PRESS RELEASE: Worthstone announces winners of inaugural Impact Awards

November 12, 2018 12:26 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Worthstone is pleased to announce the winners of the first Impact Awards, presented at its annual Social Investment Academy (SIA).

The awards were presented at The Conduit Club in London last Thursday 8 November by Elizabeth Corley CBE, Non-Executive Vice Chair of Allianz Global Investors and chair of the PM-endorsed Implementation Taskforce for Social Impact Investment.


Individual financial adviser – Darren Lloyd Thomas, Managing Director at Thomas and Thomas Ethical Investments

Financial advisory firm – Ayres Punchard Investment Management

Discretionary fund manager – EQ Investors

Asset manager – WHEB Asset Management

New product launch, direct investment – Resonance for the Resonance West Midlands SITR Fund

New product launch, collective investment – Hermes Investment Management for the Hermes Impact Opportunities Equity Fund

Worthstone provides fund research and education on retail social impact investing to financial advisers. It launched awards this year to celebrate the people driving progress in the sector.

The 2018 SIA was themed Bringing Impact to Life and the keynote speaker was Katherine Brown, Head of Sustainable and Impact Investing Initiatives at the World Economic Forum.

Worthstone Founder and Director Gavin Francis said:

The objective of the SIA Impact Awards is to value, celebrate and share best practice in the retail impact investment sector – we want to champion advisers, advisory firms, fund managers and DFMs who are leading the market in aligning retail investment strategies to achieve positive social and financial outcomes.

These are the first awards for the UK retail impact investment community. The awards are unique because of the ‘share’ bit, looking for best practices to help one another in this progressive area of investing.

It was a great privilege and encouragement to read and learn of the journeys that all are taking. The passion, innovation and dedication to meet investor demands to achieve positive social and environmental outcomes as well as competitively priced risk adjusted financial returns means that these organisations are well placed to meet the growing needs of today’s investors as well as tomorrow’s.”

Elizabeth Corley told the 150 attending the SIA, if they were considering getting into impact investing, there is no better time:

Every evolution of what we do starts with a first step and the fact you are here, curious, interested, caring about the long-term interests of your clients, is a real testament to you. I do hope you go out of here inspired to realise you can do this.”

Gavin Francis commented:

We want impact investment to become business as usual. That means the establishment of impact investing as the lead offering by the UK investment advisory community to its client base. Every investment has an impact and therefore our vision of for impact to be embraced as a valued metric in every investment decision.”

The SIA Impact Awards were judged by a panel of experts drawing on experience from across retail advice, asset management and impact measurement disciplines. They were chosen for their independence and enthusiasm for what the impact investment market can achieve and their ambition to look to help that grow.

Judging panel

  • Jamie Broderick (Former CEO of UBS Wealth Management, UK)
  • Russell Facer (Managing Director at threesixty services LLP)
  • Aine Kelly (Independent Impact Consultant to the Impact Management Project)
  • Abigail Rotheroe (Head of Impact at Project Snowball)
  • Evita Zanuso (Senior Director at Big Society Capital)

Evita Zanuso said:

It has been a real pleasure judging the inaugural Worthstone Impact Awards, and great to see such a wide variety of organisations embracing impact investing. It is clear that the companies who entered the awards have put a great deal of effort into educating clients, often whilst having to act as an internal champion for impact. These awards create an exciting opportunity to showcase best practice in impact investing, offering a chance for others to learn from the award winners and those who have received special commendation.”

Winners comments:

“Winning this Award was not something I expected, the Impact Awards are so valuable as they enable us to check our processes and services against our peers. We believe that being ‘judged’ is the best way of staying ahead. Winning them is just the icing on the cake! I’m delighted to see that Worthstone have chosen to champion the cause for advisers who have clients who aim to make a difference through the way that they invest their money.  Gavin and his team offer a refreshing and convincing argument for offering clients a choice when it comes to investing for the good of society, our communities or the environment.” Darren Lloyd Thomas, Managing Director at Thomas and Thomas Ethical Investments.

“We were incredibly honoured and humbled to have our work recognised with the Impact Award for the best Financial Advisory Firm. It’s made our year!” Chris Welsford, Managing Director at Ayres Punchard Investment Management.

At Resonance we are thrilled to have won the Impact Award for New Product Launch (Direct) at the SIA 2018, for our West Midlands SITR Fund. The award means a great deal to us, as it illustrates how the industry recognises the potential in our products, and the impact we are making as a business to both society and the impact investing sector. The awards and SIA event are a testament to how positive the future looks for impact investing, this is borne out by the increasing number of advisors that were at the event all excited and enthused by the prospect of either doing more in the impact space or with a thirst for knowledge to understand more.” Paul Handford, Head of Communications at Resonance.

WHEB is really honoured to receive this inaugural impact champion award, and to have been a part of the Social Investment Academy.  The SIA is doing so much to make investing for positive impact available to a wider audience of savers and investors, and enable more money to be put to work towards a positive purpose.” George Latham, Managing Partner at WHEB

“It is a great honour to have won the “Best New Fund” award at the 2018 Social Investment Academy for the Hermes Impact Opportunities Equity Fund. The Impact team at Hermes, led by Tim Crockford, has worked hard to create a differentiated product that preserves the integrity of impact investing, whilst aiming to outperform the global MSCI benchmark. Potential future Fund returns are derived from companies growing because their products and services address underserved needs in the global economy.  Impact investing is a rapidly expanding area that allows investors to align their values through purposeful companies contributing to solving some of the most pressing environmental and social challenges of our times.” Andrew Parry, Head of Sustainable Investing at Hermes Investment Management.

Notes to editors

Gavin Francis, Founder and Director at Worthstone Ltd.

Tel: 020 7183 6482       


About Worthstone:

Worthstone is the market leading expert on social investment for the retail investment adviser. It acts as a hub of specialist expertise, providing an interface for the growing community of advisers, planners and wealth managers, as well as product providers, who share the vision for seeing client money invested for good. It provides sector and market research to advisers, facilitates product development in the sector and represents the retail advisory community in industry forums and UK Government working parties.

Worthstone was founded in 2010. Its long-term goal is to see social impact investment become an essential part of mainstream financial planning and wealth management advice. With a central role in the industry, Worthstone is an expert on Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) and was the only retail intermediary to sit on the Treasury’s working group to advise on SITR. Worthstone has also worked alongside the Cabinet Office, the City of London, Nesta and social investment finance provider Big Society Capital. In 2014, Worthstone won the Cabinet Office Social Investment Market Maker award and UnLtd’s Fast Growth Award for high-potential businesses that could make a difference to society.

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