UKSIF, the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association, has named former Friends Provident Head of Investments Simon Howard as its new chief executive to succeed Penny Shepherd.
Howard was most recently Head of Sustainable Financial Markets at the charity Forum for the Future, which was co-founded in 1996 by environmental campaigner
Howard, also formerly Group Chief Investment Officer at Liverpool Victoria and Managing Director at 3i Asset Management, will take over from Shepherd on May 7.
UKSIF Chair Martin Clarke said: “It is a testament to the importance of responsible investment today and to UKSIF’s role in the field that we have been able to attract an executive of Simon’s calibre as its next chief executive.”
Shepherd announced in November last year that she would be stepping down after eight years. One of the key issues facing UKSIF is how it responds to the whole debate about short-termism; it organised its first ever “Ownership Day” earlier this year. Howard has remarked in a blog post that the UK government-backed Kay Review into market short-termism was a “missed opportunity”.
Shepherd plans to remain a lay member of the Professional Regulation Committee of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, become a trustee of a communitydevelopment charity and potentially take on further advisory or consultancy roles.
She was a member of the government’s Advisory Group for the Green Investment Bank, the first chief executive of the London Sustainability Exchange and was a member of the Mayor of London’s Sustainable Development Commission.
Shepherd is leaving UKSIF as the social investment forums (SIFs) globally are getting together to form the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA).
In a submission last week to a consultation being carried out by the PRI Initiative on overcoming strategic barriers to a sustainable financial system, she said maximum effectiveness in the responsible investment space requires “well coordinated” voices operating at national, regional and international platforms.
“We therefore feel that it is vital that the PRI works alongside organisations such as the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) at the international level, as well as Eurosif and others at the regional level,” Shepherd wrote.
It was important that the PRI and other organisations “do not duplicate action already undertaken by others”.
Meanwhile, Forum for the Future’s CEO Peter Madden, at the helm since 2005, is also leaving to join sustainable cities charity Future Cities Catapult as CEO.