SRI veteran Abbey to head Canada’s Social Investment Organization

Will take role vacated by longtime head Eugene Ellmen

Deb Abbey, one of the pioneers of the Canadian socially responsible investment industry, has been named as the new Executive Director of the country’s responsible investment body the Social Investment Organization (SIO).

She will take on the role vacated by Eugene Ellmen, who left this SIO earlier this year for a role at social investor Oikocredit Canada having led the organisation since 1999.

Abbey is currently involved in a green real estate firm in Vancouver, where she will open a regional office for the SIO. The appointment comes ahead of the SIO’s annual conference in Toronto later this month.

Abbey founded SRI fund firm Real Assets, where she was Portfolio Manager of its Social Leaders Fund. Real Assets was acquired by Vancouver-based cooperative Vancity in 2005 in order to launch its own in-house mutual fund range – which went on to be acquired by the now C$13.1bn (€9.7bn) funds group IA Clarington.The funds now operate under the IA Clarington Inhance SRI Funds banner.
Abbey will be located in a regional office which is being created in Vancouver, with other SIO staff to remain in Toronto with future regional offices being considered “as appropriate”.
“We are extremely pleased to have someone with Deb’s experience and knowledge joining us as Executive Director,” said SIO President Gary Hawton.
Abbey has written two books: ‘The 50 Best Ethical Stocks for Canadians’ (with Sustainalytics’ CEO Michael Jantzi) and ‘Global Profit and Global Justice – Using Your Money to Change the World’. In addition she is a past Vice-President of Canadian Business for Social Responsibility and is an Honorary Board Member of the BC Sustainable Energy Association.