Interview with IFFIm's new Board Chair Cyrus Ardalan

New IFFIm Board Chair Cyrus Ardalan reflects on IFFIm’s pioneering role in the growth of socially responsible investing

New IFFIm Board Chair Cyrus Ardalan. Credit: Gavi/2018.

Q. Congratulations on your selection as IFFIm’s new Board Chair. You’ve had a long career in international investment banking. How did you find your way to IFFIm and, more generally, into the arena of socially responsible investing?  

CA: I spent the first part of my career at the World Bank in Washington, where I worked on social and economic issues in some of the poorest countries in the world. After that, I moved to investment banking, which is where I’ve been for most of my career. Much of my time and energy in investment banking has focused on helping government and public sector entities borrow on the international markets. Many of those borrowers were developing and emerging market countries. So in many ways I never really left behind the mission I had served at the World Bank.  

For me, then, IFFIm is another opportunity to help mobilise the international financial community to address big social challenges in countries that too often don’t have the resources to solve them.

Q. Based on your experience, how have perceptions of and attitudes about socially responsible financing changed over the last decade or so?  

CA: The socially responsible investing (SRI) sector has been growing for at least the last decade, but even more dramatically over the last five years. That’s especially true when it comes to green bonds – innovative financing for initiatives that protect and sustain the environment. In 2017, green bonds, one component of SRI, raised in excess of US$ 100 billion.

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