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Cliff Prior to leave Big Society Capital and join Global Steering Group for Impact Investment

04 Feb 2020 News

Cliff Prior will step down as Big Society Capital’s chief executive to take on a new role at the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG).

Prior will take over from Amit Bhatia, GSG’s current chief executive, in May.

Since its launch in 2012, Big Society Capital has brought in almost £2bn of investment for social enterprises and charities, £600m of which were invested by the organisation itself.  

Prior has been at Big Society Capital since 2016. During his tenure, the organisation worked with Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, which provides blended finance options for charities to help them become more financially resilient.

Before joining Big Society Capital, Prior led UnLtd, a charity that supports social entrepreneurs, and mental illness charity Rethink. 

Unlocking potential

Sir Harvey McGrath, chair of Big Society Capital, said: “Cliff’s vision has always been that social impact investment could unlock the potential of social enterprises and charities to transform the lives of people in the UK.

“Cliff has played a leading role in building a movement in social impact investing and in creating the broader impact ecosystem. He is leaving Big Society Capital in an excellent position to continue supporting this development of the wider social investment market.”

Prior said: “It has been a truly great privilege to work with such a fabulous, purposeful and inspirational team. I am very proud of the work they have done creating innovative solutions to get finance to help address deep social problems such as homelessness, housing for vulnerable adults and complex issues like the poverty premium and regenerating places and communities.”

Big Society Capital said it will immediately start looking for a new chief executive.

The Global Steering Group

GSG was set up in 2015 as the successor of the Social Impact Investment Taskforce, which was created in 2013 after the UK presidency of the G8.

Bhatia had been leading the organisation, which currently involves 32 countries plus the EU and 500 senior people, since then.

Prior said: “I am joining the GSG at a time when the impact movement is gathering great momentum. 

“GSG was born at the G8 meeting presided by the UK eight years ago and is now working with 32 countries to bring impact investment to entrepreneurs, business, philanthropy and government and put us on the way to impact economies. It will be a huge responsibility to take forward the outstanding success of my brilliant predecessor Amit Bhatia.”

GSG is a registered charity and in 2018 had an income of £1.4m.

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