Karen Shackleton



Career in the financial sector spanning over 30 years. C level board experience including Chief Executive/Managing Director for a UK investment advisory company. Achievements include turning company around in four years, doubling assets advised to over £40 billion and growing the size of team. Non-Executive Director of Resonance Limited and Deputy Chair of the Lord Chancellor’s Strategic Investment Board for the Ministry of Justice. Investment adviser to four local authority pension funds, providing economic and market reviews as part of strategic input feeding into Pensions Committee investment strategy. Understanding of the public sector, gained over 30 years of working with local authorities. Expert perspective on investments and the performance characteristics of different asset classes and investment approaches under different economic climates. An appreciation of investor needs: over 600 discussions with institutional and high net worth investors. Ten years’ experience as an investment manager.


1981 – 1984    BSc. Banking and International Finance, City University Business School (now Cass Business School) – 1st class honours, award for highest rank in year. Academic knowledge of investments, micro- and macro-economics, banking law, econometrics and statistics.

2007 – Date    CF30 FCA Approved.

Career History

Pensions for Purpose (www.pensionsforpurpose.com

2017 – Date    Head of Pensions for Purpose, a collaborative initiative to raise awareness of impact investment within the pension fund community. Pensions for Purpose is a wholly owned subsidiary of Keith Shackleton Associates.

Ministry of Justice (www.justice.gov.uk)

2016 – Date    Deputy Chair of the Lord Chancellor’s Strategic Investment Board, an advisory body responsible for advising the Lord Chancellor on the investment of funds held by the Ministry of Justice on behalf of others. Attendance at quarterly meetings, interim ad hoc dialogue as required. Input into the procurement process for new investment managers.

Resonance Limited (www.resonance.ltd.uk/)

2015 – Date    Non-Executive Director and Chair (from 2018) of the Board of Resonance Limited, a firm supporting social enterprises by raising capital from values-aligned investors. Attendance at main board meetings. Appointed in March 2016 as Non-Executive Director of Resonance Impact Investing Limited, a subsidiary of Resonance Limited authorised by the FCA to carry out regulated financial activities. Member of the Resource and Risk Committee, New Product Development Committee and Chair of the Marketing and Profile Committee.

AllenbridgeEpic Investment Advisers (www.allenbridge.com/advice/introduction/)

2017 Project manager for market research undertaken for DCMS as part of a report on social impact (www.dcms.gov.uk). Processed feedback from 65 corporate pension fund representatives on impact investment.

2006 – Date    Independent investment adviser to three London Borough pension schemes: London Boroughs of Islington, Hounslow and Camden, and one county council pension scheme: Warwickshire County Council. Provision of economic views and strategy advice to formal Pension Committee meetings for these clients. Review of investments across all asset classes. Training and education of the trustees. Regular attendee and speaker at investment seminars, conferences and workshops. Experience in listening skills, critical thinking, assimilation and diplomacy combined with a willingness to challenge.

2014 – 2015    Advisory Panel member. Non-executive role on the Advisory Panel of AllenbridgeEpic, the investment advisory arm of Allenbridge Investment Solutions. Providing support to the Managing Director, input into business strategy, challenge and debate of management, business development and staffing issues. Review of budget vs. actual revenue/expenditure on a bi-monthly basis.

2010 – 2012    Chief Executive. Management responsibility for 28 Senior Advisers, Sector Specialists and Business Development Executives, growing the team by ten and increasing assets advised by £5bn in 18 months. Moved P&L from a loss-making position to break-even, enabling the owner to sell the AllenbridgeEpic business to Allenbridge Investment Solutions LLP, a new partnership with a minority stake held by Moody’s Corporation (see below).

2009 – 2010    Sales Executive. Responsible for sales and business development of the advisory business. Member of Management Committee.

Allenbridge Investment Solutions (www.allenbridge.com/)

2012 – 2013    Managing Director and Partner. Member of the Management Committee, Managing Director of Advisory and Head of Business Development and Sales. Responsible for continued growth of the independent investment advisory business and for sales and business development of both advisory and analytics businesses. Increased assets advised to over £40 billion. Significantly raised profile of business in target market.

KSA Ltd – own consultancy company (www.ksa.uk.net)

2017 Member of a working party feeding into the government’s advisory group on social impact investment leading to the publication of a key report: (www.dcms.gov.uk)

2014 – 2015    Conducted a market research project soliciting investor views from very large pension funds, on behalf of a property manager considering co-investment opportunities in property assets. Pulled together opinions on co-investment fund structures, manager remuneration, commitment levels and investment constraints. Organised a seminar and roundtable discussion with senior executives from corporate and local authority pension funds.

1998 – 2010    Conducted market intelligence research involving interviews with 650 institutional and retail investors globally, across six projects, for large asset management firms and investment consultants. Provided analysis and recommendations for improvements. Presented findings to management committees and team heads.

2005 – 2011    Recommended and implemented improvements to the financial management controls and procedures for an Abbeyfield Society (care home) franchise. Enhanced presentation of accounting information to management committee to allow for more sophisticated monitoring and budgeting. Designed an in-house accounting and invoicing system.

2005 – 2008    Designed a workshop on hedge funds and understanding the risks associated with these investments. Delivered to a London Borough pension fund (2004), to MBA/MSc Finance students at Lancaster University (2004, 2005), and every six months as part of Euromoney Training’s two-day course on “Managing Risks in Asset Management”.

2005                  Designed a workshop on the implementation of cost benefit analyses for investment products. Delivered to the Association of Investment Managers’ annual conference and as part of a two-day executive programme offered by Cass Business School.

1995 – 1998    Disaggregated the costs of a fund management business from its parent investment bank and analysed the transition costs incurred as a result of a merger. Provided an activity-based cost analysis to enhance management decision-making for an investment manager.

BZW Investment Management (BZWIM) - now BlackRock

1991-1994       Director, Client Service Team, Quantitative Investment Group. Managed a team of five client relationship managers responsible for £23bn in external client assets. Responsible for developing and maintaining client relationships and marketing to new accounts. Client director to corporate and local authority pension funds.

County NatWest Investment Management (CNIM) – asset manager

1990-1991       Director, Quantitative Fixed Income & Derivatives. Team head, managing £1.5bn in strategies encompassing currency dynamic hedging, synthetic index funds, option writing, global bond indexation, immunisation & dedication. Responsible for client servicing, marketing and business strategy in UK, USA, Japan.

1988-1990       Head of Product Development team. Established a quantitative research and development group focussing on turning research ideas into marketable products for the pension fund market. Introduced currency dynamic hedging, quantitative added value products and tactical asset allocation incorporating economic views to the firm’s client base.

1984-1988       Fund Manager in Quantitative team. One of the founder members of the team. Specialised in the management of fixed income and derivatives for pension fund clients. Marketed quantitative products in the UK and USA.


2017 - Date  Communications Advisor and Executive Committee member for St. Thomas Church, Lancaster’s “Heart of the City” project. Strategic vision for raising £3.75 million for a new community centre. Research into crowdfunding. Preparation of bi-monthly newsletter to congregation and maintenance of Facebook page.

2014 – 2016    Standing Committee and Parochial Church Council member, St. Thomas Church, Lancaster. Reviewed governance and staff and leadership structures in response to the growth of the 600+ congregation. Attended a “vision day” to help the clergy and staff team set the strategic goals for the church. Annual review of the budget and monitoring of actual revenue/expenditure.  Member of a task force reviewing the business strategy for the church pre-school – prepared financial scenarios, recommendations for change and advice on raising profile in the local community.

2001 – 2011    Governor, Quernmore C.E. Controlled School (Chair of Governors: 2006 - 2010). Appointed new Head Teacher during time as Chair.  Improved management information on financials provided to full governing body. Chair of Finance Committee.


Running, badminton, tennis, walking, piano, member of a book group and a church bible study group