Finance for Impact Summit Speakers

Alexandra Basirov

Alexandra Basirov, Global Head of Sustainable Finance for Financial Institutions, BNP Paribas

Alexandra Basirov took on the role of Global Head of Sustainable Finance for Financial Institutions at BNP Paribas in September 2018. She was previously Head of Official Institutions coverage in the UK & Ireland, responsible for the marketing of all asset classes across product lines to Official Institutions including Central Banks, Multilaterals and Sovereign Wealth Funds in London.

She joined BNP Paribas in 2006 to run the Supranational, Agency and Sovereign Debt platform across cash and derivative products and moved into OIC coverage in early 2015. Alexandra started her career in JPMorgan‘s M&A department, spending time both in London and Frankfurt. She then subsequently went on to join the Debt Capital Markets team. Initially, Alexandra worked in JPMorgan’s German team covering Corporates, Financial Institutions and Agencies and ultimately ran the Austrian and German financial institutions and frequent borrowers team.

She has a Bsc in Economics from the London School of Economics and during 2018/19 she completed a Positive Impact Business programme designed by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. She has been recognised numerous times by the industry as a rising star and a leading woman in finance featuring numerous times as FN100 Most Influential Women in European Finance. In 2009, she featured as one of the 35 Women under 35 Heroines for Hard Times across industries in the UK by Management Today.

Zelda Bentham

Zelda Bentham, Group Head of Sustainability, Aviva

Zelda Bentham has worked in Aviva and its legacy companies for over 3 decades, helping create the Environment programme in 1997 and subsequently the Corporate Responsibility programme. She developed Aviva’s climate change and environment strategy and carbon management programme.  In 2006, the Aviva Board published their position on climate change and Aviva became the first carbon neutral insurance group on a worldwide basis.  Their carbon offsetting approach has directly improved the lives of 1 million people since 2012 and was recognised in 2017 by the UNFCCC as a Lighthouse Activity. 

Zelda’s focus is on sustainability issues for Aviva as an asset owner, and insurer, working with the Aviva businesses to develop solutions aligned to the four 2015 UN frameworks – particularly Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. She leads on Aviva’s response to the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure and is responsible for the strategic delivery of Aviva’s companywide 2040 Net Zero ambition – including investments, insurance supply chain and operations.  Zelda recently focus has been the production of a ‘first release’ Climate Transition Plan for Aviva.  In October, Aviva won the Building Public Trust Awards – Best Climate Change Reporting in the FTSE 350 Award.

Aviva was rated ‘A’ in the 2021 ShareAction survey of 70 Global Insurance Companies focusing on Climate, Biodiversity and Human Rights, rated AA according to MSCI ESG scorecard, and ranked 5th out of 297 insurers in Sustainalytics ESG risk index. 

She represents Aviva in respect of UNEP Principles of Sustainable Insurance, and involved in the UN Net Zero Asset Owners and Net Zero Insurance Alliances, and ClimateWise’s Management Committee (the Insurance Sector’s collaborative forum on climate change).

Elizabeth Corley

Dame Elizabeth Corley DBE, Chair of the Impact Investing Institute

Elizabeth has extensive experience in the financial services industry having been CEO of Allianz Global Investors, initially for Europe then globally, from 2005 to 2016.  She continued to act as an advisor to the company until the end of 2019.  Elizabeth was previously at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (formerly Mercury Asset Management), Coopers & Lybrand and Sun Alliance.  Elizabeth is active in representing the investment industry and developing standards within it.

Elizabeth is Chair of the Impact Investing Institute and is a Non-Executive Director of BAE Systems plc.  She joined the board of Schroders plc in September 2021 and became Chair on 28 April 2022.

She is a director of the Green Finance Institute; serves on the investment committee of the Leverhulme Trust; is a member of the CFA Future of Finance Advisory Council, AQR Asset Management Institute, the Committee of 200 and the 300 Club. 

As well as being a trustee of the British Museum, Elizabeth is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and is also a published author of crime thrillers.  She was awarded a CBE in January 2015 and a DBE in June 2019 for services to the economy and financial services.

In 2016 Elizabeth received an honorary doctorate from the London Institute of Banking and Finance (formerly the IFS University College) and in June 2019 she was made an honorary fellow of the London Business School. 

John Glen

John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury

John Glen was appointed Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister on 9 January 2018. 

He was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport from 14 June 2017 to 8 January 2018. He was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Philip Hammond from July 2016 until June 2017.

John Glen MP was first elected to Parliament as the MP for Salisbury in 2010. He previously worked for Eric Pickles and Sajid Javid as a Parliamentary Private Secretary.

Richard Curtis

Richard Curtis, Co-Founder, Make My Money Matter

Richard Curtis is a film writer and director, responsible for films such as Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Mr Bean, Love Actually, The Boat That Rocked, and most recently Trash, About Time and Yesterday. In the other half of Richard’s life he is co-founder and vice-chair of Comic Relief, which he started after visiting Ethiopia during the 1985 famine and led to the fundraising event, Red Nose Day.

He has co-produced the 16 live nights for the BBC since 1988 and the charity has made over £1.3 Billion for projects in the UK and internationally during that time. In 2015, he helped bring Red Nose Day to the United States with the partnership of NBC and Walgreens - where it has so far raised nearly $150 million to help children in the USA and round the world.

Richard was a founding member of Make Poverty History, the campaign for the MDGs and worked both on that and on Live 8 in 2005. In 2015 he helped found Project Everyone to work to make the Global Goals famous and effective - and is now a UN Advocate for the SDGs. Richard is also co-founder of Make My Money Matter, a brand new, people powered campaign fighting for a world where we all know where our money goes, and where we can demand it’s invested to build a better future.

Sarah Gordon

Sarah Gordon, Chief Executive, Impact Investing Institute

Sarah Gordon is the first chief executive of the Impact Investing Institute, which launched in November 2019. The Institute aims to make capital markets fairer and work better for people and the planet. It works to accelerate the growth and improve the effectiveness of the impact investment market in the UK and internationally.

Previously, Sarah spent 18 years at the Financial Times, where she ran the paper's corporate coverage during the financial crisis and was business editor. Before journalism, she worked in fund management in the UK and the US, and at the UN Conference for Trade and Development in Geneva.

Sarah is a non-executive director of Social Finance, a member of the Charity Bank Advisory Panel, a speaker for Speakers for Schools and a Companion at the Chartered Management Institute. She is also a member of the Leadership Council at Snowball Investment Management and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Chris Hayward

Chris Hayward, Policy Chairman, City of London Corporation

As Policy Chairman Chris Hayward leads the City Corporation’s work on policy issues affecting the UK’s financial and related professional services sector as well as the Square Mile’s ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. He strengthens ties with political representatives and business leaders across London, the UK and internationally to ensure the City remains a world leading global financial centre. His role also covers the City Corporation’s responsibilities as a local authority, overseeing the governing body’s open spaces, educational commitments and cultural institutions.

Prior to becoming Policy Chairman, he had a career as managing director of companies in the construction, aviation, infrastructure and global events management sectors. He is now a non-executive director of various companies in the commercial property, public affairs and global infrastructure sectors. He assumes the role after serving almost a decade as an elected Member and was former Deputy Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee.

Andrew Howard

Andrew Howard, Global Head of Sustainable Investment, Schroders 

Andrew Howard is Global Head of Sustainable Investment at Schroders, which includes the firm’s sustainability thought leadership, ESG integration and stewardship. He joined Schroders in 2016 and is based in London. 

Andrew was an Equity Analyst at Didas Research from 2013 to 2016, an independent investment research firm he founded. He was an Equity Analyst at Goldman Sachs from 2007 to 2013, where he headed the GS SUSTAIN research team in London identifying long term investment opportunities across global industries.

He also previously worked at McKinsey & Co as a consultant and Deutsche Bank as Head of European Mining Research. Andrew started his investment career in 1997 as an Analyst covering the Steel & Mining sectors at Dresdner Kleinwort Benson. Andrew is a Senior Advisor to Critical  Resource and on the Advisory Panel of the Future-Fit Business initiative.

Qualifications: MBA in Business Administration and Management from INSEAD; BSc in Economics from London School of Economics.

Catherine Howarth

Catherine Howarth, Chief Executive, ShareAction 

Catherine Howarth joined ShareAction as Chief Executive in 2008. ShareAction coordinates civil society to promote responsible investment across Europe, with a focus on mobilising mainstream institutional investors to drive accelerated action by companies on climate change, loss of biodiversity, gender issues, public health and food system risks.

Catherine was recognised by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader in 2014 and in 2022 was awarded an OBE for services to sustainability. She is a member of the UK Treasury’s asset management taskforce, where she has co-chaired a programme of work on investor stewardship of companies. She is a board member of the Scott Trust, owner of The Guardian Media Group, serving on the Scott Trust’s investment committee. She is a member of the Business Commission to Tackle Inequality.

Nigel Huddleston MP

Nigel Huddleston MP, Minister for Sport, Tourism, Heritage and Civil Society at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Nigel Huddleston MP was first elected as Member of Parliament for Mid Worcestershire in the May 2015 General Election.

Prior to this, Nigel worked for Deloitte in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) and Travel, Hospitality and Leisure (THL) practices for several years, before joining Google as Industry Head of Travel in January 2011.

Following the election of Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party and thereafter Prime Minister, Nigel was invited to join the Government as an Assistant Government Whip.  

In February 2020 Nigel was appointed as Minister for Sport, Tourism & Commonwealth Games 2022 at the Department for  Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. In September 2021 he was reappointed as the Minister for Sport, Tourism, Heritage, Civil Society & Youth. 

Vincent Keaveny

Alderman Vincent Keaveny, The Rt Hon. the Lord Mayor of the City of London

Vincent is a partner in the international business law firm, DLA Piper. He advises on banking, finance and capital markets in the UK and internationally. He is listed as a leading practitioner in his area of practice by all of the principal legal directories and is included in the legal ‘500’ Hall of Fame for securitisation practitioners.

Until May 2019 he was International Co-Chair of the Financial Services Sector at DLA Piper. In 2014/15 he served as President of the City of London Law Society. He is an Honorary Bencher of Gray’s Inn. Vincent was elected as Alderman for the Ward of Farringdon Within in 2013 and served as Sheriff of the City of London in 2018-19.

Since his election, he has served on a number of City of London Corporation Committees. He is currently a member of the Policy & Resources Committee and the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Sub-Committee. He also a Governor of the City of London School. Vincent is Co-Chair of the HMT & BEIS Socio-Economic Diversity Taskforce.

He is a Liveryman of the City of London Solicitors’, the Woolmen’s, Distillers’, Spectacle Makers’, Stationers’, Framework Knitters’, Upholders’ and Security Professionals’ Companies. He served as Master Solicitor in 2014/15.

John McCalla-Leacy

John McCalla-Leacy, Head of ESG, KPMG in the UK

John is KPMG’s UK Head of ESG and responsible for leading the delivery ESG solutions, products and services to KPMG’s clients. He has held a number of senior UK, ASPAC Region and Global leaderships positions in KPMG over the last 21 years including elected UK Board Member, Member of our UK People Committee, Head of Integration & Separation Centre of Excellence ASPAC Region and Head of UK Technology transformation projects shortly after he first joined the firm in 2001. 
In addition to John’s leadership roles within the firm, he has been a strong external advocate for ESG and a leading supporter for the ‘S’ in driving inclusion, diversity and social equality outside of the firm.

Current initiatives include: 

  • Senior sponsor for a number of initiatives with the Prince's Trust, including a national volunteering programme, which is focused on tackling regional inequality in the UK, the ‘Terra Carta’ (which is part of the Sustainable Markets Initiative) and the development of green skills – the knowledge, abilities and values needed to create a sustainable society;   
  • Member of the Disability Confident Business Leaders Group (BLG).  An advisory body, which works with government and senior business leaders to develop and implement policies focused on increasing the number of disabled people in work; 
  • Vice Chair of the International Business and Diplomatic Exchange’s (IBDE) Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Group amongst other external positions; and 
  • Chair of British Canoeing’s Inclusion Advisory Group, which is accountable to the British Canoeing Board.

Bina Mehta

Bina Mehta, Chair of KPMG in the UK

Bina is the Chair of KPMG UK and has worked at the firm for over 30 years, specialising in M&A and Restructuring, advising leading private and listed international clients. She has extensive international experience, having worked in India, the USA and Canada acting for private equity houses, lenders, and corporates.

Bina previously led the firm’s focus on the trade and investment agenda supporting scale up clients to access finance and grow their international presence. She represents the Professional Services industry on the Strategic Trade Advisory Group and sits on the Professional Services Trade Advisory Group.

In 2022, Bina was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list for services to trade and investment in the UK and supporting female entrepreneurs. She is a Council member of the Institute of Fiscal Studies Council, a member of the HMT and BEIS sponsored Council for Investing in Female Entrepreneurs and an Honorary Fellow in Entrepreneurship at Cambridge Judge Business School.

Sacha Sadan

Sacha Sadan, Director of ESG, Financial Conduct Authority

Sacha Sadan is the Director of ESG at the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). Facilitating the UK financial regulator to embed ESG across the wide spectrum of regulatory activities and reporting to the CEO. He has been named a City Influencer by Financial News as one of the biggest 25 names who have been instrumental in shaping the UK's financial services industry. Previously Sacha was Director of Investment Stewardship (10 years) and on the board at LGIM, one of the world’s largest asset managers. Sacha had responsibility for investment stewardship, including environmental, social and governance (ESG). He was recognised in the Financial Times as one of ‘the 30 most influential people in the City of London’.

Sacha was previously a UK equity portfolio manager at Gartmore. He was voted the top-rated Pan European fund manager in the Thomson Reuters Extel awards. He started his career at Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pension fund. Sacha is a Fellow of ICSA and a founding member of the UK Investor Forum and was a member of their board for 6 years.

Kay Swinburne

Dr Kay Swinburne, Vice Chair of Financial Services, KPMG in the UK

Dr Kay Swinburne is the Vice Chair of KPMG UK’s Financial Services practice and Chair of KPMG’s EMA Risk & Regulatory Insight Centre, leading C-suite engagement for FS clients and advising KPMG’s UK, EMA and global FS leadership. She’s an active voice in the market and leads special projects on ESG, EU/UK political issues and financial regulation – including Fintech, UK competitiveness and market infrastructure (MiFID).

Kay is the Chair of the International Regulatory Strategy Group (IRSG) leading one of the most influential regulatory and strategy cross-sectional groups in Europe which is co-sponsored by TheCityUK and the City of London Corporation. She is also a board member of TheCityUK.

Prior to joining KPMG, Kay was a Member of European Parliament (2009-2019), serving as Vice Chair of the Economics and Monetary Affairs Committee. This role saw her shape EU and global financial services legislation, including setting up the EU supervisory bodies (ESAs, SSM, SRM), capital markets union (EMIR, MiFID II, Prospectus, CCP Recovery & Resolution), and the broader banking union files.

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