickshank

Co-Founder & CIO, Tribe Impact Capital

Amy Clarke

Chief Executive, DFSA

Ian Johnston

Executive Chairman, Z/Yen Group, and Alderman & Sheriff of the City of London

Prof. Michael Mainelli

Managing Partner, Prosperar Development Consulting

Modupe Ladipo

Global Head of ESG, Simmons & Simmons

Sonali Siriwardena

David Pitt-Watson
Taskforce Chair

David Pitt-Watson

Head of Social Strategy & Impact, NatWest Group

Thom Kenrick

Director & Co-founder, Global Ethical Finance Initiative

Omar Shaikh

Green Financial Regulation Initiative Lead, WWF

Maud Abdelli

Vice President, ESG & Climate Research, MSCI

Liz Houston

Chair, Global Steering Group

Dame Susan Rice

Partner and Head of Sustainable Investment (SI) for UK, Europe and IMETA, Mercer

Dr Brian Henderson

Sustainability Expert, former CSO abrdn

Amanda Young

MD & Social Development and ESG Advisor, Tugo Cwiny Management Consulting

Rachel A. Aron

Chair, The Big Issue Group

Nigel Kershaw OBE

Founder and Chairman, Naisbitt King and Sheriff and Alderman of the City of London

Alastair King

Associate Director, Engagement and Stewardship, Federated Hermes

Sonya Likhtman

Chief Investment Officer of Fixed Income, Multi-Asset & Equities

Stephen Jones

Senior Lecturer in Executive Education, Climate Change and Sustainability, University of Edinburgh

Dr Sarah Ivory

Neil Gray MSP

Relationship Manager, UK, Principles for Responsible Investment

Yulia Bull

Head of Stewardship, Sustainability & Impact, Martin Currie

David Sheasby

Media Relations Manager, NatWest Group

Andrew Neilson

Chief Executive, Chartered Banker Institute UK

Simon Thompson

CEO, Gatehouse Bank

Charles Haresnape

United Nations Environmental Programme Finance Initiative Banking Governance Lead

Laura Lightbody

A Future Worth Living In

Kaisie Rayner

Head of Climate Change and Nature, Phoenix Group

Bruno Gardner

Professor of Modern Slavery Policy

Professor Dame Sara Thornton DBE QPM

Dame Sara Thornton DBE QPM is a Professor of Modern Slavery Policy at the Rights Lab in the University of Nottingham where her focus is on research in the area of prevention, business responses, supply chains, and the role of the financial sector in tackling modern slavery. She is particularly focussed on the important role of investors and works as a modern slavery consultant for CCLA Investment Management.Dame Sara completed a three-year term as the UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner in April 2022, a role in which she spearheaded the UK’s fight against human trafficking and modern slavery. She joined the Metropolitan Police Service in 1986. During her 33-year career within policing she served as Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police from 2007 until 2015. She was the national lead on intelligence; Vice-Chair of ACPO Terrorism and Allied Matters; Director of the Police National Assessment Centre; and ACPO Vice-President. She was the first Chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council from 2015 to 2019. She was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in 2006, made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2011 and a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2019. She has been recognised with a Career Achievement Award from the Police Training Authority Trustees and the Sir Robert Peel Medal for Outstanding Leadership in Evidence-Based Policing. She is an Honorary Air Commodore in the Royal Air Force supporting the work of the auxiliary police squadron, Chair of the Government Skills and Curriculum Unit Leadership Advisory Board, and a trustee and board member of the Police Foundation.She is an Honorary Professor in Modern Slavery at the University of Liverpool and holds honorary doctorates from Durham University, Oxford Brookes and Buckinghamshire New University.

Secretary General, Global Alliance for a Sustainable Planet

Satya Tripathi

Satya S. Tripathi is Secretary-General of the Global Alliance for a Sustainable Planet. A development economist, lawyer and changemaker with over 40 years of varied experience, Mr. Tripathi is the Chancellor of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences – the world’s largest academic institution dedicated exclusively to indigenous people and cultures. He is also a Senior Distinguished Fellow on Innovative Finance at the World Agroforestry Centre. He has served with the UN for more than two decades in key positions across the planet and was most recently the UN Assistant Secretary-General, Head of New York Office at UN Environment and Secretary of the UN Environment Management Group. His other strategic engagements with the UN include: Head of Human Rights Investigations for the UN in post-war Bosnia (UNMIBH); Chair of the Committees on Laws, Treaties and Administrative matters for the UN-mediated Cyprus unification talks in 2004; UN Recovery Coordinator for Aceh and Nias where he facilitated international cooperation and funding of over US$ 7 billion for post-tsunami recovery efforts in support of the government and affected populations; and Executive Head of UNORCID, a UN System Office established by the UN Secretary General in 2011 to facilitate the implementation of a US$ 1 Billion REDD+ partnership between Indonesia, Norway and other stakeholders. Mr. Tripathi was instrumental in establishing the Tropical Landscapes Finance Facility (TLFF) in Indonesia in 2016 and the Sustainable India Finance Facility (SIFF) in 2017 to leverage ‘private finance for public good’ at mega-scale to achieve transformative social and environmental impact for millions of people in developing countries. He previously served on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Forests.

Group Chief Financial Officer, NatWest Group

Katie Murray

Katie Murray joined the Group as Director of Finance in November 2015 and was appointed as Deputy Chief Financial Officer in March 2017. She was then appointed as Group Chief Financial Officer in January 2019.

Katie has worked in Finance and Accounting for nearly 30 years with experience in capital management, investor relations, financial planning and all areas of financial services. Katie was previously the Group Finance Director for Old Mutual Emerging Markets, based in Johannesburg from 2011-2015, having held various roles across Old Mutual from 2002. Prior to this Katie worked at KPMG for 13 years.

Katie is a Chartered Accountant having trained in Scotland and is a member of ICAS.

Broadcaster, Writer and Owner, Monster Media Productions

Dr Vanessa Collingridge

Vanessa is an award-winning broadcaster, best-selling author, prize-winning academic and leadership coach. After graduating from Oxford University with First Class honours in Geography, she moved into television, specialising in science, environment, culture and history. For over 25 years, she’s worked on all seven Continents. After decade presenting network current affairs shows she took over the chair of Making History, Radio 4’s flagship weekly history series. Her 4x1hr documentary series, Captain Cook – Obsession & Discovery based on her best-selling book, has been screened around the world winning five major international awards including a Canadian “Oscar”.

A qualified cosmonaut on Star City’s Space Tourism Programme, she is also director of Monster Media Productions making radio and television programmes for broadcast and corporate clients;

it also provides executive coaching across the world in media, communication and impact/presentation skills. After three years living in Hong Kong, China, she is now back home in Scotland with her partner, their four sons, a dog, two cats, an African pygmy hedgehog and an axolotl….

Managing Director, Securities Commission Malaysia

Azalina Adham

Azalina Adham was appointed as Managing Director on 1 Jan 2023. She joined the SC as Executive Director, Strategy and Policy on 1 July 2022. She has over 29 years of diverse financial and capital market experience in investment banking, corporate finance as well as the exchange business. Some of her key areas of expertise are strategy and transformation, strategic communications and business development. She brings with her an extensive network amongst key capital market stakeholders in Malaysia namely senior policymakers, regulators, market participants and senior corporate figures as well as the global exchanges fraternity.
She was formerly the Chief Operating Officer of Bursa Malaysia Berhad. During her tenure, she led several transformational initiatives including Bursa Marketplace – the first-of-its-kind virtual marketplace; Bursa Anywhere – ASEAN’s first mobile depository e-services app; and the Leading Entrepreneur Accelerator Platform (LEAP) Market – ASEAN’s first-of-its-kind alternative capital raising platform for SMEs.
Prior to joining Bursa Malaysia, she was an investment banker with experience in corporate banking, corporate finance and privatisation having served with Maybank Investment Bank Berhad (formerly known as Aseambankers Malaysia Berhad) and Alliance Investment Bank Berhad (formerly known as Amanah Merchant Bank Berhad).
Datin Azalina had also served as an Independent Non-Executive Director on the board of several public listed companies in Malaysia. She was also an Independent Non-Executive Director of a Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOF Inc) company, where she had served as the Chairman of its Board Risk Management Committee and Board Change Management Committee.
She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Management/Finance from Purdue University, USA in 1992. She also completed the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School Boston, Massachusetts, USA in 2018.

Professor of Finance, London Business School

Alex Edmans

Alex Edmans is Professor of Finance at London Business School and Academic Director of the Centre for Corporate Governance. Alex graduated from Oxford University and then worked for Morgan Stanley in investment banking (London) and fixed income sales and trading (New York). After a PhD in Finance from MIT Sloan as a Fulbright Scholar, he joined Wharton in 2007 and was tenured in 2013 shortly before moving to LBS.

Alex’s research interests are in corporate finance, responsible business and behavioural finance. He is Managing Editor of the Review of Finance, the leading academic finance journal in Europe, and was inducted as a Fellow of the Financial Management Association.

Alex has spoken at the World Economic Forum in Davos, testified in the UK Parliament, presented to the World Bank Board of Directors as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series, and given the TED talk What to Trust in a Post-Truth World and the TEDx talks The Pie-Growing Mindset and The Social Responsibility of Business with a combined 2.5 million views. He has written for the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Harvard Business Review and World Economic Forum and been interviewed by Bloomberg, BBC, CNBC, CNN, ESPN, Fox, ITV, NPR, Reuters, Sky News, and Sky Sports.

Alex serves on the Steering Group of The Purposeful Company, a UK consortium of leaders in responsible business and on Royal London Asset Management’s Responsible Investment Advisory Committee. The UK government appointed him (jointly with PwC) to conduct a study on the effect of share buybacks on executive pay and investment. Alex also serves as Mercers’ School Memorial Professor of Business at Gresham College, giving a four-year programme of lectures to the public. His 2020/21 lecture series is on The Principles of Finance and his prior series were on The Psychology of Finance, Business Skills for the 21st Century and How Business Can Better Serve Society. His book, Grow the Pie: How Great Companies Deliver Both Purpose and Profit, was named to the Financial Times Business Books of the Year for 2020 and is being translated into Arabic, Chinese, French, Korean, Russian, and Turkish. He is a co-author of the 14th edition of Principles of Corporate Finance (with Brealey, Myers, and Allen).

At Wharton, Alex won 14 teaching awards in six years. At LBS, he has won eight Best Teacher awards in the MBA and Masters in Financial Analysis programmes, as well as the Excellence in Teaching award for best professor across all programmes. He was named Professor of the Year by Poets & Quants, won the Finance for the Future award for Driving Change in the finance community, and featured in Thinkers50 Radar.

Author & Economist

Prof Sir 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.

Managing Director, Commercial Mid Market at Royal Bank of Scotland

Judith Cruickshank

Judith Cruickshank has worked with NatWest for 14 years in a variety of roles, focused on customer solutions for both Retail and Commercial customers. She is currently Regional MD Business Banking, Scotland and North England and Climate Lead for the Business Bank. She is particularly passionate about helping personal and business customers prepare for the future through building financial capability and transitioning to a lower carbon world.
Prior to joining the bank she worked in oil & gas for Shell International and for Marakon Strategy Consultants, with experience in both Asia and Europe. She is also a Finance Committee member of Heriot Watt University.

Co-Founder & CIO, Tribe Impact Capital

Amy Clarke

Amy is Co Founder & Chief Impact Officer of Tribe Impact Capital (“Tribe”), an award winning wealth management firm and B Corps dedicated in its entirety to advising and managing private and institutional wealth for impact

Chief Executive, DFSA

Ian Johnston

Ian Johnston was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA in September 2022. He previously served as the DFSA’s Chief Executive from 2012-2018.

From 2018 until his recent reappointment Mr Johnston provided advice and consultancy to a number of regulatory bodies across the Middle East, Europe and Asia, including on projects funded by the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). He was appointed as a member of the DFSA’s Legislative Committee in 2021.

Originally a lawyer, Mr Johnston spent several years in the private sector.  He held a number of senior positions within the financial sector and was the CEO of one of Australia’s major trustee companies.

In 1999, he moved into regulation joining the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he became Executive Director, Financial Services Regulation, and spent several terms as an Acting Commissioner.  In 2005, he took up a position as a Special Advisor with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.

Mr Johnston is a past Chairman of the Joint Forum, which comprised representatives of the major international regulatory standard-setters (IOSCO, IAIS and the Basel Committee).  He was elected to the Steering Group of IOSCO’s Growth and Emerging Markets Committee and   was a member of the Financial Stability and Technical Committee of the IAIS, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation.  Mr Johnston was a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board from 2011 – 2016.

Executive Chairman, Z/Yen Group, and Alderman & Sheriff of the City of London

Prof. Michael Mainelli

Executive Chairman, Z/Yen Group, and Alderman & Sheriff of the City of London

Managing Partner, Prosperar Development Consulting

Modupe Ladipo

Modupe Ladipo is a financial inclusion expert and financial sector development specialist, with over 25 years’ diverse experience in development, financial services and the food industry. She was the first Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA), and is one of the pioneers of financial inclusion in Nigeria.

She is the Managing Partner of Prosperar Development Consulting. She also holds the following non-executive positions – Chair of EFInA’s Board; Senior Adviser, Islamic Finance Council UK; and Legatum Institute Fellow.

Ms. Ladipo has extensive experience of providing strategic, fiscal, operational and thought leadership in complex and challenging environments. She is a dynamic, results-oriented leader with a strong track record of high performance in fast-paced organisations and a proven ability of setting up and successfully managing businesses. She has worked on assignments in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the US.

Global Head of ESG, Simmons & Simmons

Sonali Siriwardena

Sonali leads the firm’s advisory offering on environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters.

Sonali has significant experience in the complex legal and policy landscape governing ESG. She has expertise advising on ESG matters in a multi-jurisdictional setting and helping assess the application of ESG regulations to companies with global footprints.

Having worked within industry, Sonali has a good understanding of how clients can apply ESG-focused regulatory and policy developments to mitigate risks and leverage business opportunities. Her focus is on enabling clients to navigate the ESG sea change in a proactive and productive manner.

She has current and previous experience in leadership positions in several ESG-focused industry bodies and is an active contributor to ESG-policy discussions. Amongst other commitments, she is a member of the ESG Advisory Committee convened by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to help further develop the ESG regulatory landscape in the UK. Sonali is also a member of the City of London Law Society ESG Committee.

As Global head of ESG, Sonali is responsible for developing and driving the firm’s ESG strategy across all practice areas and offices, to deliver market leading ESG advice to clients across all matters.

David Pitt-Watson

Taskforce Chair

David Pitt-Watson

David is a leading thinker & practitioner in responsible investment, and serves as a Member of GEFI’s Global Steering Group and Chair of the Scottish Green Finance Taskforce. 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.

Head of Social Strategy & Impact, NatWest Group

Thom Kenrick

Thom is Head of Social Strategy and Impact at NatWest Group. Part of the Sustainable Banking function, Thom’s team lead and coordinate the bank’s approach to social issues and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Focus areas include financial capability, human rights & modern slavery, vulnerable customers, and ‘controversial’ sectors.  The team also lead and deliver the bank’s flagship MoneySense financial education programme.

Thom is the Chair of NatWest Social & Community Capital, a bank-supported social finance charity which lends money to community businesses and social enterprises. He is also a Trustee of the Coutts Foundation and a Fellow of the RSA. He holds a First Class Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering & European Studies from the University of Edinburgh. At GEFI, with NatWest Group being the host Thom has been guiding the Ethical Finance Global Summit since 2017.

Director & Co-founder, Global Ethical Finance Initiative

Omar Shaikh

Omar is the Managing Director 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 and has advised multiple governments and regulators as a leading advocate for sustainable and Islamic finance and specialises in ecosystem building. His background includes working with EY London where he qualified as a CA and was the former Head of Islamic finance.

Through his work he has established a number of initiatives including the Path to COP, finance for nature project and SDG Financial products platform with UNDP which promotes innovative financing structures for the SDGs, the Global Islamic Finance and UN SDGs Taskforce launched with UK Government and IsDB and the award winning interfaith Edinburgh Finance Declaration the world’s first shared values approach to finance between Islamic finance and the Church.

Omar received a BAcc from the University of Glasgow and holds select board advisory roles including the UK Islamic Finance Council and The Prince’s Trust Scotland.

Green Financial Regulation Initiative Lead, WWF

Maud Abdelli

Maud Abdelli, Green Financial Regulation Initiative Lead, WWF

Vice President, ESG & Climate Research, MSCI

Liz Houston

Liz is a member of the MSCI ESG and Climate Research team, focusing on retail and luxury. Her research looks at the environmental and social risks facing these industries and the performance of the companies within them.

Prior to joining MSCI, Liz spent the first fifteen years of her career as an investor in the retail and luxury industries, working in the investment management industry. Her work spanned from providing fundamental analysis of companies, financial modelling and valuation to ongoing stewardship and engagement with company management on issues such as corporate performance, governance, strategy and sustainability. Most recently she was Director of Equity Research – London at Allianz Global Investors where she managed a team of analysts covering multiple sectors across European markets. She has always covered the consumer sector and the retail and luxury industries have a special place in her heart.

Liz studied Mathematics and Philosophy at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford and is a CFA Charterholder.

Chair, Global Steering Group

Dame Susan Rice

Dame Susan Rice, a Chartered Banker, chairs the Financial Services Culture 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. At GEFI, Susan oversees the activities as Chair of the Global Steering Group.

Partner and Head of Sustainable Investment (SI) for UK, Europe and IMETA, Mercer

Dr Brian Henderson

Brian is currently a Partner and Head of Sustainable Investment (SI) for UK, Europe and IMETA at Mercer with a primary focus on helping investors manage complex Climate risks, Biodiversity and Social Impact investing. Prior to his SI leadership role at Mercer, he was head of one of the largest dedicated Defined Contribution (DC) consulting teams in the industry.He has over 25 years’ investment experience and over that time has advised some of the largest and best known UK and European Pension Schemes and their employers.Before joining Mercer in 2008, Brian was a Senior Investment Consultant within the Investment Practice of Hymans Robertson LLP and prior to that, was an Executive Director of The WM Company, the specialist performance measurement firm latterly owned by Deutsche Bank.Over the years, Brian has enjoyed supporting many industry groups; including as a member of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) Policy Board and DC committee, the CFA Institute Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) working group, the UK Government Social Impact Investment Implementation task-force and chair of the PLSA cross-industry task-force delivering guidance for trustees on ESG and Stewardship.He has a strong industry-wide voice and is regularly asked to speak at conferences or to the press; on topics such as sustainability, pension scheme design, investment strategy, fintech, pension regulation etc. Uniquely, Brian has patents in both pensions and medical lasers and has a long history of delivering award-winning innovation. He received his PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh in 1990 and is currently the Alumni member of the University Court. He also is a member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI).

Sustainability Expert, former CSO abrdn

Amanda Young

Amanda was the Chief Sustainability Officer for the Investments business at abrdn, where she led the sustainable investment strategy for the firm and the Investment Sustainability Group.  She has over two decades of experience in responsible investment. Previously, Amanda held positions at Newton Investment Management, CCLA Investment Management and Rabobank International. Amanda graduated from Lancaster University with a BSc in Psychology and has completed the University of Edinburgh Business School’s Executive Women’s Leadership Programme. She is the Chair of the Sustainability and Responsible Investment Committee of the Investment Association, a board director for Social Investment Scotland’s SIS Ventures fund and represented abrdn on the Scottish Taskforce for Green and Sustainable Financial Services. Previous appointments include Chair, workstream for the UK Government’s Taskforce on social impact investment, co-Chair of the Scottish Purposeful Business Commission, Board Director of the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) and Chair of the FTSE Russell ESG Advisory Committee.  Amanda has appeared on the Financial News top 100 most influential women in European Finance for 6 years.  She was the inaugural winner of Women in Investment Awards Sustainable & ESG Investment Woman of the Year in 2021 and was on Financial News’ inaugural Fifty Most Influential in Sustainable Finance list in 2022.

MD & Social Development and ESG Advisor, Tugo Cwiny Management Consulting

Rachel A. Aron

Rachel A. Aron is the Managing Director & Social Development and ESG Advisor of Tugo Cwiny Management Consulting. Rachel has more than 18 years of expertise and experience in social due diligence, gender mainstreaming, and in identifying, analysing, managing, monitoring and evaluating, and reporting on a vast range of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) aspects in projects, programs, and policies/ strategies. She has worked primarily for international organisations, environmental and social consulting firms, and civil society organisations. She worked for over 12 years at the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and last served as a Principal Social Development Specialist. She has consulted for international organisations and private companies.

Rachel has worked on numerous private sector and public sector investments, including in fragile/ post-conflict countries and emergency/ conflict situations. She has led the mainstreaming of social, environmental, gender, and climate change considerations. She has worked on national and multinational projects and programs covering the transport, energy, water and sanitation, agricultural, oil and gas, mining, financial, manufacturing, education, health, tourism, housing, information and communication technology (ICT), and sports sectors.

Rachel is an Ambassador for the Commonwealth Entrepreneurs Club. She is an Advisory Board Member at the Ellyn Uram Kaschak Institute for Social Justice for Women and Girls, Binghamton University. She holds advisory positions in various organisations, such as Women Economic Assembly (a flagship initiative of South Africa’s Office of the Presidency), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Inclusive Policy Lab, Global Mining Sustainability, and The CEO Clubs Network. She is a former member of the Climate Investment Funds Gender Working Group; a former member of the Global Environment Facility Gender Partnership; a former Advisory Board Member of Enlit Africa (formerly African Utility Week); and a former Expert Review Panel Member of IUCN’s Environment and Gender Index.

Rachel has a Master of Arts in International Development (specialisation areas: community development and gender) from American University, Washington, DC, United States. She has a Sustainability Leadership Program certificate from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. She has a Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace certificate from École Supérieure des Sciences Économiques et Commerciales (ESSEC) Business School, France. She is also fluent in French.

Chair, The Big Issue Group

Nigel Kershaw OBE

Nigel Kershaw OBE is a leading social entrepreneur and impact investor.

Since 1974 Nigel created, built and scaled social enterprises and social investment. He joined The Big Issue (TBI) in 1994, eventually becoming its CEO and Group Chair. Nigel is the co-founder of The Big Exchange.

Prior to joining The Big Issue, Nigel founded three printing and publishing social enterprises. He has worked as a 4-colour litho-printer, project manager and trade union official.

Nigel is a Social Enterprise UK ‘Champion of Champions’ and winner of the Institute of Directors Good Enterprise Award. He currently sits on the Advisory Council of the UK’s Impact Investing Institute. In 2010, he was awarded an OBE for services to Social Enterprise.

Founder and Chairman, Naisbitt King and Sheriff and Alderman of the City of London

Alastair King

Alastair is the Founder and Chairman of Naisbitt King Asset Management Limited, an independent, FCA-regulated fund management firm, headquartered in the City of London.  He started his career as a lawyer and practice­­­d as a solicitor at a leading international law firm.

Alastair was first elected as a Common Councilman of the Ward of Queenhithe (where he resides) in 1999 and was then elected Alderman in 2016.

He serves on a wide range of City of London Corporation Committees, including the Finance and Culture, Heritage and Libraries committees.  Alastair sits on the Governing Bodies of the Bridewell Royal Hospital, the Samuel Wilson Loans Trust, Morden College and Emanuel Hospital.

A Liveryman of five City Livery Companies, Alastair also serves as Vice-Chairman of Breast Cancer Haven Trust and Chairman of Onside Youth Zone, Haringey Project.

Associate Director, Engagement and Stewardship, Federated Hermes

Sonya Likhtman

Sonya Likhtman works in EOS, the stewardship and engagement team at Federated Hermes. She focusses primarily on engaging with companies across Asia and emerging markets. She is also the lead engager for the Biodiversity Equity Fund and the author of a white paper called Our Commitment to Nature. She is currently co-chair of both the Engagement and Public Policy Advocacy working groups within the Finance for Biodiversity Foundation. Previously, Sonya worked as a sustainability consultant in London and Barcelona. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography from the University of Cambridge and was a Herchel Smith Scholar at Harvard University, where she worked on the ethics of climate change and related public policy matters. In 2022, Sonya was awarded the Rising Star Award from the International Corporate Governance Network.

Chief Investment Officer of Fixed Income, Multi-Asset & Equities

Stephen Jones

Stephen Jones is chief investment officer of Aegon AM’s Fixed Income, Multi-Asset & Equities investment platforms. Before the integration of Aegon AM’s regional businesses in February 2020 Stephen was European CIO, and before that was Joint Head of Fixed Income at Kames Capital. Stephen was previously an investment manager with Britannic Asset Management and before that was an Executive Director and Head of Debt Syndication at Greenwich NatWest. He has worked in the investment industry since 1990 and joined Aegon Asset Management in 2002. Stephen studied Law and Economics at the University of Newcastle. Stephen is executive sponsor of Aegon AM’s Social Mobility Inclusion & Diversity Community.

Stephen is executive sponsor of Aegon AM’s social mobility inclusion & diversity community.

Senior Lecturer in Executive Education, Climate Change and Sustainability, University of Edinburgh

Dr Sarah Ivory

Dr Sarah Ivory is the Director of the University of Edinburgh Business School’s Centre for Business, Climate Change and Sustainability (B-CCaS). She is a Lecturer in Climate Change and Business Strategy and serves on the University of Edinburgh COP26 working group. She is a regular contributor to BBC Scotland on climate change issues. Dr Ivory has taught on topics of climate change, sustainability, leadership, and strategy to undergraduates, postgraduates, and MBAs, and leads climate change executive education programmes. In 2019 Dr Ivory was awarded a prestigious Aspen Institute ‘Ideas Worth Teaching’ education award.

Dr Ivory has an established research career in sustainability and climate change, social enterprise, and critical thinking pedagogy including in leading publications such as the Journal of Business Ethics and Business Strategy and the Environment. Her book ‘Becoming a Critical Thinker: for your university studies and beyond’ was recently published with Oxford University Press.

Prior to joining academia, Dr Ivory spend a decade in senior strategy and operational roles in the private sector in Singapore and Australia. She has a PhD and MSc (by research) from the University of Edinburgh, an MBA from Melbourne Business School, and a B.Com(hons) from the University of Melbourne.

Neil Gray MSP

Neil Gray was appointed as Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy in March 2023.

Neil Gray was born and brought up in Orkney and was educated at Kirkwall Grammar School. He graduated from the University of Stirling in 2008 with a first-class Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in politics and journalism.

He was elected to represent Airdrie and Shotts Constituency at the 2021 Scottish Parliament election.

He had previously won the Airdrie and Shotts Westminster seat in 2015 and held it on two subsequent occasions before resigning to stand for the same area in the 2021 Scottish Parliament election. Prior to becoming an MP, Mr Gray worked for former Scottish Government Health Secretary Alex Neil MSP as his Airdrie and Shotts constituency office manager.

Neil Gray was appointed Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development in January 2022. In March 2022 he additionally became Minister with special responsibility for Refugees from Ukraine.

Relationship Manager, UK, Principles for Responsible Investment

Yulia Bull

Yulia Bull is a Senior Responsible Investment Manager within the UK & Ireland RI Ecosystems team at the PRI and has been part of the team since July 2022. The team’s remit is to support signatories in progressing their practices, engage in regional policy debate and regulatory change, and build strong responsible investment ecosystems, by focusing on convening investors, policy makers and other stakeholders.

Yulia has 10+ years of experience working with institutional investors, consultancy firms and organisations engaged in ESG policy and standard setting. Yulia joined the PRI in 2010 and led PRI’s work in Canada between 2013 and 2016, in the Nordics between 2013 and 2020 before PRI appointed a local team, and undertook grass-roots work into the emerging Central & Eastern Europe and CIS regions between 2017 and 2021.

Yulia came to the PRI from Pensions Investment Research Consultants (PIRC) where she worked in a proxy voting team conducting analysis of companies’ corporate governance practices and consideration of social and environmental issues into their business strategies. Yulia worked for Deloitte in Moscow between 2005 and 2008 before pursuing her postgraduate degree in London, where she graduated from the Kingston University Business School in 2009 with an MA in Corporate Communications.

Head of Stewardship, Sustainability & Impact, Martin Currie

David Sheasby

David has over 35 experience years in the investment industry. He leads the way as Head of Stewardship, Sustainability & Impact, passionately guiding and educating us on all aspects of stewardship and sustainability across the investment teams and the wider business. He is also co-chair of the Franklin Templeton Stewardship and Sustainability Council. Prior to 2015, when David dedicated himself full-time to stewardship and sustainability, he was a portfolio manager in our global team with a focus on managing sustainability mandates. David joined Martin Currie from Aegon Asset Management (formerly Scottish Equitable), where he was a senior portfolio manager for 16 years covering global equities, developing and directing Aegon’s global strategy. During his time with Aegon, David headed its Global Equity, Emerging Markets and European teams. With a BSc in Mathematics from University of Edinburgh and as a holder of the Securities Institute Diploma David also enjoys spending time travelling and exploring new cultures.

Media Relations Manager, NatWest Group

Andrew Neilson

Andrew is an award winning PR who has worked in communications for over 15 years and currently manages media relations for NatWest, having previously worked for the BBC, National Theatre of Scotland and Assembly. Recent banking PR campaigns include working with comedian Paul Black to create the “Money Mule Man” to raise awareness of money muling and working with Manchester United goalkeeper Emily Ramsey to help give customers tips on how to save. Andrew is also a Non-Executive Director at Capital Theatres, a committee member of the Chartered Banker Institute and a member of BAFTA Scotland.

Chief Executive, Chartered Banker Institute UK

Simon Thompson

Simon Thompson was appointed Chief Executive of the Chartered Banker Institute in 2007 after working for a number of international professional bodies and standard-setters.  He is a Fellow of the Institute and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.  

Simon is the author of Green & Sustainable Finance: Principles and Practice, published by Kogan Page. 

He chairs the UK’s Sustainable Finance Education Charter on behalf of the Department for Net Zero and Energy Security and is a Board member of the UK’s Financial Services Skills Commission (FSSC). Simon is a former Vice President of the European Bank Training Network.  

Simon was awarded Honorary Doctorates by Bangor University (2022) and BPP University (2015) for his contribution to banking, business and education.  

CEO, Gatehouse Bank

Charles Haresnape

Charles joined Gatehouse Bank as Chief Executive Officer in May 2017. Prior to joining the Bank, he was Group Managing Director at Aldermore Bank from January 2011, where he was responsible for residential and commercial mortgages, plus property development. Before joining Aldermore, Charles was with Connells, one of the UK’s largest estate agency groups, where he was Group Mortgage Services Director. Prior to Connells, he was responsible for intermediary mortgage lending at both NatWest and RBS, plus the branch mortgage sales force within NatWest. He has worked for a number of other household names in the UK banking and building society sectors, including Nationwide and HBOS where he was a senior executive, responsible for mortgage sales and portfolio acquisitions. Charles has been Deputy Chairman of the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) and Chairman of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA).

United Nations Environmental Programme Finance Initiative Banking Governance Lead

Laura Lightbody

Laura is a sustainable governance professional with over 13 years’ experience of providing legal, governance and regulatory advice to financial institutions.  She supports and advises the UNEP FI Banking Board and the Principles for Responsible Banking Civil Society Advisory Body.  She also manages the UNEP FI Banking Team’s relations with civil society and supports membership engagement and outreach programmes with PRB signatory banks.

Laura joined UNEP FI from an international law firm where she was a senior ESG lawyer. Prior to that, she spent 6 years at NatWest Group where she designed, implemented and advised on the bank’s sustainable governance model.  Her early career was spent at UK-based insurer and asset manager Standard Life where she was an in-house lawyer.

Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Laws with Honours, Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice and a Certificate in Climate Change Transformation all from the University of Edinburgh.  Laura also attended Syracuse University in New York as a Rene-Crown Honours Programme Scholar, reading arts and business courses.

 

A Future Worth Living In

Kaisie Rayner

Kaisie Rayner has 20+ years experience working in the financial sector, across banking, insurance, wealth, and asset management. Over the last 10 years, she has focused her work on the role of financial markets in enabling the transition to a low carbon economy and sustainable future.

Key areas of interest include “unblocking” the available institutional capital to finance the low carbon transition; challenging prevailing financial theory to incorporate differing climate pathways and helping the finance sector realise that their role is not only to provide financial returns but a sustainable future for customers to retire into.

Kaisie has worked across a mix of UK financial institutions, including: Standard Life Investments, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group, Aegon, Scottish Widows, and Royal London Group.

 

Head of Climate Change and Nature, Phoenix Group

Bruno Gardner

Bruno Gardner is Head of Climate Change and Nature at Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business. He has spent the majority of his career working on climate change, sustainability and energy topics in strategic and commercial roles with organisations including the Carbon Trust, McKinsey and Severn Trent. He oversaw the publication of Phoenix’s inaugural Net Zero Transition Plan earlier this year and has been closely involved in their recent TNFD pilot.

19 & 21 September 2023

SDG Hive

Agenda & discussion points*

By invitation only, the SDG Hive programme held a series of private roundtables where senior FS professionals and policy leads convened for interactive discussions on key industry challenges.

  • Purpose and Leadership - defining purpose, the role of B-Corps and how to ensure people are at the heart of your business
  • Sustainable and Performance Linked Bonds - innovative approaches to sustainability in the debt capital markets
  • Global Leaders - perspectives from US, Europe, Africa, GCC and Asia on key regional developments in sustainable finance 
  • ESG Emergency for Asset Managers - key challenges on navigating regulation, politicisation and litigation risk whilst maintaining performance. 
  • Financing Nature - insights on how financial institutions are supporting the protection and restoration of nature and biodiversity
  • Islamic Finance and ESG - how Islamic finance and its approach can be integrated with the wider ESG movement; what can each discipline learn from the other?

*subject to change

The SDG Hive is a series of workshops and power roundtables that was held with industry experts and global leaders alongside our flagship Ethical Global Summit 2023. Watch this space for more updates on topics and workshops.

Sponsors & partners


We were delighted to be back at NatWest Group’s Edinburgh Gogarburn HQ.

Interested in Sponsorship Opportunities?

There are an exciting range of sponsorship opportunities available to work with GEFI throughout the year, including at Ethical Finance Global 2023, and a range of other events and strategic campaigns. We are happy to work with you to tailor sponsorship packages to suit your marketing objectives and budget.

For partnership, sponsorship, endorser or media opportunities please contact chris@globalethicalfinance.org.

Watch this space for updates on confirmed speakers and agenda.In the meantime, follow us on LinkedIn orview speaker highlights from Ethical Finance 2022.