Impact investing and philanthropy, Alastair Rhodes CEO Bay Trust & Chair of IIN
Alastair had a childhood that was strongly influenced by his parents. His father, a well-known figure in New Zealand for his work with the dairy board, was passionate about the environment and the outdoors. Meanwhile, his mother was a public health nurse, and both of them instilled in him a sense of social responsibility and environmentalism.
After completing a law and commerce degree, Alastair worked for large American companies like General Electric and Specsavers, as well as in the airline and airport industry. While he learned the value of money and building partnerships in the commercial sector, he found his true calling in the not-for-profit sector, where his values aligned with the purpose of the organisations he worked for.
As the chair of New Zealand’s Impact Investment Network, Alastair is a firm believer in the power of impact investing and its ability to help deliver social and environmental change. He has a passion for enterprise and commercial deals that can lead to direct impact and more obvious social and environmental outcomes.
Alastair’s current role as CEO of the Bay Trust has allowed him to continue his mission to make a positive and meaningful difference for future generations. The Bay Trust is an endowed foundation that benefits from investments, which are then used to support the Trust's grant-making activities to benefit all people living in the Bay of Plenty with a specific on those who need it most.
The Bay Trust focuses on being equitable across these beneficiaries, who have diverse challenges and needs. The region has pockets of wealth, such as Mount Maunganui, but the most deprived parts of New Zealand are also in the area. The Trust aims to grow equitably, in line with population increases and inflation, to meet the needs of both current and future beneficiaries.
For Alastair, leadership is all about aligning an individual's personal values with the organisation's purpose. By doing so, people and organisations can create a culture that promotes success and meaningful change. This philosophy has driven him throughout his career, and he hopes to continue making a positive impact in the not-for-profit sector for years to come.