Castlefield Investment Partners (CIP) established an external advisory committee in 2018 to provide impartial oversight of how we incorporate social, environmental and governance (ESG) factors into our investment decision-making.

The committee meets twice a year and a summary of each meeting is published on our website.

Alongside providing an independent perspective, the advisory committee provides an additional level of expertise and challenge with investment and research decisions. 

External Advisory Committee Member Biographies

Rebecca O’Connor (Chairperson), Co-Founder, Good With Money
Rebecca O'Connor was appointed as the new chair in September 2021. Rebecca is head of pensions and savings for Interactive Investor, a co-founder of Good With Money and an award-winning financial journalist.

She previously worked for Royal London, the mutual insurer, as a personal finance specialist. She has also worked as a finance and business correspondent at The Times newspaper and as communications director for Trillion Fund, a renewable energy crowdfunding platform.

Becky was motivated by these roles to bring together ways that people can earn or save money without compromising their own pocket, the planet or other people. Her work has appeared in The Times, The Observer, Spectator Money, Huffington Post UK, Business Green, Ethical Consumer, Guardian Sustainable Business, Moneywise, Moneysupermarket,com, Energy Desk and The Ecologist.

Matthew Ayres, Director of Client Services, Ethical Screening
Matthew has 25 years’ experience in financial services, in both technical and client-facing roles. In his current role as Director of Client Services at Ethical Screening, he provides the link between client needs and the research team.

He has qualifications in environmental and financial areas, and a wealth of experience in responsible investment, pursuing the long-held idea that real change towards sustainability will not be achieved without harnessing the financial system.

Dr Ilma Nur Chowdhury, Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS)
Dr Ilma Nur Chowdhury is a Chartered Marketer and has worked as the Associate Head for Social Responsibility and Engagement in the Management Sciences and Marketing Division at AMBS.

Ilma began her career in marketing as an assistant brand manager at Unilever Bangladesh where she was responsible for the brands Sure, Cif, and Omo. She moved to the UK to do a research-based MSc in Marketing and went on to complete her PhD in services management on a four-year AMBS scholarship.

Ilma conducts research on bottom of the pyramid markets, customer vulnerability, social innovation and sustainability in supply chains. She has recently received two EPSRC funding awards to explore inclusive digital service provision for UK refugees in partnership with the charity Caritas.

Kevin Davies, Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches
Kevin serves as the Trusteeships Coordinator for the Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches ensuring that local churches have appropriate legal structures to enable them to meet Charity Commission requirements and to seek to serve their local communities.

He has been involved in supporting local primary and secondary schools around Swansea in delivering elements of the RE and PSE curriculum. He is a governor in two local schools and sits on the local Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education for the county. He is also a trustee of a crisis counselling charity and a director of a publishing company.

Previously he had over two decades experience in finance and investment. His roles involved: supervision of a team of independent financial advisors, assessing the suitability of various tax efficient investments, stress testing investment products linked to market indices, communication with various regulators, day-to-day implementation of investment strategies and project management relating to process re-engineering.

Geoffrey Sides, United Reformed Church North West Synod
Geoffrey Sides graduated as a Civil Engineer at Manchester University and, after commissioned National Service in the Royal Air Force, entered the construction industry in which he worked for the rest of his professional career, apart from a 4-year period lecturing at Salford University while carrying out Ph.D. research at Manchester University. He worked on major projects for ICI, BP at Baglan Bay, Cammell Laird Shipbuilders at Birkenhead and British Nuclear Fuels at Sellafield.

He progressed to become the Managing Director of one of the Simon Engineering Group of Companies and in the 1980s, with the assistance of Coopers & Lybrand, led a negotiated management buy-out of his company.

Subsequent to Geoffrey's retirement, his company was bought by Mott MacDonald, a major London consultancy with worldwide interests. Geoffrey's former company, albeit with a different name, is still operating successfully in the Manchester area.

Lisa Stonestreet, Head of Communications and Charity Impact, EIRIS Foundation

Lisa is currently the Head of Communications and Charity Impact at the EIRIS Foundation. Lisa was previously a Programme Director at the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF), supporting the growth of UK market demand for responsible investment and other financial services that advance sustainability through activities such as Good Money Week, the Ethical Investment Association and support for Pension Funds and Charity Investors. Lisa initially developed an interest in sustainable finance while studying Finance and Environmental Economics in South Africa. Lisa is a proud Trustee of The Orchard Project, a charity dedicated to the creation, restoration and celebration of community orchards.


External Advisory Committee meeting summaries:

Please click this link to read the February 2023 meeting summary

Please click this link to read the September 2022 meeting summary

Please click this link to read the February 2022 meeting summary

Please click this link to read the September 2021 meeting summary


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