Director at Grace Mutual Limited
Recipient of the 2013 Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Non-Profit Leadership, funded by the Origin Foundation and supported by the Australian Scholarships Foundation
What sort of work does your organisation do?
We design investment mechanisms which enable the major institutional investors to invest capital into the social sector, into the infrastructure necessary to deliver social services.
Describe a typical day's work.
My days are balanced between the 3 facets of our business: the Community Housing Providers which will receive the funds; Investors and their representatives that will provide the funds; and Government, lawyers, and other groups that allow intermediaries like us to function.
How did you come to be working in the not-for-profit sector?
As an investment banker, I was attracted to micro-finance as a way to address poverty. I came to appreciate the power of the commerce or the marketplace, to influence and create good social outcomes. And in looking at the lack of investment and growing need in our social sector, I came to the conclusion that only by attracting commercial investment could we fix the problem.
What do you feel is most needed to sustain and build the impact of the not-for-profit sector?
There will need to be a number of changes, acting together, to grow the sector sustainably. The sector’s capacity in professional management and governance will need to grow; Governments’ approach to funding social services needs to be reviewed and flexibility built in; members of the public with superfund accounts need to encourage the managers to consider social impact in investment decisions; funds management regulators need to take a “national good” view; and investment managers need to encourage intermediaries to develop investment options.
What is something interesting / unique / unusual about you?
I was born in Canada; I carry 3 passports (Australia, Canada and the UK); I’m a twin (my brother is a judge in Alberta); and I can bend spoons just by concentrating on them. No, only the first 3 are true. Our travels – particularly with the micro-finance initiatives – have taken us to Uganda and South Africa, Indonesia, the Philippines, East Timor, China, India (many times) and even North Korea. I have eaten some very exotic “delicacies”, the most difficult of which to swallow were probably termites.
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