RIAA Staff

Simon O'Connor square headshot - Twitter and Linkedin SMALL PRIMARY

CEO/Executive Director

Simon O’Connor

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.

 

In this role, Simon works with RIAA’s 450+ 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.

 

As well as driving RIAA to be a more impactful organisation, Simon is active across the region and internationally in responsible investment and sustainable finance initiatives. Simon is currently the co-Chair of the Steering Committee of the Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative, working on the NZ Sustainable Finance Initiative, a member of the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance, and on the National Advisory Board on Impact Investing in New Zealand

Ali El Saleh web

Responsible Investment Analyst

Ali El Saleh

In his role as Responsible Investment Analyst, Ali supports RIAA’s dedicated certification and ratings team to harness the momentum we’re seeing in the Certification Program, with more investment managers seeking to better understand responsible investing and sustainable finance in Australia and New Zealand.

 

Ali is a Certified ESG Analyst and an active researcher. He holds a double master’s degree in Financial Analysis and Professional Accounting and recently completed a PhD in Ethical Finance from La Trobe University. His current research interests are mainly in the areas of ethical finance, empirical corporate finance, and corporate governance. His published research in Accounting & Finance Journal examined the impact of ethical screening on the performance of stocks listed on the ASX 200.

 

Prior to joining RIAA, Ali worked at La Trobe University and Monash College as Sessional Tutor and Lecturer. He has also worked as a Finance Officer and Investment Analyst.

Bianca HeadShot web

Program Officer

Bianca Olguin Malavisi

Bianca supports the efficient and effective running of RIAA’s busy working groups, in her role as Program Officer.

 

Bianca holds a first-class honours in Politics from Monash University and is currently studying a Master of Public Policy and Management at the University of Melbourne. Prior to joining RIAA, Bianca was working in the migration sector. Born and raised in Bolivia, she is fluent in English and Spanish.

Briony web

Events Coordinator

Briony Doyle Galovic

Briony supports the RIAA team and our members by managing all the logistics and communications for our busy calendar of conferences, webinars and events throughout the year. She also ensures we deliver on our commitments to our sponsors.

 

Prior to joining RIAA, Briony has over 6 years’ experience successfully managing corporate and hospitality events. She is based in the Melbourne office.

Carly web

Head of Marketing and Impact Investment Forum Program Manager

Carly Hammond

Carly’s focus is on building business as force for good and harnessing the power of individuals to effect change whether as a consumer, business owner or investor. As Head of Marketing and the Impact Investment Forum Program Manager for the Responsible Investment Association Australasia, she is focused on growing awareness of and deepening participation in responsible, ethical and impact investing.

 

She is also a Non-Executive Director for B Lab Australia & New Zealand, and was previously the Director of Engagement and Communications at Impact Investing Australia where she played a central role putting impact investing on the map and engaging new market participants. Carly has extensive experience delivering campaigns and partnerships spanning the private, public and not for profit sectors in Australia, Asia and Africa. At Oxfam Australia, Carly designed award-winning campaigns for fairer international trade rules and generating consumer demand for fair trade products. For the Australian Conservation Foundation, Carly led communications and partnership development to promote the transition to an economy that delivers wellbeing alongside a healthy environment.

Cass web

Head of Certification and Ratings

Cassandra Williams

Cassandra holds over 20 years’ experience in financial services, covering funds management, investments, consumer products, financial education and ratings of financial instruments. She leads the Certification and Ratings Program for responsible investment products in Australia and New Zealand. RIAA’s vision is to aid the fund flow of investment capital to responsible investments and Cassandra is leading this charge through the world’s longest running and most recognised Responsible Investment Certification Program.

 

Cassandra’s experience has been gained through international investment banks, FinTechs, ratings agencies and consulting services.

Dean Hegarty web

Executive Manager, Membership and Engagement 

Dean Hegarty

Dean leads RIAA’s member engagement, events, marketing and communications functions. His role focuses on building meaningful engagement opportunities for our members and ensuring RIAA delivers high quality content that adds value to the industry.

 

Dean has worked in membership organisations and associations for close to a decade within NZ, Australia and Europe. He is passionate about creating a more sustainable future and the role ESG investment can play in empowering consumers and driving meaningful change within business.

Estelle Parker

Executive Manager, Programs

Estelle Parker

Estelle Parker leads RIAA’s research, certification, policy, standards and working group programs. She brings 20 years’ experience leading strategic initiatives as a diplomat, policy analyst, stakeholder manager and strategic planner with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Estelle has served, inter alia, as Acting Ambassador and Deputy Ambassador to Mexico, Central America and Cuba; Deputy State Director (Victoria); Policy Adviser to the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands; and as Director overseeing the development and management of bilateral relationships.

 

Estelle also worked for five years at the University of Melbourne, where she lectured in the Master of Public Policy and Management and Master of International Relations. She is currently Chair of the Board at Wild at Heart Community Arts, which helps people who experience disability, mental illness and disadvantage to tell their stories through art and music making.

 

Estelle holds a Master of Public Policy and Management (First Class Honours), Master of Communications (With Distinction), Bachelor of Arts (av. First Class Honours) and Certificate in Business Sustainability Strategy.

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Manager of Member Services

Josh Edmunds

As RIAA’s Manager of Member Services, Josh works across all areas of RIAA, back and front office. Based in Sydney, Josh is often the first point of contact for members and provides support on many areas of RIAA’s work plan. In particular Josh works closely with RIAA’s financial adviser members and manages the RI Certification Program for advisers and advisory groups.

 

Prior to working at RIAA, Josh was involved in the fitness industry managing large centre membership operations, customer service and events. For a number of years he was involved in social programmes supporting disadvantaged youth. He continues to remain active in the fitness industry instructing group fitness in the Sydney area.

 

Josh holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Laws and a Diploma in Financial Planning.

Katie web

Communications and Media Coordinator

Katie Braid

At RIAA Katie is responsible for helping build awareness of and participation in responsible, ethical and impact investing through creative communications and media campaigns.

 

Katie holds a dual Bachelor of Business Management (Sustainability) and Journalism, and prior to joining RIAA held a range of roles in the arts, education and resource recovery sectors, all with a focus on marketing and communicating for change.

Minwah web

Program Manager

Min Wah Voon

At RIAA Min Wah is responsible for ensuring that RIAA’s activities are aligned with RIAA’s strategic plan and responsive to important urgent, social, environmental and economic challenges. Responsibilities include developing and supporting RIAA’s thematic work through managing RIAA’s working groups, strategic partnerships and other initiatives.

 

Min Wah has 15 years’ experience working on sustainable development and human rights, with a strong interest in private sector engagement. Prior to RIAA, she was a researcher for the Australian Conservation Foundation and a consultant to the International Women’s Development Agency. Before this, she worked for many years with Oxfam, the Red Cross, the World Food Programme, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN, on a range of programs across Asia, the Pacific and in Washington, DC.

 

Min Wah holds a Bachelor of Arts/Law and a Master’s in International and Community Development. She sits on the Monash University Industry Advisory Council for project management.

NB Web

Executive Manager, Policy and Standards

Nicolette Boele

Nicolette has 30 years’ experience delivering engagements, collaborations and accountability solutions for and with Australian and international companies, governments, unions, and NGOs. She has deep subject matter experience in energy and climate change. Like Simon she has worked at and been on Council at the Australian Conservation Foundation. She has also held executive roles at The Climate Institute, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Banarra and the Sustainable Energy Development Authority.

 

Nicolette leads RIAA’s programs of work on standards setting, industry research and certification. She co-leads RIAA’s policy agenda, is a member of both the PRI’s Global Policy Reference Group and the Coordinating Working Group of the Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative. Nicolette is proud to help support RIAA’s Human Rights Working Group – an active, courageous and impactful network of investment practitioners seeking ways to respect human rights and improve the lives of people in Australia, New Zealand and worldwide.

Ryan Cook web

Senior Responsible Investment Analyst

Ryan Cook

Prior to joining RIAA Ryan worked for close to 10 years in the banking and finance industry in a range of Senior Analytical roles. Ryan has also worked as a sustainability consultant and carbon emissions analyst.

 

Ryan recently completed his Master of Environment at University of Melbourne, specialising in Governance, Policy and Markets. His research examined Responsible Investment in Blue Carbon resources.

 

In addition to his Masters degree, Ryan holds a Diploma of Sustainability and Bachelor of Agribusiness. He is also qualified as an Accounting for Nature Accredited Expert. Ryan is a volunteer community committee member for the Sports Environment Alliance (SEA) Australia.

S Rayner

Operations Manager

Sharon Rayner

Sharon is responsible for leading the corporate services and governance at RIAA, to ensure that RIAA operates effectively and efficiently. This includes having responsibility for human resources, finance, technology, planning, and policies.

 

Sharon is an experienced executive who has led corporate services, planning and operations in the not-for-profit, health and education sectors.

William Suwandri

Responsible Investment Analyst

William Suwandri

William recently completed his Master of Management at the University of Melbourne where he majored in Finance. Prior to that, William also completed a Bachelor of Commerce from Monash University where he specialised in Accounting.

 

Before joining RIAA as Responsible Investment Analyst, William had previous internship experiences in Corporate Banking and Accounting.

Zsuzsa

Research Manager

Zsuzsa Banhalmi-Zakar

Zsuzsa looks after RIAA’s many research products, which includes ensuring the continued success of existing projects and reimagining RIAA’s research for the future.

 

Zsuzsa has an extensive track record as researcher, spending the last nine years in academia. She completed a PhD in sustainable finance and worked extensively with investors and the not-for-profit sector in the region on topics such as climate adaptation finance, blue finance, and the identification of environmental risks and opportunities. Prior to moving to Australia, she was a senior consultant for Deloitte in Europe where she was first exposed to the power of responsible investment and lending to make a positive difference. Zsuzsa is passionate about helping capital move into ventures that make investments responsible and our world more sustainable for present and future generations.