New Ethical Investment Advisory Group Chairman appointed
James recently retired as a partner of the City law firm Slaughter and May, where he was a corporate finance lawyer and led the firm's corporate real estate practice. He has 30 years' experience of operating in the City and on behalf of leading multinationals. Standing down as a partner of Slaughter and May will allow him to pursue more vigorously a number of activities that connect his faith with the business world.
The Revd Professor Richard Burridge, Dean of King's College, London and EIAG Deputy Chairman, said: "The EIAG has been well served over the last six years by the chairmanship of John Reynolds, and as Deputy Chair I was honoured to be asked to lead the difficult task of finding a worthy successor. After wide consultation and public advertisement, we chose a shortlist of highly gifted individuals for interview.
"James Featherby's combination of several decades in the City plus his very deep involvement in his local church and in theological reflection upon the investment practices of the City made him the obvious choice. We were unanimous in recommending him to be the new Chairman, and greatly look forward to his leadership in this increasingly important area of our life together."
James is a committed Christian. He teaches at his church and has thought deeply about, and spoken and written about, issues of ethics, business and investment. He is a Fellow of the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity, and chairs Youth with a Mission's international chairman's advisory group. He is the author of The White Swan Formula: Rebuilding business and finance for the common good and is the general editor of and a contributing author to Global Business and Human Rights.
James was educated at Haileybury and Selwyn College, Cambridge, where he read theology and law. He is 52 years old. He is married to Charlotte and they have five children, aged between 21 and 29. His interests include the countryside and development activities in Africa.
Mr Featherby said: "I am honoured and delighted to accept this role. The financial crisis has raised a number of crucial questions for investors which as yet remain unanswered, particularly as to whether our current financial and economic system best serves the interests of investment beneficiaries and the broader society of which they are part and upon whom they depend. I am very much looking forward to working with the other members of the EIAG as we seek together to address these challenges."
The Church of England's Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG) makes recommendations on ethical investment policy to the Church Commissioners, Church of England Pensions Board and CBF Church of England Funds, and conducts engagement on ethical issues and other responsible ownership activities on their behalf.
The Chair is elected by the non-executive members of the EIAG and may serve no more than two terms of three years.