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EIRIS Foundation appoints 4 new Trustees with a wide range of Responsible Investment experience

The EIRIS Foundation, a charity working to increase the impact of responsible investment and business, is delighted to formally announce the appointment of 4 new Trustees to its Board.  

The EIRIS Foundation has been a leading proponent of ethical and responsible investment and business practices since the 1980’s. In response to the increasing demand for investment and business solutions that address the urgent environmental and social issues the world currently faces; the Foundation has ambitious plans for the future expanding and developing our work in areas such as business and human rights; business and conflict risk; and supporting charities to adopt and shape responsible investment practices. At this crucial time, we welcome the depth and breadth of experience and expertise that our new Board members; Maryann Selfe, Nina Roth, Richard Howitt and Aaron Hay, will bring to the organisation.  

Maryann Selfe said:

“In the early days of my career in banking, it was often thought that responsible investing meant a trade-off between financial returns and social or environmental returns. However, in my experience in the financial services industry, I have observed that investing sustainably does not necessarily mean giving up on financial returns. Investors can invest for profit and purpose. I am very passionate about helping the EIRIS Foundation drive this movement to channel investments into solving some of the world’s greatest problems while earning a decent return at the same time.”  

Nina Roth said:  

“Establishing sustainability risks as material factors has taken a long time within the responsible investing space, and there is more work to do for its full recognition and integration across all asset classes. In addition, it’s more than about time to broadly consider salient human rights issues. EIRIS Foundation has done brilliant work through its human rights and conflict work, and I’m excited to contribute as a Trustee going forward.” 

Richard Howitt said: 
 
“The incredible growth in responsible investment has been a huge driver for responsible business conduct and is absolutely necessary if there is to be a transition to meet SDG and Net Zero goals. I’m delighted to join the EIRIS Foundation Board to support its ground-breaking work, which is at the leading edge of responsible investment, which has a vision for capital markets which are accountable to beneficiaries and to develop research which continues to make a real difference.” 

Aaron Hay said: 

“I’m thrilled to be helping an organisation that is so focused on removing barriers to deeply sustainable, responsible investing for pensioners, charities and endowments. This is a big portion of the UK’s national savings and wealth, so it’s critical to be mobilised for funding companies and sectors driving sustainable transformations in local and international economies. This must be made easier, simpler and understandable for everyone from current and future retirees to organisations with long-term endowments.

Contact: Lisa Stonestreet lisa.stonestreet@eirisfoundation.org

About the new trustees:

Maryann Selfe: Maryann is a financial executive and strategist with over 15 years of international experience in the financial services industry, with varied exposure to responsible investing during this time. Before moving into the financial sector, Maryann started her career with Deloitte and Touche. She is passionate about channelling capital into innovative investment products, business models, and entrepreneurs tackling social and environmental challenges aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other pressing national and global challenges. Maryann holds a B.Sc (First Class Honours) in Applied Accounting from the Oxford Brookes University, Oxford and an MBA from Cardiff University. She is also a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

Nina Roth: Nina is a Director in BMO Global Asset Management’s Responsible Investment team. She joined in 2019, oversees social engagement efforts, and leads on ESG analysis and engagement for financials. Before joining BMO Nina worked at Germany’s development agency (GIZ), engaging emerging markets financial institutions and their regulators on sustainable finance. Nina also worked for UBS’s environmental and social risk (ESR) team in Hong Kong, Zurich, and New York, as well as for Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, where she established the bank’s ESR framework. Nina holds a master’s degree in political science.

Richard Howitt: Richard is a strategic advisor on corporate sustainability, business and human rights. In a distinguished 22-year career as Member of the European Parliament, he was longstanding Rapporteur on Corporate Responsibility and key architect of the EU’s Non-Financial Reporting Directive. Richard represented Europe in developing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, in the update of the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprise and the creation and implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. He subsequently served as Chief Executive Officer of the International Integrated Reporting Council, involving many of the world’s leading mainstream and ESG investors and was convenor of the project to align the world’s major financial and sustainability reporting frameworks. Currently, he undertakes advisory work with companies and organisations and is Senior Associate at the public interest law firm, Frank Bold.

Aaron Hay: Aaron joined the international business of Federated Hermes in 2018, and currently serves as Director of Engagement & Investment Strategy in Sustainable Fixed Income. This includes leading the engagement strategy and working with companies for the SDG Engagement High Yield Credit Fund, and collaborating closely with EOS, Federated Hermes’ stewardship platform serving $1.5tn in client assets-under-advice (AUA). Aaron has a decade of experience advising on corporate sustainability strategy and environmental and social challenges across private, public and NGO sectors. He consulted with Accenture Strategy, working with multinational clients in sustainability strategy, ethical supply chain development, circular economy and environmental valuation projects. Aaron was a senior advisor with Forum for the Future, a UK NGO that partners with businesses to use systems thinking and perspectives in long-term, sustainable business model design. He previously served in sustainability advisory in Canadian technology consulting and government settings. Aaron holds an Honours Business Administration (HBA) degree from the Ivey School of Business at Western University, Canada, and a MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London.

About the EIRIS Foundation:

The EIRIS Foundation is a charity registered in England and Wales working in the area of responsible investment. The Foundation has over 30 years’ experience of providing free and objective information on ethical finance and corporate activity to other charities and the public.   

Its mission is to use research, analysis and influence to identify gaps, barriers, opportunities and enablers so that we can help organisations and individuals maximise their contribution to the responsible business and investment agenda. For more information please visit: www.eirisfoundation.org.