Jake Furby, Communications Manager, Friends Provident Foundation interviewed Charlie over Teams
Jake: Could you introduce yourself? Also, could you share an interesting factoid about yourself?
Charlie: Certainly. My name is Charlie Crossley and I’m based in London. The most interesting thing about me is that my partner and I welcomed twins two years ago, which has been both the best and hardest thing I’ve done in my 32 years of life.
For the past decade, I’ve been fully immersed in civil society, working on responsible investment, responsible business, and business and human rights issues. What excites me the most is the opportunity to provide an outside voice in investment and share my insights. Working between philanthropy and civil society at Friends Provident Foundation is particularly thrilling because the foundation has a clear mandate that can accelerate progress on ESG issues, particularly by further balancing and blending social and environmental concerns. Additionally, I’m excited to build on the inspiring work of Colin Baines and Danielle Walker Palmour.
Jake: What attracted you to working for Friends Provident Foundation?
Charlie: I was drawn to influencing the investment and financial system. Friends Provident Foundation’s 4Ds strategy is very compelling and provides clear direction for where we want to take things, including our role in engaging with the financial system. I am also keenly aware of the importance of ESG issues. I find it exciting to convene and provoke positive change in asset managers as a small but influential asset owner.
Jake: What plans or what ideas do you have in taking Friends Provident Foundation forward with its investment engagement work.
Charlie: My goal is to continue the important work of Colin and Danielle on issues such as the Just Transition while also prioritising social issues on par with climate change in the ESG sector. I recognise that shareholder capitalism is facing challenges from all sides. One under-reported trend is more and more investors placing money in private markets instead of public stock exchanges, threatening to decrease democracy and lower the opportunities for intervention. This is a systemic concern that I am actively monitoring. Additionally, it’s important for us to be mindful of the potentially drastic impact ofartificial intelligence in coming years and collaborate with international partners to address associated human rights issues. It’s a complex task, and we need to assess where we can make the greatest contribution. The opportunities and challenges are both exciting and daunting. Friends Provident Foundation is well placed to make an impact.