IN recent years many considerably less mature economies have established stock exchanges. The World Federation of Exchanges now represents more than 200 stock exchanges and counter-party clearing houses in every corner of the world. There is clearly an exciting opportunity for Scotland to do likewise.

But my real mission is to make impact investing mainstream through the transformation of global capital markets.

Scotland is one of the first countries to have adopted the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and alongside its current National Performance Framework, it is the perfect location.

Scotland is at the centre of renewables, life sciences and is a creative hub so it suits the impact agenda.

We will serve communities that have traditionally had to leave Scotland to access public markets and with our impact agenda will complement the UK’s capital markets.

And don’t forget that, despite having worked in London for most of my career, Scotland is my home.

However this is not just about Scotland but is in fact a global imperative. We have only a few years left to reverse climate change, and face an increasingly uncertain geo-political environment with societal challenges that can be fixed.

It’s not too late. We all need to step up and fix the current challenges we face for future generations.

Scotland is the perfect country to lead this change in capital markets as it offers a fresh perspective that can enable the change to happen faster.

The National:

For real impact to take place it needs to be systemic and capital markets are therefore a perfect environment for this.

This is not about making room for another exchange. This is fundamentally about systemic change needed everywhere – and Scotland can lead.

There is a huge need to realign a drive for profit with one of purpose to address pressing global challenges and build a fundamentally more inclusive and sustainable world.

The exchange will be a bridge between the rapidly increasing numbers of impact-driven companies and investors who want to invest according to their values worldwide.

A Scottish Stock Exchange will be the first recognised Investment Exchange with a pure impact agenda.

There is a need for us to educate Scotland that an Initial Public Offering, when businesses first list on an exchange to enable trading in their shares, is not something that is for the wealthy but is in everyone’s reach.

We can also help people understand that the way they invest makes a real difference, and our project will give them an easy route to making that difference.

I hope we can do this quickly. We aim to be open, inclusive and provide access for all. We will be running programmes on IPO readiness to help educate the market and give confidence that public markets are a very real and viable alternative to private equity.

This is about building an inclusive community, not just for Scottish people at home, but for its diaspora too.

We aim to provide a range of programmes and educational tools for them and will work closely with organisations locally, to help show companies how they can reach new types of capital with an impact agenda.

By being impact-ready we can give them confidence and help them find new ways of adding value.

Establishing our new exchange will complement the Scottish National Investment Bank, which we fully support.

Together they will fundamentally change the opportunities available to businesses and investors both small and large. Scotland needs both initiatives.

This is an event to provide an overview on impact as well as update on the status of Project Heather.

We need Scotland behind us to make this happen. Anyone that cannot make it please email us at and we can discuss how you can engage with us, and make Scotland a global leader.