SFM Board & Administrative Changes

by Helen Wildsmith, Chair, Vice Chair (UK), and Director

We’ve just completed the penultimate stage of the 2014/15 board transition I was asked to manage through.

Firstly a huge thank you to Keith Johnson who extended his 2014/15 board commitment by 9 months for us. As many of you know Keith has been involved with SFM from the beginning, and was a leading force behind the Fiduciary Duty Working Group: http://www.sustainablefinancialmarkets.net/projects/fiduciary-duties/. Although Keith is leaving the board, he and Steve Viederman, have an idea for a very interesting Working Group that they hope to launch with some European Co-Chairs after the final 2014/15 board transitions this summer.  More on that in due course.

Secondly, as several of you have noticed, Cary Krosinsky’s teaching, editing and advising work grew rapidly last year – see https://www.linkedin.com/in/carykrosinsky . This is a testament to Cary’s expertise in our field, a good sign that sustainability is gradually being integrated at key institutions. You’ll recall that Cary kindly stepped off the board in late 2012 to lead SFM as Executive Director. This is a notoriously difficult thing to do, and Cary deserves full credit for getting our useful ListServ re-invigorated and a great webinar series launched: http://www.sustainablefinancialmarkets.net/webinar/ .

Thirdly, through one of his university roles Cary has found us a student Co-ordinator to work alongside Kazutaka this year, while we finalise the fundraising and partnership building I have been leading here in the UK. Aida Hassar will start by helping with UK annual fee collection this quarter, and supporting a couple of May/June webinars we have in the pipeline. As agreed by the board in February, Cary has temporarily stepped back into our midst to help support us following Keith’s departure as Treasurer and Aida’s arrival.

Fourthly, there have been changes in relation to our links with the UN PRI Academic Network. Sadly from our perspective Helene Winch has left PRI for an infrastructure investing role, and Jim Hawley (of Universal Owner Theory fame) has left the SFM board. Fortunately we still have several active SFM participants represented on the PRI Steering Committee http://www.unpri.org/areas-of-work/about-an/academic-network-steering-committee-members/ and this year the academic sessions are integrated into ‘PRI in Person’ in London http://www.unpri.org/events/pri-in-person-2015/

We’ll be continuing to have face-to-face participant gatherings in the UK following the 2014 pilots and I am hoping to time some of these to be when several SFM participants are in London for ICGN in June (inc. Keith) and ‘PRI in Person’ in Sept (inc. Cary). If you are based outside the UK and are coming to London for either of these events do let me know, as it will help me plan my regional Vice Chair duties. I’d also like to thank Daniela Carosio (one of our other regional Vice Chairs), and former member board Frank Jan de Graaf, for organising/hosting what sounds like a very interesting face-to-face SFM participant meeting in Amsterdam last month: http://www.sustainablefinancialmarkets.net/2015/03/27/sfm-participant-frank-jan-de-graaf-on-the-sfmvbdo-amesterdam-meeting/

The Regional Vice Chair role is critical to any global organisation based on wiki-style processes: http://www.sustainablefinancialmarkets.net/about/faq/. If you are able to help any of the four of us with offers to host meetings please get in touch. In particular we’d like to hold some North American leaving drinks to mark the above changes at some stage over the next six months. Plus, Gordon Noble, who is still relatively new to his Regional Vice Chair role on the board, is keen to mobilise more of the local peers of our Australian participants. It’s also great to see Working Groups that are independent of the board and part-time staff emerging: http://www.sustainablefinancialmarkets.net/taxation-investing/  - that is very much in line with our published principles and practices!

And finally thank you to Sean Kidney and Angelo Calvello for the behind the scenes work, alongside Keith, Cary and me, that is needed to keep us in good stead with our US and UK regulators. It’s good to see ClimateBonds (Sean) and the Journal of Environmental Investing www.thejei.com  (Angelo) going from strength to strength.