Professor Bobby Duffy
Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Policy Institute
Bobby has worked across most public policy areas in his career of 30 years in policy research and evaluation, including being seconded to the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit.
Bobby sits on several advisory boards including Chairing both the Campaign for Social Science and the CLOSER Advisory Board, is a member of the Executive of the Academy of Social Sciences, a trustee of British Future and the Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education (TASO) and a Senior Fellow of the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto.
His first book, The Perils of Perception – Why we’re wrong about nearly everything, was published by Atlantic books in several countries, drawing on a set of global studies on how people misperceive key social realities. His latest book, Generations - Does when you’re born shape who you are?, came out in September 2021 and challenges myths and stereotypes around generational trends, seeking a greater understanding around generational challenges.
Advocate for Change in ESG Investing and Sustainability
Desiree works as a Senior Advisor to financial institutions, is a member of the U.K’s Financial Conduct Authority’s ESG Advisory Committee and is the Chair of the Board of VentureESG. Desiree is a frequent public commentator and provides expert insight on topics including ESG, the prevention of greenwashing, whistleblowing and crisis management.
Desiree has over 20 years of experience in both sustainable finance and investment banking. She was Group Sustainability Officer at DWS Group, where she was responsible for driving the firm’s overall sustainability strategy. It was here that she exposed what she considered to be extensive greenwashing. She highlighted the discrepancies between the firm’s public ESG claims and its internal statements and actions and called for greater transparency and accountability in ESG investing.
She has held senior roles at JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank and Zais Group, where she built and managed ESG investing and structured credit businesses, delivering overall policy and analytical frameworks, investor strategies and product development. Her track record of product innovation includes several award-winning and market transformational products. This includes the development of the JECI, which evolved into the iTraxx and CDX indices, as well as a series of impact securitizations.
Desiree holds a BSc Economics (Hons) from the London School of Economics (LSE). She is a member of the CFA’s ESG Technical Committee and a member of the LSE’s Entrepreneurship Advisory Group.
Dr Kevin Fong
Science Broadcaster and Emergency Medicine Doctor
Dr Kevin Fong OBE has worked as a doctor with NASA and currently flies as part of a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) crew in the UK. As of March 2020, Kevin was seconded to NHS England Covid-19 Emergency Preparedness Resilience & Response team. As a frontline emergency physician, his expertise lies in understanding teamwork, risk management and decision making under extreme pressure.
With degrees in astrophysics, medicine and engineering, he is also something of a renaissance man. Having worked with NASA’s human space flight programme in Houston, Dr Fong also has a unique perspective on science, technology, exploration and the limits of the human body which he has brought to life in his incredible talks inspiring a global audience at both public and corporate events. In 2015, he delivered the prestigious Royal Institution Christmas Lectures.
Dr Kevin Fong has also brought his expertise to both television and radio. He co-presented Astronauts: Do You Have What it Takes and Operation Goldrush with Dan Snow. He wrote and presented Space Shuttle: The Final Mission, To Boldly Go and several Horizon programmes including We Need to Talk about Death, Cyber Attack, Back from the Dead and How to Avoid Mistakes in Surgery. He presented Channel 4’s Extreme A&E and his radio documentaries include Game Changer: Fortnite on 4 and Trauma Medicine: The Fight for Life on BBC Radio 4.
Dr Kevin Fong hosts the worldwide hit podcast 13 Minutes to the Moon produced by Andrew Luck-Baker and Rami Tzabar for BBC World Service. The podcast won Best Factual Podcast 2019 at the AIB Awards, sharing the prize with Hans Zimmer who composed original music for the series, and Silver in the Audio category at the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards. World Service has an audio audience of over 173 million listeners worldwide.
Chief Investment Officer and Group Executive Committee Member of Phoenix Group plc
Mike is currently the Chief Investment Officer (CIO) for Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement provider with over £330bn of Assets under Administration, on behalf of over 14 million policyholders. In his current role, Mike is a member of the Group Executive Committee, reporting into the Group CEO, Andy Briggs. In addition, Mike is an Executive Director of underlying Life Company Boards.
Mike is responsible for leading all of the investment functions within the Phoenix Group, but with particular focus on (i) Illiquid Asset origination for Phoenix Bulk Purchase Annuity business, (ii) developing a leading capability for Sustainable Investments and (c) developing a best in class investment operating framework. Mike has eight direct reports, with over 150 professionals making up Phoenix Asset Management.
Prior to joining Phoenix in July 2020, Mike was the Group CIO of ReAssure (which was acquired by Phoenix Group in July 2020), a consolidator of UK Life and Pensions companies. At ReAssure, which Mike was a member of the Group Executive Committee and was charged with developing the investment strategy in preparation for the planned IPO and acquisition of insurance companies.
Prior to joining ReAssure in May 2019, Mike was a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, where he spent over 14 years undertaking a variety of client facing roles, including M&A, running UK Fixed Income and responsible for Goldman Sachs Pension and Insurance business across EMEA. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Mike qualified as an Actuary with EY.