Returning to Dublin for December 6th Workshop

This workshop is particularly timely, given that the European IORP II directive comes into effect in January 2019 for Irish pension schemes, requiring trustees to disclose how they consider the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria in their investment decision-making processes.

Sharing key learnings

The last blog I wrote – on the theme of impact investing and my own experience in Latin America – was concluded with a clear message, Intention is never enough!

As I said, I want to be part of this process of evolution for the better in the way we think about business and investment, to assist companies and investors in finding practical ways to apply a responsible philosophy that can explicitly integrate the concept of impact. Continue reading

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Impact Investment: intention is not enough

“For me, the impact revolution is going to be as pervasive as the tech revolution has been.” – Sir Ronald Cohen

We are all students. If you are not learning something new in your field then you are going backwards.

Despite having over 12 years of investment experience, working in the US and Ireland, advising private and institutional clients, my study of impact investing and the wider theme of responsible investing really began when I arrived in Guatemala in May 2017. What I mean by that is my leap from a high level understanding of the subject to a deeper exploration into the minutia through practical experience, research and some philosophical thinking in the context of the wider system. Continue reading

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Irlanda: el Presidente que necesitamos

Irish flag flying in the Bolivian salt flats, Salar de Uyuni – 03/07/18

(Yesterday I scribbled down these thoughts about what I think we need from the next President of Ireland, whether it is the incumbent or a newly elected individual. Since I wrote in Spanish and that is how it flowed I have kept it in Spanish as it would likely have flowed differently if I had been writing in English. However, I have included the English translation below it.)

Se dice que el papel más importante de nuestro Presidente es el papel de embajador porque no tiene poder político como Presidentes en otros países. Sí, estoy de acuerdo que este papel es importante, representar a Irlanda afuera de una buena manera, pero en este momento necesitamos mucho más del nuestro próximo Presidente. Continue reading

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Leadership lessons from the crisis at Manchester United

To the delight of all ABU fans – Anyone but United – Manchester United Football Club appear to be in crisis, of identify and direction, the source of which ultimately lies in the club’s decision making since the retirement of the long standing and hugely successful Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013.

The period of transition after Fergie’s retirement was never going to be easy but the regression of the football team over the last five years offers an interesting case study on leadership and decision making.

Below are a few of the lessons that I believe can be taken from the situation: Continue reading

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My American Adventure: backpacking in South America

Machu Picchu, Peru – One can only dream of what it was like at the height of the Inca civilisation

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up” – Stephen Hawking

More of the backpacker life

I have just recently moved back to Mexico after travelling through South America. The latest chapter of my adventure has been much more that of the backpacker life, hostels, overnight buses, and moving from place to place relatively quickly. As I flick through my notes and photos from my trip I am reminded of just how much ground I covered, the amazing things I have seen, the people I met and also those moments of reflection. Below I have shared a snapshot of my experience: Continue reading

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My American Adventure: in the land of the Gods

Hola mis amigos

I am in the land of the gods, Maradona and Messi! I have the spent the last month living in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Wednesday I fly to Santiago, Chile. I haven’t really published much this year so I have written this blog in two parts, a brief recap on my adventure leading up to Buenos Aires and then some takeaways from my time here.

The reality is that providing a snapshot of my experiences in these blogs I am inevitably leaving out the intricacies that have made the experience memorable, whether it be the little things about the places I have been or with the people I have spent it with. Or even the brief exchanges with locals that can sometimes be quite philosophical, where you are reminded of what is important in life.

Nevertheless, in this blog I have shared some of what I have been up to over the last five months. Continue reading

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My American Adventure: a week in Havana

Hola mis amigos

I am writing from Fidel country, Cuba. I am based in the centre of Havana, close to old Havana – the centre of the original colonial city and the main tourist attraction. From my balcony facing onto the street Cuban life passes by; despite the initial culture shock when I arrived (made worse by being sick) it is cool to be here. Continue reading

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A New Year: Living Life, not Counting Time

Beautiful sunset – Mazatlán, Mexico.

“Every man dies, not every man really lives” – William Wallace (Braveheart) Continue reading

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My American Adventure: more time on the road

Find your own way! Mazatlán, Mexico

Hola mis amigos

The adventure continues. It is a cold December here in Xela in the mountains of Guatemala; central heating is a luxury we don’t have! Still, it is nice. The last couple of months have been unbelievable, so many highs from a collection of great experiences. I did a lot more travelling, I went to Mexico again, a country that never disappoints, I took a trip to El Salvador for the first time and I also spent another great weekend in beautiful Lago Atitlan. Continue reading

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My American adventure: making an impact in Xela

Lago Atitlán, tranquility personified.

Hola mis amigos

It is Wednesday evening here in Xela, Guatemala. I am writing from my apartment, with my panoramic backdrop of the city surrounded by the mountains, the various shades of blue as the mountains and sky meet before the night sets in is something to behold. I have a bit of Eddie Vedder playing in the background, a strong cup of tea. Not bad at all.

The last five weeks or so since my last blog have been busy. I started working with Alterna Impact at the start of the month which has been interesting. I took in a puppy short term to provide some help to an organisation here that saves street dogs. We celebrated Guatemalan Independence here in Xela, what seemed to be a full month of weekend celebrations. As well, I took a trip to Lago Atitlán , an amazing spot to get away from everything and recharge the batteries. Continue reading

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