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Jim McCormick, CEO of the Robertson Trust: Venturing into Impact Investing

Jim McCormick, CEO of the Robertson Trust, discusses the organization's move into impact investing while maintaining its core mission of combating poverty and trauma in Scotland.

Founded in 1961 from the philanthropic efforts of the Robertson sisters, the Trust has a rich history of community support, primarily funded through dividends from the family's globally renowned whisky business, Edrington, which includes brands such as The Macallan and Highland Park.

McCormick delves into the Trust's multifaceted approach, likening it to a layer cake, with foundational grant-making supporting a range of causes, from micro-grants to significant investments, and a scholarship program aimed at breaking down barriers to higher education. He highlights the Trust's evolving objectives, emphasizing capacity building and policy to create sustainable change.

The episode focuses on the Trust's move into impact investing, aiming to leverage capital to address the roots of poverty and trauma. The Trust seeks to explore blended finance opportunities, going beyond traditional grants to foster innovative solutions in partnership with experienced investors.

McCormick outlines the Trust's key thematic areas: financial security, education pathways, fair work, and emotional well-being, and shares his vision for creating investable propositions that tackle these complex issues. He also discusses the challenges and opportunities of the Scottish market and the importance of being an informed and proactive investor.

As the Trust embarks on this new journey, McCormick invites listeners to share insights and join in their mission to create lasting change.

About Jim McCormick

Dr Jim McCormick is Chief Executive of The Robertson Trust, an independent grant-making charity which funds, supports and influences solutions to poverty and trauma in Scotland.

Previously he was Associate Director Scotland with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2017-20), ran an independent research consultancy and was Director of the Scottish Council Foundation think-tank.

He has been Chair of the independent Disability and Carers Benefits Advisory Group reporting to the Social Security Minister in the Scottish Government (2017-23), Chair of the Edinburgh Poverty Commission (2018-20) and a member of the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC, 2014-20) which scrutinises the Department for Work and Pensions’ GB regulations.

In 2018 he was a travelling Churchill Fellow looking at the impact of mentoring programmes for children and young people facing disadvantage in the USA, Canada and New Zealand.

His interests include music, languages and Greenock Morton FC.



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