VANCOUVER, June 22, 2012 /CNW/ - Gary Hawton, President of OceanRock
Investments Inc. ("OceanRock"), was presented with the Canadian SRI
Distinguished Service Award at the Social Investment Organization
("SIO") annual conference. In addition to this honour, Gary was also
appointed to the role of President of the board of the SIO after
serving several years in other executive board positions. Both the
award and the nomination were presented to Gary in recognition of his
leadership and extensive contributions to socially responsible
investing ("SRI") and his relentless pursuit of environmental, social
and governance accountability for publicly traded companies.
The award, which is presented by the SIO, can only be won once in a
person's lifetime. It is awarded to a person who has made an
outstanding contribution to the Canadian socially responsible
investment industry through their leadership, commitment, initiative,
innovation, collaboration and/or impact in advancing industry growth
Gary Hawton SRI Trailblazer - Pioneer for Socially Responsible Investing
and "Say on Pay" in Canada.
Among his many accomplishments in the SRI industry, Gary is best known
as the founding CEO of Meritas SRI Funds, now a division of OceanRock.
Under Gary's leadership, Meritas has become one of Canada's fastest
growing SRI fund companies due in part to its unwavering commitment to
Gary has been a key driver for SRI in the retail and institutional
investment arena in Canada including being a pivotal figure in the "Say
on Pay" movement. In a recent radio interview, Gary spoke of his early
days in advocating "Say on Pay" for executive compensation and how far
this concept has come. Over five years ago, Gary began a dialogue with
the five largest banks in Canada promoting the ability for shareholders
to have a non-binding or advisory vote on executive compensation. While
initially rejected by issuers and other investors, "Say on Pay" is now
generally accepted as best practice from a corporate governance
perspective. Due to the efforts of Gary and other key advocates, "Say
on Pay" is here to stay in Canada with at least 98 companies providing
shareholders with an annual advisory vote on executive compensation.
In response to the award and the appointment to the role of President of
the SIO board Hawton states, "I am very pleased that Socially
Responsible Investments are having such an impact for Canadian
investors. I am honoured to receive this award from my peers and look
forward to further advocacy on behalf of shareholders as President of
Oceanrock and President of the SIO."
Scott Gibner, CEO of Qtrade Financial Group, recognizes the significant
contributions that Gary has made to the SRI industry in Canada. "Gary
is a cornerstone for SRI and shareholder advocacy. He has put a
tremendous amount of thought, energy and passion into cultivating SRI
in Canada. All of us at Qtrade Financial Group and OceanRock are very
proud of Gary and what he has been able to accomplish for Canadian
About OceanRock Investments Inc.
Meritas SRI Funds, a division of OceanRock Investments Inc.
("OceanRock"), has been dedicated to building SRI solutions for
individual and institutional investors for over 10 years. OceanRock is
a unique provider of traditional and SRI solutions, and is a subsidiary
of Qtrade Financial Group. For more information, visit www.oceanrock.ca.
About Qtrade Financial Group
Qtrade Financial Group provides comprehensive brokerage and wealth
management platforms, services and solutions to the retail public as
well as the customers of hundreds of financial institutions across
Canada. Since 1999, Qtrade has been dedicated to providing its
financial institution partners with a single source for market-leading
wealth management products and services including: online, full-service
and institutional brokerage services, mutual fund dealer services,
insurance dealer services, portfolio management, discretionary money
management services and proprietary managed money solutions. For more
information, visit www.qtrade.ca.
About the Social Investment Organization
The SIO is a national membership-based organization that includes
financial institutions, investment firms, financial advisors, and
various organizations and individuals interested in socially
responsible investments. The SIO's mandate is to promote the practice
of SRI in Canada. SRI is the integration of environmental, social and
governance factors in the selection and management of investments. For
more information, visit www.socialinvestment.ca.
SOURCE Qtrade Financial Group
For further information:
Qtrade Financial Group
Vice President, Marketing & Communications