Driving finance for positive change in Scotland.

We are an advocacy and advisory body based in Edinburgh that researches and promotes ethical finance in Scotland.

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What we do

  • Research & campaign

    We author and commission research to understand and promote the growing ethical finance sector in Scotland. We have produced assessments of the Scottish investment industry, as well as analysing and amplifying consumer demand for ethical finance in Scotland, and undertaking advocacy across the Scottish financial ecosystem. Find out more.

  • Advisory

    We have advised on the ethical frameworks of financial institutions, inclusive growth and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We can help navigate the world of ESG, responsible investment and impact. Find out more.

  • Capacity building

    We develop and deliver education and training courses, and maintain an internship programme in order to build capacity in the Scottish ethical finance industry. Our range of academic and professional courses are drawn from the knowledge and experience of our team, as well as experts from our wider network. Find out more.


Operations team
Interim CEO

Omar Shaikh

Omar is a Chartered Accountant by profession and specialises in ethical finance, Islamic finance and private equity. He has extensive experience in financial services and Government advisory. He has advised, and trained, multiple governments on their capital markets, banking, pension and insurance regulation and is a regular speaker at ethical finance conference and events. Omar’s background includes working with EY where he was a Subject Matter Expert for Islamic finance. Through his work at developmental body UKIFC Omar launched the award winning Edinburgh Ethical Finance Round Table series, a platform that led to the inception of the Ethical Finance Hub and that has attracted large international ethical finance events to Scotland.

Executive Manager

Chris Tait

Chris is an experienced Chartered Institute of Marketing and PRINCE 2 qualified marketing, business development and project manager. Specialising in B2B marketing Chris has occupied roles, across the UK, within the construction, facilities management, education, professional and financial services sectors. During his time at a Scottish law firm Chris developed an interest and expertise in ethical finance and he has since helped to grow the Ethical Finance Round Table series into winners of the prestigious EFICA Awards.

Project Officer

Sam Wheldon-Bayes

Sam is a researcher and economist with interests in the intersection of environment, finance and economy. He has previously worked as a researcher for Lord Robert Skidelsky, producing a MOOC on the philosophy of economics, as well as a book entitled ‘What’s Wrong With Economics’, an accessible summary of recent academic debates in economics, as well as being a member of campaign group Rethinking Economics.


Gail Hurley

Gail is an international development and sustainable finance professional with over 16 years’ experience in research, data analysis and market trends, advocacy and direct country support. Her areas of expertise include innovative finance mechanisms, sustainable finance, aid, debt and tax. She was a Project Manager for Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB) from 2015-2019 and is also a specialist in impact bonds, blue economy financing, small island states and impact measurement. She is currently a Fellow with Development Initiatives and Senior Consultant with Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) and was previously with UNDP and EURODAD.


Jon “JB” Beckett

JB is an experienced investment professional, writer, non-executive director, trainer and guest lecturer. He is the author of ‘New Fund Order’, a controversial and outspoken ex investment gatekeeper and emeritus member of the Association of Professional Fund Investors. JB has long been campaigner for sustainability, technology and better investment governance.


Fran van Dijk

Fran is an experienced sustainability strategy and communications expert adept at supporting companies to become more effective sustainability leaders and to manage risk and opportunity to build lasting value. With a deep knowledge of the UN Sustainable Development Goals Fran operates at C-suite and senior level, asking the right questions, guiding priority-setting and helping to turn ambition into reality. Fran is a Board Member of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and is as an advisor to a new SDG-based fund run by Montanaro Asset Management. Fran holds an MA in Archaeology and Anthropology from the University of Cambridge and an MA in Environmental Management from the European Association for Environmental Management Education.

Project Officer

Alina Khakimova

Alina is a doctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh. Her research investigates the role of social investment in developing third sector organisations, focusing on the Scottish third sector. She has previously been an associate lecturer at the Westminster International University in Tashkent.

Board Member

Graham Burnside

Graham is a recognised expert in banking and finance law, specialising in particular in structured finance and capital markets, along with debt trading and financial product documentation. He pioneered the legal development of Islamic finance within Scotland on which he is now considered the country’s leading expert, having structured and documented the first (and so far only) Islamic mortgage products operating under Scots law and the first fully Sharia-compliant commercial real estate financing in Scotland. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Islamic Finance Council UK. The latest edition of Chambers & Partners Guide to the legal profession conferred on Graham the accolade of “Senior Statesman” in banking and finance law in Scotland, the only lawyer so recognised.

Board Member

Julian Parrott

Julian has over 20 years advisory experience in financial services offering advice on product areas such as mortgages, personal protection, pensions and investments. Julian specialises in developing ethical and social investment strategies that help clients plan their finances in a way that reflects their personal values and gives them choices in how they live.

Board Member

Omar Shaikh

Omar is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI), and interim Manging Director of the Ethical Finance Hub. A Chartered Accountant by profession, he specialises in ethical finance, Islamic finance and private equity. He has extensive experience in financial services, has advised multiple governments on financial inclusion policy and regulatory frameworks for non-interest and is a leading advocate and industry commentator for ethical and responsible finance. His background includes working with EY London where he was former Head of Islamic finance.

Omar launched the award-winning Edinburgh Ethical Finance Round Table series, a platform that led to the inception of the Ethical Finance Hub and GEFI. Through his work he has established a number of events and campaigns, including the Ethical Finance Summit (a major conference), a pioneering project with UNDP creating innovative financing structures for the SDGs and the interfaith Edinburgh Finance Declaration. GEFI has launched the Path to COP26 campaign, bringing together stakeholders to advance climate finance ahead of the crucial 2021 Glasgow summit.

Omar received a BAcc from the University of Glasgow and holds select board advisory roles including with the Prince’s Trust Scotland and supporting Glasgow Museums on preserving South Asian Heritage in Scotland.

Our story

The Ethical Finance Hub (EFH), which now forms part of the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI), emerged from the award-winning Edinburgh Ethical Finance Round Table series. Against a backdrop of the 2008 financial crisis, sustainability, climate change and social justice themes led to a collective desire from practitioners in Scotland to create a more responsible financial sector that operates on a transparent and ethical basis. This context led to the development of the EFH.

After building out the concept and demonstrating strong industry support, Scottish Government funding enabled the practitioner-led hub to launch in 2016. The EFH is grateful to be hosted by Edinburgh Business School at Heriot Watt University.

Since launching, the EFH has:

  • Authored reports
  • Advised government
  • Convened discussions
  • Built Awareness and Capacity

We aspire for a better financial system that delivers inclusive economic growth without depleting natural resources or leaving anyone behind. Given our proud heritage, strong financial sector, commitment to serving people and the planet and a desire to be a good global citizen we see Scotland as a leader in ethical finance and our role is to help reinforce this position.

Get involved

Mailing List

Sign up to our mailing list to receive the latest updates.

Path to COP26

Sign up to the Path to COP26, an initiative from the Global Ethical Finance Initiative


Attend events run by the Global Ethical Finance Initiative, including the annual Ethical Finance Summit

Host Partner

Drop in to our office at Heriot Watt University’s Edinburgh Business School. Contact info@ethicalfinancehub.org for details.

Get in touch

To discuss an advisory assignment, research project, training programme or awareness campaign please contact info@ethicalfinancehub.org