16 July 2019

EFFIO Spring meeting strikes a balance between narrow investment topics and wider discussions

The Spring 2019 meeting of the European Foundation Financial and Investment Officers (EFFIO) group took place in London on 11-12 April, hosted by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.

EFFIO, a membership-based network of financial and investment officers of large independent European foundations, aims to advance the knowledge on the investment environment and practice of foundations across Europe and further the professionalism of its members. EFFIO meetings strike a balance between narrow investment topics and integrated discussions taking on broader macro issues, in a safe and trusted environment under Chatham House rules.

The spring programme featured:

  • Stephen Jen, CEO, Eurizon SLJ Capital Limited, who shared his insights into the bond market opening in China; the US-China trade dispute; the global economic outlook and performance of the US currency.
  • Mehran Gul of the World Economic Forum shared with EFFIO the story of up and coming technology companies outside the US and the innovation cultures that sustain them – where these new companies are coming from, what is fueling their success, and how they are going to change the global business landscape.
  • Robert Palmer, Tax Justice UK and Tove Maria Ryding, European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad) stimulated a lively discussion on what taxation reforms are needed, how to level the playing field and make the tax system fairer and more efficient
  • Catherine Howarth, Chief Executive, ShareAction kicked off a session on entry points for investors to meaningfully engage with companies in order to catalyse systemic reform and positive societal and environmental change with input by
  • Rainer Münz, Adviser on Migration and Demography to the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC) of the European Commission discussed with the EFFIO group long-term migration and population trends, possible policy actions at EU and UN-levels and implications for the investment environment.

On the sides of the programme, participants had the chance to have an exclusive tour of the Francis Crick Institute, one of the most significant biomedical research centres in London, and have informal discussions with a group of scientists conducting pioneering research.