When a big charity invests its reserves, it has a difficult balance to strike between bringing in a financial return and checking where the money is going. There may be cases like Comic Relief where money goes to arms, tobacco and alcohol which run counter at least to the spirit of that charity’s work. This week Trinity College Cambridge saw its own students protesting in opposition to its shares in arms companies.
Having consulted far and wide over the last six months I was pleased to announce on Monday the launch of our Ethical Investments Commission, chaired by Martin Clarke of the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association. It will run for around six months then produce guidance aimed at chief executives and trustees, to help them align their charities’ investments with their charitable objectives, and help make them aware of all the ethical options open to them for their finances.
The other Commissioners, so far, include:
- Jonathan Jenkins, chief executive of the Social Investment Business
- Sudhir Singh, partner at MHA Macintyre Hudson
- Rob Lake, trustee of the Friends Provident Foundation
- Caron Bradshaw, chief executive of the Charity Finance Group
- Jill Halford, director of audit practice and charity specialist at PWC
- Catherine Howarth, chief executive of the Charities Responsible Investment Network
- Alice Ryder, a senior investment consultant at Stanhope Jewson