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Catherine Howarth Discusses Charitable Investments, and Voting for Change

Feb 6, 2024 | ArtXCity, Investors

The meeting point of art and commerce is an ever-changing and chimeric point of interaction. What place does art have in the world of finance? How can young, savvy individuals learn to secure their footing in the world of work through smart investment? What advice do successful entrepreneurs have for the youth of today about finance, culture, and belief in the self? These are all questions ‘Art and the City’ seeks to answer, by interviewing some of the brightest and boldest minds in both the art world and the city. 

This week’s episode of Art and the City sees Emmeline interview Catherine Howarth, OBE. Catherine is a leader in sustainable finance and a chief executive at Share Action, a charity devoted to responsible investment, and serving the planet through increasing standards for change in financial systems. She is a former World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and has also been featured on the BBC Women’s Hour 2020 Power List. 

The pair began by discussing Catherine’s unorthodox entry into the city via community activism. Her work with the Living Wage Campaign led her to the purchase of shares in HSBC, so that she could attend their Annual General Meeting. It was her successful participation in this meeting that led her to further involvement in the world of shareholder activism, and specifically sustainable/ethical investment practice. 

Catherine maintains that leadership is about being prepared to do what you also ask others to do. When quizzed on how her leading position within Share Action enables change at everyday level, she confesses the still fundamental role of AGMs, allowing individuals to have their say in the running of large companies; her workplace encourages shareholders to ask questions at these meetings, about how and where their money is being used, and to push for better standards. She also names pensions as a key site of unrealised potential for individuals with little to no experience of investing to begin. 

And how would Catherine invest ten pounds if she were given it today? In literature, because she sees education as being a crucial gateway to financial empowerment.

Listen to the full episode here:

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