Initiative Ireland Signs Principles for Responsible Investment and Appoints a Chief Investment Officer

Pictured at NovaUCD are Declan O’Brien, CIO, Initiative Ireland and Padraig W Rushe, CEO, Initiative Ireland (Mark Harrison - Harrison Photography).

Initiative Ireland Signs Principles for Responsible Investment and Appoints a Chief Investment Officer

Initiative Ireland the property finance and impact investment specialist, today announced that it has signed the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). By doing so Initiative Ireland is committing to the six global principles of responsible investing and reporting.

Padraig W. Rushe, CEO, Initiative Ireland said, "As an impact finance specialist, we have always been committed to delivering social and environmental impact through honest, fair and inclusive financial products because it was the right thing to do. By joining the UN-supported PRI we are making a commitment publicly, joining a global investment community that share our goals of empowering investors to Earn Good and Do Good."

The company also announced today the appointment of Declan O’Brien as the company’s new Chief Investment Officer (CIO). He will be responsible for leading the expansion of the company’s product and service offering, as it aims to become a leading social impact investment company in Ireland and across Europe.

As an impact finance firm, Initiative Ireland already enables its impact investor community to co-fund the construction of energy-efficient social and affordable housing projects nationwide.

To date the company has focused on financing smaller scale development loans from €1 million to €5 million. These loans are provided to experienced property developers and co-funded by Initiative Ireland’s Impact Investor Community.

A private Irish company, Initiative Ireland is headquartered at NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at University College Dublin and is supported by Enterprise Ireland as a high-potential start-up.

Announcing the appointment Padraig W. Rushe, CEO, Initiative Ireland, said,We are delighted to have Declan join the executive team. He brings with him a depth of global experience in impact investing and private debt. In this new role he will lead engagement with international investors, and larger Irish corporate investors, as well as shaping the strategy for our investor services as part of our European expansion goals.”

Declan O’Brien has 25 years of investment management experience and is a seasoned impact investment professional having been a pioneer in embracing both private debt and alternative finance with impact as an asset class.

His career has spanned the globe and has led to him holding senior management positions at International Banks such as, JP Morgan, HSBC and BNP Paribas.

As Group CEO of the Barak Fund Management, a trade finance and private debt fund management company based in Mauritius, he grew the business from $100 million of assets under management into the world’s largest and most profitable trade finance fund, now with over $1billion under management.

Declan O’Brien, CIO, Initiative Ireland, said, “I am extremely excited about having the opportunity to work with the great team at Initiative Ireland, because I share the company’s belief that we can create a very meaningful societal and environmental impact through the right investment products. In my view, Initiative Ireland is already an ethical finance leader in the market.”

Initiative Ireland enables private investors to co-fund property-backed loans, committing as little as €500 per loan alongside its institutional credit partners. This hybrid model promotes financial inclusion and also provides surety of funding to the company’s borrowers, who know that loans are institutionally backed from the start.

Initiative Ireland’s experienced lending team originate and manage each loan from end-to-end on behalf of investors. Each loan is secured with a first legal charge over the property, to protect clients from downside risks.


10 March 2020

For more information contact Micéal Whelan, Communications and Media Relations Manager, NovaUCD, UCD Research and Innovation, t: + 353 1 716 3712 or e: or Padraig W. Rushe, CEO, Initiative Ireland, t: +353 1 685 9259 or e:

Editors Notes

Initiative Financial Services trading as Initiative Ireland is a private (Irish owned) financial services company focused on delivering social impact. It acts as Loan Agent on all loans. As a Private, Pension or Corporate Lender with the company, clients can lend as part of a Private Lending Syndicate, in return for a share of the issued loan and interest income. Members are able to tailor their loan portfolio in line with their own risk-reward appetite, choosing which pre-approved loans to fund to achieve their financial and social goals.

Initiative Ireland Nominees Limited is a trust and company service provider, authorised by the Department of Justice and Equality of Ireland. It acts as the Security Agent, holding a first legal charge over the funded properties in trust for the Private Lending Syndicate Members.

Initiative Ireland is a partner of MANGOPAY, a public limited liability company incorporated in Luxembourg (Number B173459) and approved as an electronic money institution by the Financial Sector Regulator (CSSF), Luxembourg.

At NovaUCD, the hub for new ventures and entrepreneurs at University College Dublin, we nurture and support new high-tech companies as part of UCD's mission. At NovaUCD we provide purpose-built, state-of-the-art incubation facilities alongside a comprehensive business support programme for client companies such as Initiative Ireland. NovaUCD has supported over 360 companies and early-stage ventures. Supported companies have attracted over €760 million of investment and currently employ over 1,040 people directly. NovaUCD has been funded through a unique public-private partnership that includes AIB Bank, Arthur Cox, Deloitte, Enterprise Ireland, Ericsson, Goodbody Stockbrokers, UCD and Xilinx.