I believe we are all created equally.
We all have equal worth and society should reflect that.
That means for example that every child should have a fair start in life and that we do all we can to reduce unemployment and improve opportunities. I write and speak on a variety of issues, including economic policy, responsible investment, and faith and society. I wrote the 2011 Fabian Society pamphlet, The Credibility Deficit, how to rebuild Labour's economic reputation.
"Stephen is well known for his commitment to, and knowledge of, ethical investment and has led many initiatives in this area. These include pioneering work bringing global mining chief executives and church leaders together to work out how mining can benefit all communities, our range of ethical investment policies, and one of the most comprehensive assessments of the oil and gas sector in the light of climate change, together with wider work towards net zero portfolios. The CFB, Epworth, and their clients have benefited from Stephen’s ability to bring together investment theory and experience, ethics, ESG analysis, company engagement, and an understanding of economic strategy and policy." See here for full quote.
You can find my full career details via my LinkedIn profile.
Chief Investment Officer and Head of Ethics (ESG), Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church and Epworth Investment Management (to January 2021)
I managed the investment team of the CFB
and Epworth Investment Management Limited (regulated by the FCA)
, managing funds worth approximately £1.3bn. I was responsible for investment strategy and for the ethical investment approach, and a board member of Epworth. The funds included global and UK equity portfolios, gilt and corporate bond portfolios, and a deposit fund. I was also responsible for the strategy (economic and market analysis). The CFB manages money on behalf of the Methodist Church in Great Britain and Epworth, a commercial investment firm, manages money on behalf of other church groups and charities, both on a responsible basis.
My approach is to look at both company finances and at how responsible they are
. This means I analyse issues such as human rights, the environment including climate change, employment conditions, executive pay, supply chains, gambling, defence, and alcohol promotion. The role combined finance and the voluntary sector.
Vice Chair, Church Investors Group
I am Vice Chair of the Church Investors Group. The CIG brings together church investing organisations from around the UK. It also has members from church investing bodies in Europe and around the world. Together, it accounts for approximately £21bn of assets under management. We work together on ethical investment issues, engaging with companies and sharing perspectives. Some members (including the CFB) share a voting template for voting at company AGMs on issues such as executive pay, boardroom gender diversity, and climate change.
Other investment roles
l have held a number of other investment roles including:
Investment committee, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (current)
Nominations Committee, Church of England Ethical Investment Advisory Committee (current)
Guild of Investment Managers (member, current)
Board member, Methodist Lay employees' Pension Trust
Methodist Church Joint Advisory Committee on the Ethics of Investment
Mining and Faith Reflections Initiative
I am part of a global initiative to bring together the CEOs and other senior executives of global mining companies with church leaders from around the world (eg Anglo American, Newmont). The purpose? To discuss mining and the common good - how mining can genuinely benefit all humanity.I have been involved from the beginning, in 2013. We have met at the Vatican (the Pope and Cardinal Turkson) and at Lambeth Palace (Archbishop of Canterbury, President and Secretary of Methodist Conference). We talk to communities affected directly by mining, including via site visits. I have visited mines in Ghana and Peru.
Mining companies wanted to understand better the concerns people have about mining, even when progressive sustainability policies are implemented. The churches offered to convene conversations, on the understanding that everyone is open to transformation. The initiative has stimulated other conversations between stakeholders around the world, and also initiatives to set new standards. I am on the steering committee and represent the Methodist Church.
Chair, Vauxhall Constituency Labour Party (2001 - 2012)
Vauxhall is a constituency with a diverse community and people of all sorts of economic backgrounds. It forms part of the London Borough of Lambeth. I have lived there for over 25 years. As constituency chair, I worked with our MP and councillors, and coordinated constituency party activities. I served for some years as Vice Chair of the Lambeth Campaigns Forum, responsible for overseeing campaigns and literature. I represent Vassall Branch on Vauxhall CLP's General Committee.
I was the Labour Parliamentary candidate for Wantage in 2001. I retained Labour's second place position, coming 5,600 (at 28.2%) votes behind the Conservative candidate.
Unite: the Union
I am a member Unite. I have been a workplace representative for the Faithworkers' branch. I want to see unions representing more working people in the private sector, especially in smaller and medium size businesses where workplace rights are often not recognised in practice.
Political Communications Officer, Christians on the Left
Christians on the Left (formerly the Christian Socialist Movement) is a socialist society affiliated to the Labour Party. It brings together Labour members who share the Christian faith and it acts as a bridge between the Party and churches. I'm responsible for our media output, from the website, to news releases and coordinating media appearances. I have been Vice Chair in the past and led CSM in renewing its statement of values.
Guy's and St Thomas'
I have served as a Governor on the Guys and St Thomas Hospital Trust. This gave me a good insight into how a large hospital trust is run and the challenges it faces.
Archbishop Tenison's School
I have served as a Governor of local school Archbishop Tensions, next to to the Oval cricket ground. This gave me a good perspective on how education policy works its way through to local schools, and some of the challenges schools face.
My political activity started early and at the local level. I served in my early twenties as a Parish Councillor, responsible for an area a bit like a London council ward. I sat on the Finance Committee - and was Chair of the Time Capsule Planning Committee! A parish councillor gets to deal with issues to do with the local environment, such as play areas, bus stops, road signs, youth clubs, parks and verges. That was how my political education began.
Some other things
I am a Cooperative Party member. I'm on the board of Policy Network. I am a Fabian.