Edward Mason has been appointed to the newly established post of Head of Responsible Investment at the Church Commissioners, the body which runs a £5.2bn (€6.3bn) investment portfolio derived from the Church of England’s historic resources.
Mason, currently Secretary to the Church of England Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG), will be responsible for the implementation of the Commissioners’ ethical investment policies and responsible investment commitments. He will take up the appointment in the summer.
The Commissioners will continue to be advised on ethical investment by the EIAG. Mason, a former diplomat, has been with the EIAG for just over five years.
Andrew Brown, Secretary of the Church Commissioners, calling it a natural development, said: “Edward has successfully managed the policy development work of the EIAG against the backdrop of the increasing complexity of institutional investment.”
“Edward has also supported the Church House investing bodies as they have committed to, and started toimplement, the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).
“In his new role, he will be an important new resource at the Commissioners to take the implementation of responsible investment further, in line with the Commissioners’ commitment to responsible investment best practice.”
“He will be an important new resource at the Commissioners”
Mason said his focus would be on broadening and deepening the implementation of responsible investment principles across the Commissioners’ portfolio – the UK’s second largest charitable endowment.
One of the issues the Church investing bodies has had to grapple with recently has been its small investment in payday loan firm Wonga, which hit the headlines last year. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby revealed in a newspaper interview this month that the Church still holds a stake in the controversial company.