Heather JacksonHead Of Specialised Credit Ashburton Investments South Africa
Heather has 26 years of capital market experience. She qualified as an economist and holds a Charted Financial Analysis (CFA) designation. During her career, she headed up fixed income teams at Investec, Prudential and African Harvest. Subsequently, after 10 years building an award winning impact investing business, the impact business she founded at Atlantic Asset Management was acquired by Ashburton Investments in 2016. Heather is currently the head of Specialised Credit at Ashburton Investments, the asset management division of the FirstRand Group. FirstRand is the largest financial services group in South Africa and across Africa, and Heather’s team at Ashburton focuses on harnessing business-government-DFI alignment to crowd in private savings to invest in bespoke solutions to some of our socio-economic challenges. The team has recently been awarded a second mandate from SA’s National Treasury under the Jobs Fund Program and has successfully implemented a unique guarantee mechanism to crowd in pension fund investments that invest in sustainable job creation initiatives. The ASF solutions focus on providing excellent commercial returns as well as solving for some of our social backlogs in areas across broad infrastructure, housing, transport, health, education, and the environment. During her career, Heather has been deeply involved in the growth of the municipal bond sector in South Africa both as a specialist fund manager, as a representative shareholder and lender to INCA, and other initiatives to find sustainable ways to fund our municipalities. She is currently a member of the Treasury task team to explore partnership solutions between government and business in funding municipalities. The ASF team is also developing a guarantee mechanism which is expected to catalyse the first institutionally funded municipal infrastructure fund in South Africa. Heather also remains the founding chair of the Responsible Investing subcommittee at the Association for Savings and Investment in South Africa (ASISA). This committee played a key role in advocating for sustainability reforms to Regulation 28 for pension funds. In 2012 Heather was invited by the Rockefeller Foundation to Bellagio to engage on how regulatory reform can better enable the uptake of high impact investment strategies. She is also a founding member of the Codes for Responsible Investing (CRISA); as a signatory to UNPRI and active working committee member, Heather has also addressed a number of UNPRI global conferences. Heather is a frequent guest lecturer to post graduate students in South Africa and abroad on alternative investment strategies and impact investing. She is a member of the steering committee of the SA Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) Chapter and is a regular speaker at the annual ANDE Conference in the USA.