Keeping Big Business Accountable to the Public Through Smart Investing

Stephen Whipp

There is much cynicism and suspicion around large businesses and their willingness to be accountable to the public. And why should they? The concerned public does not own the company- the shareholders do. But what happens when the concerned public is the shareholder? How does being involved with a business —rather than rejecting it— allow you to impress your values on daily operations? Can shareholders effectively facilitate positive change from within rather than by pushing from the outside? This talk will examine how individuals can have impact on business practices by involving themselves at an investment level. By using their portfolio to vote with their dollars, concerned citizens can help push companies to find a better way forward both environmentally and socially.

About Stephen Whipp:

CFP, Senior Financial Advisor. Steve is an activist. He believes passionately that individuals working together for the common good can change the world, and make it better for everyone. Before coming to financial planning in 1996. Steve dedicated over 20 years to environmental, justice, community and aboriginal issues in various parts of Canada. He’s worked for aboriginal organizations in northern B.C. and the N.W.T.; covered environmental and aboriginal issues as a journalist and columnist; managed public legal education programs; and advocated on northern and environmental issues on Parliament Hill. Steve was the first executive director of a northern BC-based environmental research organization involved in forestry, oil exploration, and transportation issues, and was one of the first western journalists allowed into China in the 1970’s.

At Manulife Securities Inc., Steve is the leader of his own team that specializes in ethical investing and values-based financial planning.

He is involved with a variety of non-profit organizations, and is an active member of Victoria’s Values-based Business Network. Steve is also a member of the Social Investment Organization, a national agency dedicated to the advancement of socially responsible investment in Canada and the Vancouver Island Better Business Bureau.

2010 IdeaWave