We are pleased to announce two new arrivals to the growing team at Alquity. Renee Arnold joins as Director of Sales for North America, bringing with her over 30 years’ experience in the investment industry and was previously Head of Business Development in Canada for Aberdeen Standard Investments. While independently covering sales and marketing efforts at Aberdeen in Canada, Arnold grew assets from nil to $3.7 billion in less than 5 years. Under her leadership the firm’s Canadian AUM grew to C$17 billion making her sales team one of the most successful in the company’s history. After taking time more recently to support numerous non-profits in the US, India and Africa, Arnold now arrives at Alquity to oversee Alquity’s North American sales efforts.
Upon joining, Ms. Arnold says “Partnering with Alquity aligns my extensive business experience with impacting the lives of those who are abandoned and left behind simply because of their geographic location.”
Also joining Alquity this month is Marnie Aragon-Uy who will lead responsibility for Quantitative Risk. Formerly Global Head of Quantitative Analytics at Aberdeen, Aragon-Uy was a critical member of the organisation which managed assets in excess of $100 billion. With a focus on investment performance, Aragon-Uy, through integration of quantitative risk framework at Aberdeen, supported the improvement in 5-year investment performance to 80% of funds under management.
Upon joining Alquity, Marnie says “At some point in your career, there needs to be a defined purpose that wants to challenge the status quo. For me, working with Alquity does exactly that. They do something no one else does: not only focusing on ESG investing within Emerging Markets, but taking that further by investing back into the communities with its Transforming Lives initiative.”
Brad Crombie, who joined as Alquity CEO in November, shares: “I’m delighted to welcome both Renee and Marnie to the Alquity team. They both bring considerable investment experience to the company and are joining at a pivotal moment as we set our sights on growing our client base globally. Alquity is incredibly fortunate to have landed such exceptional talents who possess emerging market experience and share in Alquity’s vision to transform lives.”
The two will join the growing team, who earlier in the year saw additional hires Alex Boggis who heads UK & Australia Sales for Alquity (also formerly of Aberdeen) and Francisco Almada as CFO/COO (formerly of Portland Hill).
Recipients acknowledged at the first Transforming Lives Awards at ZSL London Zoo 09/09/2019
The Alquity Transforming Lives Foundation in concert with Alquity Investment Management were pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 Transforming Lives Awards. Awards totalling $530,000 have been made possible through Alquity’s unique business model, where at least 10% of revenue are donated to development projects in the regions they invest. Each of the 8 recipient organisations are excellent nonprofits and social entrepreneurs who are focused on UN Sustainable Development Goal 8: improving livelihoods, productive employment and decent work for all.
The 2019 Award Recipients Were:
- PLASTICS FOR CHANGE, INDIA, FOR-PROFIT
- REACH, VIETNAM, NON-PROFIT
- PHOOL, INDIA, FOR-PROFIT
- GLOBAL MAMAS, GHANA, NON-PROFIT
- GJENGE MAKERS, KENYA, FOR-PROFIT
- EDUCATE! EAST AFRICA, NON-PROFIT
- LABORATORIA, MEXICO, NON-PROFIT
- LUTA PELA PAZ, BRAZIL, NON-PROFIT
Partnering with Philanthropy University the Transforming Lives Awards considered over 600 locally-led organizations and enterprises from 12 countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America. Eligibility was determined based on the location of operation, sustainability and programmatic focus.
The Awards piloted a state-of-the-art selection process that utilized Philanthropy University’s online learning platform and its peer assessment technology to include a peer-to-peer vetting phase. Candidates reviewed and scored between 3 and 5 anonymous statements from fellow candidates before their submissions were accepted.
Top organizations entered into the formal application process, which helped to identify the 30 shortlisted organizations that would then participate in site visits.
Regional panels of experts were comprised of individuals with successful track records of working in philanthropy, international development, nonprofit and business sectors. They reviewed the site visit reports, as well as the application forms and financials, and through a day of lively discussions, identified the top 5-6 organizations to recommend to the Global Judges. The Global Judges were responsible for consolidating the Finalists from all regions and creating a portfolio of winners comprising of non-profit, for-profit, high, and low-risk organizations.
The panel of 8 Global Judges — including Hilde Schwab, Mona Mourshed, Helen Pankhurst, Steve Davis, Laura Koch, Caroline Casey and Kate Robertson — helped to select the following 8 winning organizations.
“Alquity exists to prove that there is a new way of doing business. One that equally aligns business and society’s interests so that they positively reinforce each other. The 8 winners of the Transforming Lives Awards are amazing examples of organisations committed to improving livelihoods, productive employment and decent work for all. We are excited to share in their success and look forward to what the future holds for each of them.” – Paul Robinson, Chairman, Alquity.
THE 2019 WINNERS DETAIL
PLASTICS FOR CHANGE, INDIA, FOR-PROFIT
India generates an estimated 62 million tonnes of waste annually. Up to 4 million waste pickers sort and segregate recyclable waste and sell it further up the value chain. Waste pickers often hail from the most marginalized communities in urban spaces. Plastics for Change’s program revolves around strengthening the supply chain of waste management with regard to plastic waste and intervening to minimize exploitation of waste pickers. A fair price for the plastic collected by waste pickers is guaranteed. Also, the middlemen like scrap shop owners are incentivized on the goods they procure and the price they pay.
REACH, VIETNAM, NON-PROFIT
Nearly half of Vietnam’s population is aged between 15 and 39 years. The country is facing the challenge of producing jobs for its young and expanding labour force and providing the relevant skillset for growing service and manufacturing sectors. REACH’s overall objectives are to provide vocational training to equip underprivileged Vietnamese youth to gain employment. There are training courses in a range of sectors such as beauty, web design and hospitality. Over 80% of REACH graduates find jobs and graduates are on average paid 20% above minimum wage.
PHOOL, INDIA, FOR-PROFIT
Flowers are a big part of religious rituals in India. It is estimated that approximately 800 million tonnes of flowers are offered annually across the temples, mosques and gurudwara in India. These generous offerings turn into colossal waste and are detrimental to our environment.
Phool collects discarded flowers to keep them out of the water supply, then “flower-cycles” them into charcoal-free incense. The enterprise employs women from the lower social and economic strata, where they collect 11.8 tonnes of flowers on a daily basis from more than 130 temples and mosques.
GLOBAL MAMAS, GHANA, NON-PROFIT
In Ghana, six out of ten women are illiterate, 95% of women work in the informal sector and earn 75% less than men. Global Mamas community works to create a life of prosperity for African women and their families. They achieve prosperity by creating and selling high-quality handmade products using traditional methods. Being able to do work that they are good at and love, women are empowered and have financial independence. Global Mamas’ producers make on average 75% more than the minimum wage and 30% more than the average worker in the same industry in Ghana.
GJENGE MAKERS, KENYA, FOR-PROFIT
Since the 1950s, it is estimated that around 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced worldwide. Gjenge Makers aims to become the major provider of durable, recycled construction material through Kenya and the African continent. Their mission is to provide sustainable and affordable housing while promoting a recycling and upcycling culture. They currently produce bricks from discarded plastic. They employ 112 people from marginalized communities as plastic pickers, providing jobs to people who otherwise would not have the opportunity to work.
EDUCATE! EAST AFRICA, NON-PROFIT
40% of the world’s children will be African by the turn of the century. Educate! tackles youth unemployment by partnering with schools and governments to reform what schools teach and how they teach it – this is so that students in Africa have the skills to start businesses, get jobs and drive development in their communities. The organization’s participants earn nearly double the income of their peers towards the end of school. They are also 50% more likely to be employed and 44% more likely to own a business.
LABORATORIA, MEXICO, NON-PROFIT
In Latin America, the completion rate of tertiary education is as low as 14%. Laboratoria’s mission is to give Latin American women from unprivileged backgrounds a career in technology, transforming their future and the industry that receives them. The organization prepares women from underserved contexts as software developers and user experience designers through an immersive 6-month coding bootcamp and then places them in jobs in tech. Their graduates go on to build transformational careers for themselves while filling in the enormous talent and gender gap in technology.
LUTA PELA PAZ, BRAZIL, NON-PROFIT
Maré ranks 123rd out of 126 Rio de Janeiro neighbourhoods in the Human Development Index, with community-facing low levels of education, high levels of unemployment and extremely high levels of drug gang and state violence. Luta Pela Paz (part of a global organization – Fight For Peace) use boxing and martial arts combined with education and personal development to realize the potential of young people in communities affected by crime and violence. The organization works with youth in Maré favela, Rio, where they use a methodology that provides a series of holistic and integrated service to give young people the tools to build peaceful, positive and productive lives. A key component of their method is employability – providing training, psycho-social support and access to opportunities.
“REACH’s mission gets a much-needed boost through the “Transforming Lives Award” grant. We’re happy as this grant will help us empower thousands of underprivileged youth.”
– Nguyen Thi Ngoc Anh, Fundraising Officer, REACH
Brad Crombie joins from Aberdeen Standard Investments to fuel next stage of growth
Alquity Investment Management today announces the appointment of Brad Crombie as Chief Executive Officer and board member, effective of 19th November 2018. He was previously Global Head of Fixed Income at Aberdeen Asset Management and has over 18 years’ experience in the industry.
The London-based firm has established a shared values business model, which connects investors and their investments to social progress in emerging markets. The firm’s investments target attractive long-term returns in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, through portfolios with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues at the centre of a holistic investment process. Alquity now manages over USD $350 million, including a segregated mandate from one of the largest public pension funds in North America.
Paul Robinson, Founder and Chairman of Alquity, said:
“Brad is a proven leader, with a strong investment background reinforced by his extensive commercial and emerging markets experience, client focus and exceptional people skills. We are delighted to have such an accomplished individual joining us to lead Alquity’s next stage of growth. Brad’s appointment will be invaluable as Alquity builds on its vision and strong foundations as a pioneer in responsible investments.”
Mr. Crombie started his career at Aberdeen Asset Management in 2000 and re-joined the firm in February 2012 from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he was Managing Director and Head of Corporate Credit and High Yield Research for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He also played an early role in the FICC Markets Standards Board (FMSB), helping to establish clear standards and guidelines for conduct in Fixed Income markets. Mr. Crombie currently serves on the business strategy committee of the Global Risk Institute in Financial Services (GRI).