Webinar Recap – Conflict Affected Investments: How Should Investors Respond? 

The webinar organized jointly by the EIRIS Conflict Risk Network (CRN) and the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia (RIAA), presented significant tools for managing the impact of conflict on portfolio investments. Conflict affects nearly a quarter of the world’s population and understanding its implications on investments is crucial for responsible investment practices.

Key topics discussed included EIRIS CRN’s Investor Commitments on Conflict, the RIAA’s Investor Toolkit on Human Rights and Armed Conflict, and initiatives at Finance for Peace.

Speakers shared their expertise and experiences, highlighting the challenges investors face in navigating investments in conflict-prone regions. They emphasized the importance of considering not just financial returns but also the social and ethical implications of such investments.

You can watch the webinar here:

Additional material:

Learn more about our speakers:

Peter Webster

Peter Webster has led the EIRIS Foundation since it was founded in 1983. He has focused on the challenges of providing ESG ratings and research to a wide range of owners and managers, helping investors to make good use of that research and advancing the concept of responsible investment. He was treasurer of the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association for 20 years until the end of 2011 and from October 2013 to October 2019 was a member of the PRI Board. Since the EIRIS Foundation sold its ESG Rating Agency, Peter has focused on projects and proposals designed to advance the sustainable finance agenda ranging from impact investment and investors role on business & human rights, to conflict-affected investments, corporate lobbying on social issues and the roles of ESG Ratings Agencies or charity investors in moving the conversation forward.   

Samantha Chua

Sam Chua joined EIRIS Conflict Risk Network from ISS ESG where she worked for more than five years as a member of the Norm-Based Research team. She specialized in writing reports on allegations against companies which breached international human rights and labor rights standards. Sam has experience in qualitative research and report writing, research methodology enhancement, and company engagement. She holds an MA in Mass Communications, an MS in Management, and a degree in the Humanities.

Estelle Parker

With a distinguished 20-year career at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Estelle Parker brings crucial expertise in government relations, policy-making, and themes important to responsible investors, including human rights and the SDGs. As a leader driving RIAA’s research, certification, policy, standards, and working group programs, her leadership has elevated these initiatives to achieve heightened levels of professionalism, impact, and value delivery for our members, aligning seamlessly with RIAA’s strategic objectives.

Beyond her organisational impact, Estelle is a respected figure in the responsible investment landscape, serving as a strong advocate on influential global and government committees, including the Principles for Responsible Investment’s Global Policy Reference Group, the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance and the Australian Government’s Natural Capital Working Group. Additionally, she serves as the Convenor of the Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures official Consultation Group for Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, and the Steering Committee for the Australian Sustainable Finance Institute. She is also a member of the Council of the Australian Institute for International Affairs (Victoria)

Kate Turner

As Global of Head of Responsible Investment at First Sentier Investors, Kate combines a legal background with significant experience in structuring sustainable finance deals and advising investment professionals on applying a responsible investment lens to their strategies.

She is passionate about the potential of the investment sector to support positive change and make well informed investment decisions. Her roles include Chair of the Steering Group for Investors Against Slavery and Trafficking APAC, and membership of the RIAA board and Human Rights Working Group.

Fiona Reynolds

Fiona Reynolds is an independent director and advisory board member of FAIRR Initiative working across the business and investor sectors on ESG and sustainability issues. After many years working across pensions policy and then global sustainability Fiona now focus her time on advancing sustainability issues in public policy, business and investment spheres.

Her particular passion is around working to innovate and create solutions within complex multi stakeholder systems. A few of her previous roles include multiple Board, Director & CEO positions in global finance/sustainability/ESG & pension fund governance. Nonprofit Organizations, Corporate Social Responsibility, Policy, Strategic Planning and Responsible Investment. Leadership training from Melbourne University, Public Policy at Deakin University. Chair of UN Global Compact Australia. She was a founder/initial Steering Committee Member on a number of key investor initiatives including, Climate Action 100+, the Investor Agenda and Net Zero Asset Owners Alliance.

Chirag Acharya

Chirag joined Wespath in January of 2021. As a sustainable investment senior analyst, Chirag’s primary responsibility is to support the investment stewardship and engagement activities of Wespath and its subsidiaries’ investment programs. In this role, he pursues opportunities to support public and corporate policies that align with sustainable business practices and long-term shareholder value creation. Previously, Chirag was in various analyst roles, including with Strategic Capital Investment Advisors, where he collaborated with consultants, clients, and custodians by conducting research and analyzing financial information to support investment decision-making. Chirag received his bachelor’s in Health Science from Benedictine University and a master’s in Business Analytics with a focus in finance, from the same university.

If you would like to sign on or hear more about the Investors Set of Commitments on Conflict, please reach out to [email protected].

If you have any questions about the webinar please reach out to us at [email protected].