Founder and Managing Partner
AFIM was founded in 2017 by a group of entrepreneurs and finance professionals, who are passionate about impact investment. The founding group, its associates and the advisors support us with management experience and business relationships with various partners in the world.
Since our inception, we have become a signatory to the United Nations-supported Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI) and the International Finance Corporation-supported Operating Principles for Impact Management (OPIM), a member of the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), and a certified B Corporation (B Corp). To further strengthen our identity in impact investment, we proactively approach professional organizations and academic institutions for joint research projects, speak regularly in industry conferences and publish articles on impact investment, ESG and sustainability topics.
Our management team is responsible for managing investment and operating our company. The Investment Committee, Risk Management Committee, Operating Committee are chaired by different managing partners to ensure proper segregation of duties.
Founder and Managing Partner
Catherine is a serial entrepreneur and has founded AvantFaire Holding and Impactlytics with strong presence in Hong Kong and Canada, focusing on impact investment management and analytics. Prior to her entrepreneurship ventures, Catherine also worked in prominent financial institutions in Canada and China including the Royal Bank of Canada and Noah Holdings Limited. She advised ultra-high net worth clients and family offices on investment in public, and private equity and other asset classes.
Catherine holds an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, an MSc in Economics and a BSc in Economics and Statistics from University College London and the Financial Risk Manager (FRM) designation.
Catherine received the Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award from the University of Toronto in 2017 for her long–term commitment and contribution to the local community.
Ron has years of experience in both private and public sectors in Hong Kong. Before joining AFIM, Ron was an associate director of the Securities and Futures Commission responsible for engaging with the Fintech industry and assisting senior management in risk monitoring and policy development. Prior to his regulatory role, Ron worked as an equity derivatives market maker and a proprietary trader in global financial institutions including Nomura, KBC Financial Products, BNP Paribas and Standard Chartered Bank. Ron began his career as a risk analyst in Dresdner Global Investors (now Allianz Dresdner Asset Management).
Ron holds an EMBA from the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario, an MEng in Industrial Engineering and Finance, and a BASc in Mechanical Engineering and Material Science from the University of Toronto. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified International Investment Analyst (CIIA), Financial Risk Manager (FRM) and Professional Risk Manager (PRM) designations.
Joseph has many years of management experience in direct investment, private equity, pre-IPO investment and accounting. Prior to joining the team, he was an executive director and an investment director of HX Innovation Capital Management Company Limited. He has also worked as an investment manager focusing on portfolio management, both public and private companies. Prior to that, he worked in a family office, USI Partners Limited, and a private equity fund sponsored by Chinachem Group, where he was responsible for investment in private equity, pre-IPO deals and fund-raising activities. He started his career at Deloitte as an auditor.
Joseph graduated from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology with a BBA in Accounting and Finance. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and is a Fellow Member of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FCPA).
Francesco has over 7 years of experience in the financial services industry in Switzerland and Hong Kong.
At AFIM, his main focus is on investor relations and impact assessment & measurement.
Prior to AFIM, he spent several years at Credit Suisse in Strategy and Business Development, where he focused on providing tailor-made solutions to the highest segment of private banking clients. After his tenure at Credit Suisse, he then joined Respons Ability Investments, a Swiss-based impact investing asset manager, where he held various roles in product management and investor relations. In Hong Kong, he worked as a consultant in the fintech industry, advising asset managers and family offices on how to increase their technological efficiency.
Francesco holds a BA in Economics from Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI), Switzerland, and an MSc in Management from Cass Business School, City University of London. He also holds the GRI sustainability reporting certification.
Our advisors include renowned veterans from the financial services industry and academic institutions in Hong Kong and overseas. The advisors meet once a year with the AFIM management team to provide strategic advice on our business. Quarterly conference calls are held with our advisors to provide business updates and discuss opportunities and risks facing the company
Professor of Social Entrepreneurship, University of Oxford
Professor Alex Nicholls is the first tenured professor in social entrepreneurship appointed at the University of Oxford and was the first staff member of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship in 2004. His research interests range across several key areas within social entrepreneurship and social innovation, including: social and impact investment; the nexus of relationships between accounting, accountability, and governance; public and social policy contexts; and Fair Trade.
To date Alex has published more than ninety papers, working papers, book chapters and articles and six books. Most appear in a wide range of peer reviewed journals and books, including five papers in Financial Times Top 30 journals. He is the General Editor of the Skoll Working Papers Series and the Editor of the Journal of Social Entrepreneurship.
Alex has held lectureships at a wide variety of academic institutions including: University of Toronto; Leeds Metropolitan University; University of Surrey; Aston Business School and the University of Oxford. Nicholls also sat on the regional social enterprise expert group for the South East of England and is a member of the Advisory Group for the ESRC Social Enterprise Capacity Building Cluster. He has been an Honorary Fellow at the Third Sector Research Centre at the University of Birmingham and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Impact, University of New South Wales. He also currently sits of the Board of several social enterprises.
Alex earned a BA (Hons), MA and PhD in English Language and Literature from King’s College, London and an MBA from Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford.
Professor of the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
Mr. Richard Nesbitt is an Adjunct Professor of the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, and chair of the Advisory Board of the Mind Brain Behavior Hive at the same University. Richard is now based in London, United Kingdom where he is working with the London School of Economics on the creation of a new research institute called The Inclusion Initiative at LSE dedicated to improving diversity and inclusion within industry.
Richard recently completed his tenure as CEO of Global Risk Institute in Financial Services, which is building a globally recognized research organization in the management of emerging risks.
Richard was previously the Chief Operating Officer of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce until he retired from that position in September 2014. He joined CIBC in 2008 following his more than 20 years of experience in the securities industry which included CIBC Wood Gundy from 1987 to 1997. From 2004 to 2008 Richard was Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Stock Exchange, having joined TSX as President of TSX Markets in 2001.
Richard, who serves on a variety of corporate and community boards, was recognized in 2014 by the organization Women in Capital Markets with its Visionary Award. He also received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for community service, the Arbor Award from the University of Toronto for his work with the school, and the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award from Rotman School of Management.
In 2017 Richard published a book (with Barbara Annis) titled “Results at the Top” on the issue of men’s responsibility for gender diversity to improve their organizations (Wiley 2017). His new book (with Michael King) titled “Technological Innovation in Financial Services” will be available in early 2020 (UTP 2020).
Richard is an HBA graduate from the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario and holds an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and a MSc from London School of Economics.
Head of Regulatory Affairs for Asia and Europe & CCO for Asia, Circle
Bénédicte is the Head of Regulatory Affairs for Asia and Europe & CCO for Asia for Circle, a Board Member of the Hong Kong Fintech Association and a Member of the Global Digital Finance Advisory Council. From 2012 to 2018 she was the Head of Risk and Strategy of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, from 2007 to 2012 she was a Managing Director at Credit Suisse, and before that she was an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs. She holds an LLM and MBA from the University of Chicago. In 2016 she was a recipient of the China Daily Asian Women Leadership Awards for people who are dedicated to entrepreneurialism, innovation and change.