How can I do good and make money?
Charles Middleton has been the managing director of Triodos Bank since 2003 and has led the ethical bank through a period of rapid growth. He began his career in the army then joined Barclays. He got into photography while living in India and through selling pictures of street children for charity ended up working with Triodos. We asked the 57-year-old, who lives in Leamington Spa, to record a working day.
7am An at-home day sandwiched between graduations, my daughter’s and my own. I walk the dog, buy a paper and get on to my emails. I’ve been away the past couple of days so there is the usual mix of emails to address.
9am Yesterday I dropped in on Shared Interest, who finance fair-trade producers and buyers, and had a catch-up with Tim Morgan, their financial director. I love the way they work with the large co-operative producers and also very small-scale groups such as one in the Rift Valley in Kenya.
I also follow up a meeting with Garden Organic, which promotes organic gardening. I had a great morning seeing what the new chief executive James Campbell has been doing; making changes to the charity’s show garden and finding ways to use spare office space.
10.30am Quick review of my diary for the next two months; I’ve got a few days volunteering at our customer Jamie’s Farm which I am really looking forward to. They have a really great team and the kids that visit have a lot of fun, with a real opportunity to get onto a more positive track.
11am Quick coffee while I witness my son modelling his Zeus outfit to his two sisters in preparation for a fancy-dress party.
Preparation for a call with the Triodos Renewables board this afternoon; Triodos Renewables lets investors support projects that generate clean, green electricity from sustainable sources and earn a healthy return.
12pm Conference call with Dan Hird, our head of corporate finance, and Lorraine Tromans, head of compliance. The corporate finance team has helped to raise almost £20 million for social and environmental organisations, including bond issues for Golden Lane Housing and Greenwich Leisure. Today we are talking about a compliance issue.
12.30pm Quick lunch and a brief catch-up with daughter who is about to return to Cape Town.
1pm The Triodos Renewables board call starts. Simon Roberts exercises some excellent discipline as chair (definite lesson for me there!). Then discussions about the future of Triodos Renewables and building on its success over recent years.
2.45pm The board call finishes early – good chairing – and I have a few minutes to prepare for a call with the Loan Pricing Committee. We may only lend to organisations that have a social or environmental purpose but they still expect competitive pricing.
4pm Phone Will from our PR team about our magazine, The Colour of Money. He wants me to review it before it goes to print and to write the short introduction.
5pm A few more emails. It’s always exciting to get a response from an organisation that I would like Triodos to work with.
6pm I review The Colour of Money and write my intro, which is not nearly as good as Will’s.
7pm Close down my email to concentrate on our family’s second graduation. It’s late in life to be getting my first degree but I’m very excited to be stepping on to the stage at Warwick University tomorrow in front of my whole family.
Thanks Odd Family Blog for this article.