Letter from the CEO (January, 2018)

January 12th, 2018

The following letter was circulated to RIA Members on Jan. 12, 2018

Dear RIA Members:  

I am deeply honoured to step into the role of Chief Executive Officer of the Responsible Investment Association (RIA). Back in 2013 when Deb Abbey hired me part-time, the RIA team comprised only her, me, and Wendy Mitchell as our part-time bookkeeper. Fast forward to 2018, and we are now recruiting our sixth staff member. Our growing capacity is the result of your continued support. So, in the sincerest possible terms: Thank you for helping to strengthen our capacity to advance responsible investing in Canada.I hope you all had a restful holiday season and that your first 12 days of 2018 have treated you well.

Our team is not the only growth story: In 2017, we welcomed more than 20 new organizational members and 50 new individual members. About 1,150 people attended 14 RI Week events & webinars, and back in June we hosted 380 attendees at our largest conference ever held in Western Canada. And more than 200 investment professionals have now earned one of our financial designations to demonstrate their expertise in responsible investing. It is a privilege to be taking on this role at such an exciting time for RI in Canada.

So, what’s next?  Here’s what you can expect to see from the RIA in 2018:

1. Member Consultation
We want to hear from you. What are we doing well? What can we do better? How can we provide more value for your membership? I ponder these questions on a daily basis. We will circulate a member consultation survey within the next two weeks to hear directly from you on these questions and others.

2. Three-Year Strategic Plan
The RIA will develop a three-year strategic plan in 2018. It will be presented at the Annual General Meeting, which will take place on June 5th in Toronto alongside the RIA Conference. Your feedback from the member consultation will be considered in this process.

3. New RIA Website
We are working on a new website for delivery in spring 2018. This new website will be part of our strengthened digital content strategy. It will deliver engaging, actionable content for investors including a new RI marketplace to promote RIA members’ RI products and services. It will also focus on enhancing members’ experience, for example by improving the members’ login portal and account-management capabilities.

4. Creating Stronger Awareness of RI in Canada
About three-quarters of Canadian investors are interested in responsible investing, but they know little or nothing about it. We need to change that. To do this, we’re going to leverage a combination of traditional and digital media with a focus on visual, accessible, and “bite-sized” content that sparks conversations and gets investors asking their advisors, consultants, asset managers and service providers about RI. This will not happen overnight, but we’re going to push as hard as we can.

5. Enhancing our Services for French-Speaking Canada
We are going to use our strengthened capacity to do a better job of promoting RI and serving the marketplace in both of Canada’s official languages. We now have bilingual capabilities on our team, and I am pleased to announce that the 2019 RIA Conference will take place in Montréal.

In addition to these items, we will be delivering an updated Canadian RI Trends Report in Q4, and we will continue to deliver high quality conferences, events, research, collaborative initiatives and more while continuously looking for ways to serve you better.   It’s going to be an exciting year, and I very much look forward to working with you to advance responsible investing in 2018 and beyond.

With gratitude,

Dustyn Lanz
Chief Executive Officer
Responsible Investment Association