Hermes’ Melvin named chairman of UK’s Social Stock Exchange impact investing platform

Leading governance figure takes role at impact investing market

(Updates with news a complaint against SSE has been dropped.)

Colin Melvin, Global Head of Stewardship at Hermes Investment Management, the fund manager owned by the BT Pension Scheme, has been appointed chairman of the Social Stock Exchange, the UK’s only market for impact investing.

Melvin, who chairs the Hermes Equity Ownership Services engagement arm, will succeed Stephen Brenninkmeijer who has held the role at the SSE since 2009. Brenninkmeijer will remain a board member at the platform whose membership has grown to 35 with a combined value of over £2bn.

Melvin was until February this year founding CEO at Hermes EOS, when the role was split between co-heads Hans Hirt and Emma Hunt, the former Towers Watson consultant.

A leading figure in corporate governance, Melvin is a board director of the Principles for Responsible Investment, member of the 30% Club Investor Group and a Prince’s Trust volunteer. He is a qualified fund manager and member of the CFA Institute and was Head of Responsible Investment at Baillie Gifford before joining Hermes in 2002.

“The Social Stock Exchange is now making a fundamental difference when it comes to facilitating impact investing,” said Brenninkmeijer.

“I am sure that Colin, as an eminent authority on the subjects of sustainability and responsible investment, will continue to guide the Exchange to play an even more prominent role in the future of capital markets.”

Melvin said: “I have seen investors’ appetite for responsible investing increase at a rapid rate in recent years, and the Social Stock Exchange provides a valuable platform for likeminded investors and businesses to connect.”Tomas Carruthers, Chief Executive of the Social Stock Exchange, added: “As a recognized leader in corporate governance and responsible investing, I am convinced that Colin is ideally placed to help drive success at the Social Stock Exchange for many years to come.” Carruthers, who founded financial trading portal Interactive Investor, took over as CEO in December 2013.

The Social Stock Exchange aims to provide access to the world’s first regulated exchange dedicated to businesses and investors seeking to achieve a positive social and environmental impact.

Last year it teamed up with ICAP Securities & Derivatives Exchange (ISDX) to launch the Social Stock Exchange branded market segment for impact businesses.

The Social Stock Exchange was co-founded by Mark Campanale, of Carbon Tracker fame, in 2007 with backing from Big Society Capital and the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. It was launched in 2013 by Prime Minister David Cameron. Campanale was a director until 2013 and retains a shareholding, as does co-founder Pradeep Jethi.

Updated: The SSE told RI today that a complaint against it that was under review by the UK’s Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), which arbitrates disputes between consumers and financial services firms, has been dropped.