Bridget Coates (Co-Chair at Sustainable Finance Forum implementation team)

Bridget Coates

Co-Chair at Sustainable Finance Forum implementation team

Bridget Coates is an experienced global leader who has built and led businesses in both the United States and New Zealand in recent years. She has held Chairperson, Director and CEO roles across a range of public and private sector entities.

She is currently Co-Chair of the Sustainable Finance Forum implementation team, Chair of Fonterra’s Sustainability Advisory Panel to the Board and Chair of Koi Tu (a think tank based at the University of Auckland). She is also Chairperson of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand and a Director of Tegel Group Holdings Ltd.

She has been a Governor of the NZ Superannuation Fund and, until recently, she was a Director of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

Bridget founded White Cloud Dairy Innovation Ltd., a company exporting dairy products to the United States. Bridget was also the inaugural Chair of THE ICEHOUSE business accelerator and the inaugural Chair of ArcAngels in New Zealand, an angel group focusing on women-led growth companies. She retains a portfolio of early and growth stage investments in the US and in New Zealand.

Bridget has also been a Director of public companies, Sky City Limited and Fisher & Paykel Appliances Holdings Limited. She was formerly CEO of Carter Holt Harvey Plastic Products and Director of Research for CS First Boston NZ Ltd as well as being a Member of the University of Auckland Council.

Bridget has also held Board governance roles with Industry New Zealand / NZTE, a national economic development agency; Competitive Auckland Ltd, a regional economic development organisation; NZ Apple and Pear Marketing Board and Auckland Uniservices Ltd, a technology transfer company. She holds degrees in arts, economics and finance from the University of Auckland and also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst qualification: she is a Chartered Member of Institute of Directors. Bridget was a judge for the CFO of the Year Awards in 2020.

Simon O'Connor (Co-Chair of The Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative and CEO at Responsible Investment Association Australasia)

Simon O'Connor

Co-Chair of The Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative and CEO at Responsible Investment Association Australasia

Simon operates at the intersection of economics, finance and sustainability and has extensive international experience as an economic adviser, investment analyst and sustainability consultant across finance, corporate and not for profit sectors.

Simon works with RIAA’s 330 member organisations with the goal of delivering on RIAA’s mission of promoting, advocating for, and supporting approaches to responsible investment that align capital with achieving a healthy and sustainable society, environment and economy.

Simon is active across the region and internationally in responsible investment and sustainable finance initiatives. He sits as Co-Chair of the Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative, working group member of the NZ Sustainable Finance Forum, a member of the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance, the UN backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Australia Network Advisory Committee, as well as a member of the National Advisory Board on Impact Investing in New Zealand.

Ross Pennington (Co-Chair at Sustainable Finance Forum implementation team)

Ross Pennington

Co-Chair at Sustainable Finance Forum implementation team

A leading capital markets, banking and structured finance lawyer, Ross advises on a broad range of funding transactions including securitisation, asset-backed, and sustainable finance.

Ross has helped develop new markets, including the Kauri Bond market, and provides specialist advice on infrastructure funding and delivery, derivatives, and prudential regulatory matters.

Ross has recently been recognised on the KangaNews Award Market People of the Year 2019 list, was appointed co-chair of the Sustainable Finance in November 2020, and has also been made an INFINZ distinguished fellow for his contribution to the New Zealand capital markets.