Advisory group

We established our new advisory group in 2021 to provide expertise and input as we progress on our mission to align people’s values and aspirations with their money.

This group brings together inspirational individuals from across different sectors who have deep experience of investment, energy infrastructure, green policy and marketing and we are delighted to have access to their skills and guidance as we grow and scale our business.

Andrew Whalley

Andrew Whalley

Renewable energy pioneer and investment expert

Andrew is one of the UK’s leading renewable energy entrepreneurs. As founder of REG Power Management, he listed the company on AIM in the 2000s, and became one of the largest developers, owners and operators of renewable energy projects until taking it private again in 2015. REG Power Management has raised £4M through Abundance for 2 of its businesses.

He started his career in asset management, with roles that included CIO of Johnson Fry and CEO of Legg Mason UK, with a focus on UK and European utilities. Whilst at Johnson Fry, Andrew helped establish the first listed funds dedicated to investing in utilities, an activity that numbers in the billions today. Andrew has a deep understanding of both public and private capital markets as a result of his experience on both sides of the fence as an investor and as a developer of renewable energy, and of setting up and scaling a business.

“Abundance is a dynamic, participant in the global renewable energy industry. Abundance’s approach is vital; it’s adaptive, it’s never less than authentic and trying hard to do the right thing for investors and other stakeholders. You never doubt Abundance’s integrity. It has a lovely culture and some great people, and I hope to provide insight from my experience both in the industry and as someone who has raised money through Abundance.”

Francesca Barnes

Francesca Barnes

Finance leader championing sustainability in the board room

Francesca spent 27 years working in leading financial institutions — including UBS and Chase Manhattan — in a range of top-level roles spanning strategy, risk, fixed income and private equity. In recent years she has switched her focus to non-executive roles and currently serves on the boards of Coutts and NatWest Holdings and 2 private equity businesses. She is using her strong desire to take action on the climate emergency through a role on NatWest’s Sustainable Banking Committee.

Francesca has also used her strategic expertise in the voluntary sector, following her long interest in education and individual development (as chair of an academy school in Hackney for over 7 years and now as a Council Member of the University of Southampton), and in healthcare where as chair she helped establish Penny Brohn’s holistic approach to cancer care as a mainstream approach.

“I’ve been on the Abundance journey since they launched in 2012, because I love their founding principle: to make it easy for everyone to mobilise their money for good. The challenges our planet faces can seem overwhelming, but Abundance allows everyone real, and local, to make a difference. I believe the corporate world urgently needs more caring businesses like Abundance.”

June Aitken

June Aitken

Investment market specialist

June has over 30 years’ experience of financial markets and the institutional investment industry. As well as managing and advising various global management businesses, she has founded an independent fund management business, focusing on sustainable and resource efficient investments, which currently manages almost $2bn for sovereign wealth funds, endowments, pensions, and foundations.

Recently she has become involved in a number of fintech businesses, bringing her understanding of regulatory and governance frameworks to help create successful and regulatorily compliant businesses. Her awareness and commitment to furthering the positives in the shift to ESG (environmental, social and governance focused) investing with her long experience of mainstream investing gives her (and Abundance) unique insight into the challenges and opportunities facing the industry.

“Abundance is a brand that lets me combine my personal passions — tackling the global climate and ecological crisis — with my experience in financial markets. For me, the Stern report was a big turning point. It made it abundantly clear that everyone, from institutions to individuals, needs to engage with the issue of climate change, and I can help Abundance engage with investors at all levels to acheive this goal.”

Martin Saunders

Martin Saunders

Marketing and branding expert

Martin has over 25 years marketing experience across a variety of different sectors from SMEs and start-ups to global corporations such as Nike. Whilst at Good Energy he helped increase customer numbers fourfold and annual revenues by 50%. He now combines executive, advisory and coaching roles for both commercial and not for profit entities.

“For years the world of personal finance has to an extent felt tinged by concepts of either greed and self-interest or a complete disconnection with where your money is invested. Finally, it seems we have reached a tipping point where governments are slowly waking up to the public opinion that we can (and must) build a better world. To be part of an organisation that has worked for so long to help shape that shift in the UK at such a pivotal time is a hugely exciting opportunity.”

Nick Robins

Nick Robins

Climate finance trailblazer, author and academic

It is no understatement to say that Nick has been one of the key influencers in the sustainable finance movement for the past 20 years. At Henderson Global Investors, a leading UK-based asset manager, he introduced the first carbon footprint of an investment fund back in 2005; now this is becoming the norm. At the UN, he helped lead a global inquiry into what a sustainable financial system could look like. A widely published author (including Sustainable Investing: the Art of Long-Term Performance in 2008), he also co-founded Planet Tracker as well as Carbon Tracker which developed the now-dominant ‘stranded assets’ thesis around fossil fuel investments.

He is currently Professor in Practice for Sustainable Finance at the LSE’s Grantham Research Institute. One priority is how financial institutions can support a just transition, in other worlds climate action with positive social impact. He is also working closely with central banks, and is co-chairing a new initiative on biodiversity and financial stability. Nick brings a unique mix of investment experience, public policy insights and impact-oriented research.

“Too often people feel out of touch with the world of finance — as if it was another planet. Abundance is a rare organisation that helps translate grandiose phrases around green finance into granular investments in the real world. In the process, it helps return finance to its original role as a sector serving people and the community to realise big ambitions. I’ve been a long-term investor through the Abundance platform and was delighted to be asked play an advisory role as we all seek to drive a green and just recovery from COVID 19.”

Susan Hooper

Susan Hooper

Customer engagement expert and board room environmentalist

Susan has had a hugely varied career in senior executive and board positions across the leisure, FMCG, Utilities and travel sectors spanning almost 40 years. The common thread has been a need to be directed by clarity of strategy/purpose, a deep interest in and understanding of customers using data to provide insight and improve service delivery and more recently a desire to mobilise all people on the topic of sustainability. In recent years she has been using this expertise on the boards of our 20 companies, including current board roles at recently floated Moonpig plc, Uber UK, Affinity Water Ltd. and the Rank Group plc.

A few years ago, Susan became painfully aware of the climate crisis and our need to change, and is now a stubborn environmentalist focused on the area she can influence which is at Board level. She is a founding Director of Chapter Zero, which helps non-executive directors and chairs find the best way to bring the issue onto the board agenda in order to help companies engage with and respond to the climate emergency. At Moonpig and the Rank Group, she has taken the lead for the board on ESG (environmental, social and governance) considerations.

“We only have a short time to make the impact we need to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees. I am now focusing my work only on businesses that are committed to make a real difference. I’m fascinated by trying to solve the knotty consumer challenges on the road to Net Zero — such as tackling our approach to travel. We need to help individuals make changes, and my broad commercial experience gives me the understanding to help Abundance maximise engagement in this challenging and exciting time.”

Tim Cornelius

Tim Cornelius

Green energy pioneer and capital markets expert

Tim headed up SIMEC Atlantis Energy for over 15 years as it led the global charge to bring tidal power into the mainstream. During his tenure it delivered MeyGen, the world’s largest tidal stream system, and became the first publicly listed tidal company. Tim is a recognised business leader in renewable power generation, sustainable infrastructure and private wire project development who has gained first hand exposure to and understanding of a wide range of international capital markets, both debt and equity, and investors, both institutional and retail.

SIMEC Atlantis has raised £14M over 3 raises through the Abundance platform, giving him first-hand experience of our service to issuers. He is now the CEO of Global Energy Group, one of the UK’s leading energy services companies.

“Abundance investors’ backing for the tidal industry was instrumental in taking it to commercial scale. My experience in the sector, and of raising money through the Abundance platform, gives me a unique perspective on how we can scale what Abundance does while retaining their principles. I really appreciate Abundance’s creative and entreprenurial approach to problem-solving, which is more essential than ever as we try and grow the industries that will power a greener future for us all.”