Issue/WT foundation news2012.03.26 17:31

The foundation invited Peter Webster, a well-known expert in the Socially Responsible Investment field in the UK, for the 18th Open Forum for Social Entrepreneurship, with the topic of 'The Asset Management Plan for Non-ProfitFoundation Use of the Socially Responsible Investment Method – Focused on UK Exemplification' on December 17th(Thursday). Peter Webster is executive director of the EIRiS Foundation, which is a British social responsible activity assessment/research foundation for Socially Responsible Investment and Enterprise. He explained British sociallyresponsible investment trends and methods for participation of private foundations in socially responsible investment.




The forum started with a greeting by Ryu Yong-jae, a member of the financial resources management committee of the Work Together Foundation and the president of Sustinvest.


Peter Webster started his speech by introducing EIRiS, which was founded in 1983 in the UK with the purpose ofproviding socially responsible investment consultation for charity-minded churches and non-profit organizations. He suggested ways for investors to apply their stockholder actions with examples of Oxfam, churches, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, and the World Wide Fund for Nature, and explained how responsible investment started and progressed in UK.


He advised that non-profit organization investments need to clarify their mission to address the utilization ofresponsible investment because there aren’t many available resources for non-profit and non-governmentfoundations. However, the efficiency of the investment can exceed expectations, since the small enterprises that you invest in can actually have a strong effect on society.



Peter Webster suggested the following steps for a socially responsible investment approach for private foundations.


*Enough discussions. Introduce socially responsible investment relevant to the organization through small groupsand use discussions to find the best ways to invest.


*Think about every fund that is relevant to the organization. Generally, non-profit organizations take copious amounts of time to spend their funds after they receive them. In addition, they also lack  proper planningconcerning what kind of resources they have, as well as information concerning where they will use these resources. They need to organize their available resources for socially responsible investment. There will be a lotmore available resource than just the expected ones; for example, employee annuity, donated buildings that belong to the organization, assigned money from cooperate projects with other organizations, support funds related with colleges, support funds from domestic and foreign networks, support funds from other organizations, subscriptions from network members, etc.


*Form an expert network between the private foundation (non-profit) and internal organizations.EIRiS itself was formed from the cooperation of a charity organization and a church. Collaborated environmental/ financial affairs experts in the expert network can process an in-depth discussion about socially responsible investment. Moreover, socially responsible investment projects can be formed and processed. In other words, it’s important to link important activities other than responsible investment inside of the organization.




Peter Webster also said that every investment contains risk, which means socially responsible investment needs to put up with a certain amount of risk, but emphasized the stable profits of socially responsible investment during this economic crisis. He said that a successful point of socially responsible investment is sharing participation in management and the policy proposal activities of invested organizations other than long-term investment prospectsand dispersion investment tactics.




Representatives and experts of socially responsible investment related organizations such as Oikocredit, ARK Equity Hedge Funds Investment Advisors, SOPOONG, KTB Securities, KOCSR, and Sustinvest participated in this forum, along with non-profit foundations such as the Beautiful Foundation and the Korea Human Rights Foundation, andled the discussion during the in-depth Q-and A session.


The two-hour forum ended with a comment by Mr. Ryu: “Since stockholders wield the strongest influence over enterprises, I hope they participate in making a healthy and beautiful society as social responsible investors. Hands-on workers of non-profit organizations and socially responsible investment experts can vitalize Korean social responsible investment through this forum.”



Peter Webster is currently the executive director of EIRiS and has worked with EIRiS for 25 years.  He is one of the founding member of EIRiS and the best-known expert of socially responsible investment. He is also the treasurer of UKISIF (the United Kingdom Social Responsible Investment Forum).


This forum was processed as an open forum which is a part of the program, Let’s Give Wings to SocialEntrepreneurs. It was organized by the Work Together Foundation in collaboration with the Hankyoreh Economic Research Institute and with the support of the Community Chest of Korea.



Translated by MIN Jeong-Eun

Edited by Patrick Ferraro & Marie LEE

Posted by hamkke