Big Society Bank launched

Friday July 29th, 2011

The Cabinet Office has taken another step in implementing its ‘Big Society’ with the establishment of two ‘expert’ boards for the Big Society Bank – Big Society Capital.

In addition the first investment from dormant accounts has gone to the Private Equity Foundation, an organisation whose mission it is to support disadvantaged young people into employment, education or training.

Sir Ronald Cohen has agreed to serve as the unpaid, interim Chair of Big Society Capital Limited, the operating company of the group, until it is fully operational and its Board has conducted a search for a more permanent Chair. Nick O’Donohoe, formerly Global Head of Research at JP Morgan, will take the helm as Big Society Capital’s first CEO.

Big Society Capital will be run independently from government with decisions around funding being made by an impartial investment committee. Leaders believe that it will play a critical role in speeding up the growth of the social investment market.

Prime Minister, David Cameron, said: “When I announced the idea of a Big Society Bank, I wanted to help social enterprises and other groups to grow and expand their vital work. I am delighted that with today’s announcement of the organisation’s first investment, this vision is becoming a reality. I’ve seen the amazing work that Britain’s social enterprises already do to tackle some of our country’s most intractable problems.

“I believe that Big Society Capital will play a major role in injecting significant resources and financial innovation into these social enterprises, while at the same time attracting further funding from charitable foundations, private individuals and other investors. That’s why I wholeheartedly welcome today’s launch and the organisation’s first investment.”

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