Our investment strategy is one of the key ways Friends Provident Foundation effects positive change.


Our approach to ethical investment

We view our endowment as a tool for advancing our mission. Our goal is to ensure that every investment not only generates financial returns but also contributes to positive social and environmental outcomes.


Our investment decisions, stewardship responsibilities, and engagement with the financial system are all geared towards fostering international, national, and local resilience, and cultivating a fair, equitable, and environmentally sustainable economy.


Market Rate Portfolio


In addition to playing a pivotal role in advancing our mission, our Market Rate Portfolio generates the majority of the income for our grant-making operations and governance.


The investment managers for our market rate portfolio are Columbia Threadneedle Investments and Cazenove.


Our approach to generating social and environmental returns in our market-rate portfolio is outlined in our Investment principles and policy, encompassing:


  • The areas that take precedence when we make decisions about investments.
  • Areas in which we will never invest, as we deem them to be fundamentally inconsistent with our mission.
  • How we use our influence as shareholders, both independently and in collaboration with other investors, to encourage practices that align with our mission.


Social Investment Portfolio


We were an early adopter of social or mission investment principles in the UK, making our first investment in 2010.


Trustees have decided that up to 10% of the value of our endowment might be used to make direct impact-first investments in social enterprises and impact funds.


Trustees are willing to take on a higher level of risk where the investment is close to our programme objectives and priorities. An overview of our current investments is in the Social Investment portfolio.


Working in Partnership


We also work with other charities, foundations, and like-minded investors to progress our investment objectives, including as members of the Charities Responsible Investment Network, Church Investors Group, Social Impact Investors Group, and the Institutional Investor Group on Climate Change.


Key investment documents



Investment principles and policy



Investment statement on climate change



Investment engagement

To support our objectives, we use our influence as a shareholder to engage investee companies and influence as an asset owner to engage fund managers.


Case study: Cazenove

Cazenove were the winners of our 2020 ‘ESG olympics‘. Since then, they have launched the ‘sustainable growth fund’.


Social investment

Trustees have decided that an increasing portion of the charity’s investible funds should be invested into instruments to which the Foundation’s general charitable objectives and specific programme aims could be applied.


The primary aim of social investments is to pursue the Foundation’s broad charitable and focused programmatic objectives using financial instruments other than grants. The secondary aim of social investments is to produce a financial return.


Our social investment portfolio

Snowball Impact Management


Snowball Impact Management – a ground-breaking new 100% impact investment fund. In 2020, they restructured to create Snowball Impact Management and Fund (GP/LP structure) to allow new investors. Snowball applies a social and environmental impact lens to all its investment analysis, reporting and decision-making. In 2021, Snowball was recognised as a ‘Best for the World’ BCorp.


Riding Sunbeams Apollo Ltd


Riding Sunbeams Apollo Ltd – a joint venture between Community Energy South, Possible, Thrive Renewables and the Foundation. It seeks to decarbonise the transport system by developing community-owned renewable energy assets and using the electricity generated to power trains and other forms of transport. The company is the first to embed facilitating a just transition into its legal purpose. The Foundation invested £199,960 in 2020 for equity.


Egni Solar Co-op


Egni Solar Co-op – which is in the process of installing up to 5MW of rooftop solar on over 200 sites across Wales. Smaller sites such as primary schools and community centres will receive the energy for free as part of the co-op’s community benefit. It is the largest ever roll-out of solar PV in Wales. The Foundation invested £100,000 in a community share offer.


Awel Wind Co-op


Awel Wind Co-op – a 4.7MW two wind turbine project that is wholly owned, controlled by and benefits the local community. The community, 20 miles north of Swansea, is an area of high social deprivation. Over the project’s lifetime, it is expected that £3 million will be given to Awl Aman Tawe Charity to alleviate local fuel poverty. The Foundation invested £95,000 in a community share offer.


Energy Garden Ltd


Energy Garden Ltd – a community benefit society hoping to raise funds to develop and acquire solar PV arrays. The income generated will be used to transform 50 London Overground platforms and stations into community gardens and food growing plots and to support volunteers and youth training. Its intention is to support resilient communities, improve air quality and wellbeing and raise awareness of community energy. The Foundation has invested £50,000 in a future community share offer expected in 2021/22.




Ethex – a non-profit ethical investment club, which has both ethical investors and ethical businesses as members. Through collaboration and the pooling of resources, it aims to promote and encourage businesses that have both social and commercial goals. It wants to make financial services more affordable and more available to ethical businesses and to ethical investors. The Foundation invested £50,000 in 2013, structured as a loan. We agreed an interest payment holiday this year to ease cash flow to facilitate operational expansion.


People Powered Retrofit


People Powered Retrofit – a not-for-profit social enterprise providing a retrofit ‘One Stop Shop’, a fee-based retrofit service for householders in Greater Manchester and beyond, offering clear, independent advice and support to help consumers plan, procure and deliver their eco-refurbishment project to a high standard. People Powered Retrofit combines the accumulated expertise of two organisations: Carbon Co-op, an innovative member-led social enterprise that for the past ten years has been devising new grassroots strategies to radically decarbonise our homes and communities; and URBED, a long-established urban design agency with an architectural specialism in home retrofit. The Foundation invested £40,000 in November 2021 in community shares.


Wyre Catchment CIC


Wyre Catchment CIC – one of four pilot “nature-based investment” projects across England which have received development grant funding to test whether and how private investment capital can be blended with public sector funding to finance natural landscape restoration through development of monetizable ecosystem services such as natural flood management, carbon sequestration and biodiversity gain. The Foundation committed to a £90,000 loan in March 2022, with repayments up to 2030.


Our past investments

Charity Bank


Charity Bank – an ethical bank that uses its savers’ money to lend to charities and social enterprises. The Foundation provided a £250,000 subordinated loan in October 2007 that was repaid in 2017.


East Lancashire Moneyline


East Lancashire Moneyline – a not-for-profit Industrial & Provident Society with a principal objective of providing credit to individuals unable to access high street banks and building societies. The Foundation invested £150,000 in September 2010 in a bond that was redeemed in full in 2015.




Equileap – an independent, specialized data provider with a broad scope of gender equality and diversity & inclusion metrics. The Foundation provided a £100,000 loan in March 2018 that was repaid in 2021.


Our Power


Our Power – an energy supply company set up as a social enterprise by progressive Scottish social housing providers to make energy fairer and reduce levels of fuel poverty. The Foundation invested £40,000 in a social purpose bond in December 2017 that was written off in 2019 in response to the company entering administration.


Social Impact Feeder


Social Impact Feeder – the world’s first social impact bond, aiming to reduce recidivism by an estimated 3,000 short-sentence male prisoners leaving HMP Peterborough over a six-year period. The Foundation invested just under £70,000 in September 2010 under an outcomes-based model that was reclaimed in 2018 with interest.


Transfers to Snowball


Transfers to Snowball – when joining the Snowball Impact Fund, the Foundation transferred the following social investments that had been made previously:


  • Ethical Property Company – £148,750 equity shares.
  • Resonance Affordable Homes Rental Fund – £250,000 loan.
  • Social Enterprise Investment Fund II – £100,000 loan.
  • Resonance Community Share Underwriting Fund – £100,000 loan.
  • Thrive Renewables – £100,000 bond.


Our investment team

Danielle Walker Palmour



Learn more

Charlie Crossley


Investment Engagement Manager

Learn more

Abraham Baldry


Trustee - Investment Committee Member

Learn more

Paul Blyth


Trustee - Investment Committee Member

Learn more

Stephanie Maier


Trustee - Investment Committee Chair

Learn more

James Anthony


Social Investment Portfolio Manager

Learn more
person photo


Name Lastname


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc vulputate libero et velit interdum, ac aliquet odio mattis. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc vulputate libero et velit interdum, ac aliquet odio mattis. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos.

Read some of our latest insights