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Rapid expansion for third sector loan funder

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Social Investment Scotland has added 11 new people to its personnel and has been ranked in the top third of organisations of its kind in the world

Third sector loan funder Social Investment Scotland (SIS) has signalled its intent to expand with an announcement of 11 new appointments.

SIS has appointed banker Eric Gibson and former chief executive of the School for Social Entrepreneurs in Australia Celia Hodson to its board while senior business adviser Kenny Fraser has been appointed chair of the Social Growth Fund (SGF).

Gibson has nearly 40 years of business experience, having held senior director roles with Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group, before establishing his own consultancy in November 2014.

Hodson has held senior roles in both medium size to multinational enterprises in both the UK and Australia. Until late last year, she was chief executive of School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) Australia and is the current chief executive of social entrepreneur leadership programme Journeys For Change.

SIS has also made another eight appointments from the third sector, business and finance communities to a range of its committees with David Gillespie, David Robertson, Donald MacRae, John Watt, Kenny McDowell, Lynne Ross, Sam Bett and Susan Younger all being appointed.

Two board members, the first SGF chair Sarah Smart and Derek Marshall are standing down.

Celia Hodson and Eric Gibson
Celia Hodson and Eric Gibson

SIS chairman, professor Nick Kuenssberg said the organisation made the appointments to tap into a broader range of skills.

He added: “Since we launched our five year Framework for Growth back in 2013, Scotland’s social investment sector has gone through a significant period of expansion.

“By tapping into a broader range of skills, SIS is now well placed to continue playing an instrumental role in shaping this sector over the coming years.

“Each of our new appointees bring with them an additional level of knowledge, understanding and expertise that will help us deliver additional investment to communities and social enterprises, whilst identifying and attracting alternative sources of funding to increase our funds under management.”

Meanwhile, SIS has become the first community development financial institution (CDFI) outside of the USA to receive a credit rating from ratings service Aeris.

Aeris rating system, created in the US, rates organisations for the how well they use capital investment to do good. Seen as the leading rating system for CDFIs, it is particularly well though of by community investors who use it to find and evaluate opportunities that meet their impact goals and risk parameters.

SIS has achieved a AAA2 rating – the second highest rating available – which signals the strength of SIS in relation to its social impact and financial performance.

Alastair Davis, chief executive, Social Investment Scotland said: “In line with SIS’ continued growth and ambitions for the future, we were keen to blaze a trail for the UK’s social investment sector by becoming the first responsible finance provider to initiate a rating.

“The fact that we received one of the highest ratings available is a terrific achievement of which we’re extremely proud, placing SIS in the top third of CDFIs across the world.”