The Big Exchange

Held on Tuesday, March 26, 2019


  • Nigel Kershaw (The Big Exchange)

  • Jill Jackson (The Big Exchange)

  • Peter Morris (Social and Sustainable Capital)

  • George Graham (pension fund trustees)



The increasingly popular investment theme of ‘doing well by doing good’ has a new proponent: The Big Exchange. From The Big Issue stable, the idea is to allow individual savers to invest in funds that offer both a financial and a social and environmental return, using a mobile app. Investors will be able to select their preferred area of impact – matched to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and their own risk appetite – at a click.

The platform is allegedly blockchain-based (ho hum), and several leading fund managers have been involved in its development. The Big Hairy Audacious Goal is ultimately “a complete blockchain-based financial ecosystem that works for everyone”.

We are pleased to welcome the chair of The Big Exchange, Nigel Kershaw OBE, to tell us about the initiative. Nigel is also chair of The Big Issue Group, which he joined in 1994, that includes Big Issue Invest that now manages or advises on nearly £200 million of social investment funds. He is a Social Enterprise UK ‘Champion of Champions’ and sits on the Steering Group of the Government's Taskforce: Growing a Culture of Social Impact Investing. If you think he is too much heart and not enough head, he will be joined by Jill Jackson, Managing Director of The Big Exchange. She is a former head of UK Retail and Distribution at Aberdeen Standard Investments.

But they are far from having the debate to themselves in a field that has matured a lot in the past few years. We are also pleased to welcome two independently-minded respondents with long experience of investing other people’s money – and weighing up the value versus values proposition:

  • Peter Morris, Investment Director, Social and Sustainable Capital. Peter worked for 25 years in financial markets in New York and London. He has since been a consultant in various roles and helped write the ‘Business in Development’ report for the UK’s Independent Commission for Aid Impact in 2014-15.

  • George Graham was a Financial Times journalist for 20 years, including spells as banking editor and heading the Lex column. He is now a pension fund trustee and chairman of Fish Legal, a member cooperative using the law to protect fishing and the water environment.

It is bound to be a lively discussion and if you would like to join it, please let us know by emailing or by calling the Centre on 0207 621 1056. As usual, sandwiches, wine and soft drinks will be provided.

Sincerely yours,

Andrew Hilton