In London last month, the head of Alliance Trust PLC (the UK’s largest investment trust) delivered a lecture titled ‘Finance as a force for good’. Alliance’s CEO Katherine Garrett-Cox CBE defined the concept saying: “Good as I see it, is about building a resilient business, being relevant for future generations and having a culture that is strongly anchored upon a sense of responsibility towards others.”
The philosophy flies in the face of some of the pervasive stereotypes about the finance industry, which ignore the fact that many of the institutions that form our financial system support corporate social responsibility (or CSR) initiatives by investing both time and money.
In Australia recently, a group of professionals from the finance industry has been the driver behind an innovative business model that embodies the approach towards achieving a greater good as advocated by Ms Garrett-Cox. The Future Generation Investment Fund Limited is a listed investment company that aims to deliver returns to its shareholders while also supporting children’s charities. It is the first of its kind in the Australian market and through this vehicle there is the opportunity to change the lives of Australia’s future generation.