2023 AWARD WINNER
Sponsored by NZI
John Berry has been a leader in growing the ethical investment movement in Aotearoa New Zealand for more than a decade. He is the CEO of Pathfinder Asset Management which he co-founded alongside CIO Paul Brownsey.
In this role, John is changing mindsets by showing how money can be a force for good. His focus is on raising awareness among Kiwis and the finance industry that how we choose to invest our money has critical positive or negative impacts.
John and Paul grew Pathfinder from small beginnings in an office above John’s garage to a business that manages $600 million of clients’ money. It was the first KiwiSaver provider to set a net zero emissions target and issue a sustainability report. It was also the first fund manager in Aotearoa New Zealand to achieve B Corp status.
John has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of ethical investment through the media and presentations. He has written numerous articles published in Stuff, NZ Herald, The Spinoff, Business Desk and NBR as well as recorded radio interviews and podcasts. As a result, he won Mindful Money’s Best Media Reporting on Ethical Investment Award in 2022 and 2023.
His advocacy includes ongoing presentations to companies across diverse sectors including insurance, law, agriculture, manufacturing, tech and construction. He also regularly presents at conferences and finance industry events.
Outside of Pathfinder, John has been on the board of Men’s Health Trust for a decade. There, he saw the need for charities to receive long-term and reliable income streams that are not tagged to a specific project. His solution was to give 20% of KiwiSaver management fees to a family of 18 charity partners. More than $1 million has been paid and accrued to these charities over the past four years.
Partnership is key to John’s work. His collaborations have ranged from launching a new ethical investment product seeded by Ngāi Tahu, to working with organisations focused on social housing and impact investing, as well as supporting numerous charities.
The judges said: “John's determination and appetite for risk is founded on a belief that the market would eventually reward his core commitment: that money can be used as weapon for punishing bad actors and reward the good. It's that commitment and pure grit that has led to his outsized impact and makes him a sustainability superstar.
“John has been a leader in growing the ethical investing movement through Pathfinder and more broadly. Others have followed, building on Pathfinder's record of pushing the boundaries while earning high financial returns for clients. He is also generous with his time and advice, building public awareness and contributing to the wider community.”