My name is Maria Laura Tinelli and I’m director at Acrux Partners, an impact investment advisory firm
What have been the challenges and discoveries of the lockdown What have been the challenges and discoveries of the lockdown period?
One of the main challenges for me is that days seem to go on forever. I work a lot with Latin America, so it was being in lockdown and working such long days – I start at 8 or 9am, but don’t end until 10 or 11 at night.
I break up my day by exercising, which is one of the good things about quarantine. In normal circumstances, when I travel, I tend to lose my routines. One of the routines I lose most quickly is exercising. The quarantine has helped me go back to it!
What are your hopes and visions for social finance, in light of the pandemic and other recent events?
I see more of an impact as a result of the quarantine on the ‘S’. When you look at social or impact investment, you look at it in terms of E’ – environmental – and ‘S’ – the social. Since the quarantine started, there’s been a shift to the ‘S’, which is the most difficult bit to invest in.
Black Lives Matter gets entangled into investment in social issues. What I have seen is a lot of organisations – both financial institutions and companies – becoming a lot more vocal about what they’re doing, about Black Lives Matter, about ending racism and about providing a more equal playing field for all employees and all communities that they work with. But I haven’t necessarily seen a shift in investment. I have seen a shift in communication and in being a lot more outspoken about what they’re doing. Whether that translates into real actions or not, or is it true or not? We’ll have to wait and see…
What does Women in Social Finance mean to you?
The Women in Social Finance group is extremely important because it supports the network a woman needs to enter into the financial sector and to enter into the financial sector at the right level.
The financial sector is still a man’s world. It’s very rare to find women sitting in C-suite positions or in board rooms etc.
Because we’re still navigating a man’s world – which is not bad, it’s how it is – we somehow need to figure out a way of creating more of a level playing field for women in the sector.
What item or items have helped get you through lockdown?
I’m holding a weight; it is a 4 kg weight. I went back to exercising during lockdown. I started a new form of exercise with my trainer via Zoom. At the beginning, I could only hold this. And now I can hold 6 – 14 kilos when exercising. So, a symbol of resilience!